Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book of the Week - Etta Mae’s Worst Bad-Luck Day by Anne B. Ross

Etta Mae’s Worst Bad-Luck Day
Anne B. Ross Viking 2014
Sassy Etta Mae, the bad girl of the Miss Julie series gets to tell her story. Working as a CNA, the twice divorced bombshell who has a kind heart is is engaged to Howard Connard, Senior, the wealthy elderly community leader, once the major employer in the area. Unfortunately her boss has told Howard Junior who has immediately come from Raleigh, even though he hadn't visited his father for months, and made plans to move him to a nursing home. Meanwhile, Etta Mae’s first ex-husband who had left her with nothing but debt returns to to town to tell her he has a winning lottery ticket he wants to split with her but unfortunately he is on the wrong side of a bunch of big bad guys who are hell bent on getting the ticket. When Etta Mae works out a way to free her fiance and get the wedding done in a hurry, every thing that can go wrong does to comic effect.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Carsick by John Walters

It has been another wild and crazy week with little time for reading.

I am a big fan of John Waters' movies so I grabbed his new audiobook Carsick which has something to offend almost anyone but is laugh-out-loud hilarious. I liked how he comes across as a genuinely good guy, albeit rather kinky and sometimes sex obsessed. The references to his movies and the people who played in them were delightful and the folks he met (or made up) in the course of his hitchhiking from his Baltimore home to his San Francisco home were awesomely quirky as were the bizarre and "filthy" (his word) situations he found (or imagined) himself in. Definitely for an adult audience.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown

This take on the real life story of Mary Rowlandson, a 17th century Puritan taken captive by Indians in King Philip's war and held for 11 weeks presents her differently, as a more complex and interesting person than in her memoir which can be read through Project Gutenberg. I highly recommend this novel for book groups with its useful author's note and discussion questions. While it is not a "fun" read, the look at the time and setting, life in a Puritan community and an Indian nation at war and on the move was fascinating. Mary's feelings for her children and later, the way her views of slavery, a woman's place, the treatment of indigenous people, and child rearing change is believable and great for discussion.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Book of the Week - Little Greed Men by Kym O’Connell-Todd and Mark Todd

Little Greed Men
O’Connell-Todd, Kym and Mark Todd
Raspberry Creek 9780985135232 2013

One of my favorite books of all time is Tourist Season, Carl Hiaasen’s hilarious debut novel which utilizes alligators, both living and rubber, as murder weapons. It resonated so much with me because I’ve spent most of my adult life in rural paradises that are  unfortunately very appealing to tourists, scammers, and developers -- somewhat like Hiaasen’s Florida. Now I’ve found another rollicking novel dealing with the conflicting values between those who love the rural landscape, those who want to develop it, and the woo woo invaders who love it but just don’t “get” it.

     The team who wrote the Silverville Saga, are astute observers of rural Western Slope Colorado and have nailed the setting and citizenry and what happens when change hits these communities. A purported UFO sighting leads to economic development when a shady citizen jumps on the bandwagon to publicize it as vacation destination complete with a UFO themed museum, motel, and amusement park. The town hires a UFO expert to guide the campaign but when on his way to Silverville, he gets out of his car to pee on a mountain pass during a late spring blizzard and is accidentally hit and killed by a con man who inadvertently takes on his identity.

     Quirky characters, twisty plots, and guffaw worthy coincidences combine for a thoroughly delightful reading experience. One of the good things about reading a book when it isn’t brand-new-hot-off-the-press that does have sequels is that the reader doesn’t have to wait around for years for the next book. I can request a copy of All Plucked Up right now and be reading it later this week!