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Icon book review: The Plot

Review by Robert McCool

"The Plot" (ISBN 978-1250790767) is all about the extenuating circumstances of birth.

Jean Hanff Korelitz's ("The Devil and Webster") new novel is a book within a book. It is all about how mothers and daughters come to reckon with each other when the girl grows up and wants to leave the parent's home. It is all about the circumstances around babies not wished to be born. It's a scathing examination of a mother's, and daughter's, needs in life and how to get them.


Icon music review - Four Classic Summer Songs to Keep You Cool

Reviewed/Written by Craig Hoffman

The Dog Days Of Summer

It's hot, boys and girls. Thankfully, my wife finally let me use the air conditioner in our bedroom last night. It is a yearly struggle to get permission from her to use the air conditioner. This year it has not been that hot so far in Japan. But over this past weekend, it got warm quick, fast, and in a hurry. I happily turned my air conditioner on full blast!
What do you do to keep cool in the summer? Let the Icon know in the comments!


Icon book review: Dark Sky

Review by Robert McCool

With the release of 2021's New York Time's best-selling novel, "Dark Sky" (G.P. Putnam ISBN-13-978-1-4328-8563-2) C.J. Box ("Open Season", "Long Range") increases his count of "Joe Pickett" books to a truly binge-worthy twenty-one.


Our Swiss connection - part 31

Peter and Anna Marie Kammeter Neuenschwander • 2 of their daughter's families: Catherine and David Stauffer, and Elizabeth and John Ulrich Badertscher

• This is the 31st installment in this series. Click here for the previous installment.

Peter Neuenschwander, a younger brother of the first Swiss settler in the Bluffton settlement, Michael Neuenschwander, came to America with his wife, Anna  Marie Kammeter, and their children. They first settled in Virginia and later moved to rural Bluffton.


Robert McCool's Icon book review: Sooley

The novel is an elegant ode to the opportunities of living in America, and an indictment of civil war. Grisham writes with intense compassion for his characters and the world they live in. It is a joy to read while understanding a  different world exists

Review by Robert McCool
John Grisham, again.

First off, I apologize for being gone so long. Life throws stuff at us that alters our plans without warning. But that stuff is over now and I have time to read again. And what a book to begin with.

John Grisham's thirty-ninth novel, Sooley ( Doubleday, ISBN 978-0-385-54768-0) is a masterwork written by an author at the top of his game. And a game is just what this novel about. Basketball.


Abraham and Mary Ann Kohler Steiner

Our Swiss connection - part 30

• This is the 30th installment in this series. 
Click here for the previous installment.
• An index to this series is at the bottom of this column.

Abraham Steiner was the sixth child of John (or Johann) and Elizabeth Stauffer Steiner, a Mennonite couple both born in Alsace, France.