Author: Nicole Tortoriello

Booked: Spring 2016 Book Reviews

“A Window Opens” by Elisabeth Egan Elisabeth Egan’s debut novel hit all the right notes for me – a working mom gets a full-time job in the publishing industry after her husband finds out he won’t be making partner at his law firm & decides to start his own practice. It’s a book that has books, work-life balance struggles, and it’s set in New Jersey. What more could this book-obsessed, soon-to-be lawyer and New Jersey native look for? Egan has drawn heavily from her own life. She used to write for Self, then worked for Amazon for under a year, and is currently the books editor for Glamour. The protagonist, Alice, works part-time for a magazine called You, and then gets a job full-time with Main Street, an Amazon/Google stand-in that is opening brick-and-mortar bookstores. The parallels are apparent, but Egan’s insights into the publishing industry and the culture at tech monoliths lend the novel a critical element of truth. My complaints are minor. First, Alice’s husband’s drinking problem seemed more like a convenient plot device than a realistic portrayal of alcohol abuse. He has one bad slip-up in which no one is actually harmed, and then stops cold turkey. He’s also a bit of an unsympathetic jerk toward his newly bread-winning wife at various points, and I cringed when Alice didn’t stand up for herself. Even so, navigating these...

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Booked: Fall 2015 Book Reviews

“Modern Romance” by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg Aziz Ansari, probably best known for his role as Tom Haverford on the fantastic “Parks and Recreation,” declined to write a traditional comedian-celebrity’s memoir with hilarious tales from his life told with his own signature brand of comedic flair. Instead, he embarked on an ambitious research project with Eric Klinenberg, a Sociologist from NYU, to explore how dating has changed in the past few decades. By surveying and interviewing scores of people, Ansari and Klinenberg sought to uncover how technology and changing lifestyles have impacted the way we find love. Their...

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Booked: Post-Finals Treats

Personally, I find that a good book is the best way to reward myself after finals. There’s nothing like a big, thick adult fantasy or a juicy beach read to start your summer off right! Below are some suggestions for solid starts to your summer – run out before Muckraker is back in August? Check out more on my blog, Sometimes I Read. “Boy, Snow, Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi (Riverhead Books) Snow White is one of my least favorite Disney movies. Compared to all the works that came after, the film is simple and a bit dull. It has...

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Booked: Frozen February Reads

The frigid temperatures have trapped me inside with a big pile stack of good books. Here are some highlights to tide you over until the snow finally stops falling. As always, more recommendations are available on my blog: Sometimes I Read. “The Secret Wisdom of the Earth” by Christopher Scotton (Grand Central Publishing) Last fall, I stumbled upon the Hachette Book Club brunch, a wonderful event hosted by the publisher that brings authors and readers together for a morning of literary discussion. This year, attendees were mailed advance copies of Christopher Scotton’s debut novel, “The Secret Wisdom of the...

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JG Sweet Home: Student Photographers Leave Their Mark in JG

Jerome Greene Hall (JG) is not as traditionally attractive as many of the other buildings at Columbia University. In comparison to its stately siblings on main campus, our toaster-esque home outside the main gates is a quirky cousin with eclectic and sometimes questionable taste in interior design. With initiatives already underway to address the problematic lack of diversity among JG’s wall accoutrements, Dean of Student Services Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin and the CLS Student Senate began a project with the simple aim of making JG feel a bit more like home, by bringing student art to the walls of JG […]

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Gravity’s Rainbow: A Remembrance of Jackson Alberts, CLS ‘15

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