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Susan Branch

Susan is an amazing artist who has a huge following (her ‘Girlfriends’), I had the distinct thrill of meeting her in person this past Monday at a fantastic event hosted by Titcomb’s Bookshop, at the old Town Hall (gorgeous) in historic Sandwich, Ma.

Susan’s first books were published in the 1980’s, and over the years fans of her work have faithfully collected and treasured each of her many books and her latest ‘A Fine Romance: Falling in Love With the English Countryside’ is wonderful, just packed with the beautiful illustrations that her millions of fans love, in addition this book has way more Susan, more writing (rather than the usual wonderful quotes that she usually uses with her illustrations)

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The Technologists by Matthew Pearl

I’m afraid I have to start off by telling you that this wonderful novel will not be published until the cold month of February 2012. That being said, I just now finished reading the advance copy and thoroughly enjoyed it. Mr. Pearl is well-known for his historical novels, based on some fact, with a lot of mystery, intrigue and imagination thrown in, and very well written they are (check them out!!!).

The Technologists follows the small first graduating class of MIT, and as much as the students are infatuated by technology, the world  outside the walls of their dear school is frightened by the rapid advances in mechanics,  technology and science itself. A series of bizarre mechanical catastrophes threatens Boston and the new Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1868.

My uncle is a graduate of MIT (geology), and my daughter of Harvard (their rivals), and I live in Massachusetts, so I particularly enjoyed this fascinating novel, and especially appreciated that the author filled the reader in at the end as to which characters were based on actual people and all they accomplished in their lives.

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