Blog Archives

All the Books Show: Episode 115 – Interview with Naomi Shihab Nye

We had another author guest on the podcast and this time it was poet Naomi Shihab Nye! Neat!

90136d8f86e957dca2bad726522e2faa-the-turtles-chapter-booksDuring her talk at the David A. Howe Public Library, she spoke about revising poetry even after it’s been published, about being political vs. being rude and wondered what a state motto has to say about it’s state. It was a great night and her interview on the podcast gives you a peak into why. We also talk about previous guests to the library, such as Archer Mayor, Joyce Carol Oates and Alexander McCall Smith. What a lineup!

The rest of the show, we talk about Gwendy’s Button Box, the New York Times Best Sellers list and partake in our regular shenanigans. What a funny word “shenanigans” is. It’s tricky to say out loud, it’s spelled differently than one might think. It really does contain multitudes.

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See you next week, podcats!

Book Review – Gwendy’s Button Box

51elgpd8rol-_sx320_bo1204203200_Gwendy’s Button Box, by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar, is short, being only a one hundred and seventy-five page novella. I don’t know how everyone else’s mileage will be, but it was a single sitting read for myself. The reason I bring that up is because I’m not sure if I liked it or not, but how bad can a book be that reads so quick?

The story follows Gwendy, a young girl given a button box that gives her candy that helps her lose weight and live a pretty great life. Sometimes, bad things happen and she’s not sure if it was her fault, the box or just fate. I feel like I just spoiled the book because that’s really all there is to it. Maybe I’m oversimplifying, but not by much.

The book reads quickly because the chapters are short and the information is dispensed at a pleasant pace. One thing King does well is show a day of the life of his characters, pinpointing mundane facts that are actually deeper insights into what makes that character tick. That’s what Gwendy’s Button Box is, days of the life of Gwendy. Sometimes, that’s interesting and, sometimes, it’s just the life of high school girl.

The supernatural elements are found in the button box, but again, their results are mundane. At times, when Gwendy is worried about the box being found or tries to get rid of it, there’s an old school sense of attachment given to the inanimate object. It won’t be ignored or thrown away, even though it doesn’t come across as threatening.

Again, quick read. Compelling? I’m not sure. King’s style creates a page turner, but easy-to-read doesn’t mean exciting. I was never worried or scared, and my interest didn’t rise above “mildly peaked”. I’d say it’s skippable, unless you really just need something this length.