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Drums of Autumn is the fourth book in the Outlander series has Claire and Jamie starting out in the New World, aka the Carolinas and the subsequent settling in a harsh and unfamiliar territory. Between pirate raids and Native American friends, the Frasers eventually settle on Fraser’s Ridge and start a new life in the wilderness.
Meanwhile, Brianna is connecting with Roger more and more despite the distance between them. However, things change when Brianna makes a discovery that sends her back to the stones to find her mother without telling Roger. When Roger finds out that Brianna is gone, he enlists the help of his former housekeeper to send him back in time to find Brianna.
With everyone chasing each other thru time, there was plenty of room in the novel for fights, near death experiences, and Claire’s witty humor that made me laugh out loud at times. I really enjoyed this book in the series (like I have enjoyed all of the books so far!) and am excited for what the next novel will bring to the series!
Simple Printmaking is my “go to” book before I start any printmaking project. As a sporadic printmaker who works on their dining room table it’s helpful to be reminded that you don’t need fancy equipment or even a studio to make exceptional art. Simple Printmaking begins with a basic list of materials and straightforward tips that take the anxiety out of setting up. The black and white illustrations are simple but not unsophisticated. They inspire me every time!
This is a great little book for serious artists and doodlers alike. It’s a great refresher for printmakers and a nice, accessible tool for anyone who would like to try their hand at image making.
Jane Harper’s debut novel The Dry is fantastic. It takes place in rural Australia during a bad drought and the author really makes you feel like you are there. Businesses in the small town of Kiewarra are closing because the surrounding farms are failing – crops can’t survive and farm animals can’t be fed or watered therefore farmers don’t have any money to spend in town. Many mortgages and tax payments are in arrears so entities like the police department and the school are also just scraping by. It is in this area that federal agent Aaron Falk grew up and after he and his father were ran out of town, he was never going to come back. However, his childhood friend Luke is now dead and it looks like he not only committed suicide but killed his wife and son first. Aaron’s sad about his friend’s suicide and doesn’t understand why he felt the need to kill his family but knows the drought is changing people and tensions are running high. Aaron’s all set to attend the funeral and get back out of town ASAP but Luke’s parents come to him asking him to investigate the deaths because they don’t believe Luke took his own life or killed his family. Aaron tries to say no (although he is in law enforcement he investigates financial crimes not homicides) but ends up feeling obligated to stay another couple days and look into it. Luckily there is a local police officer […]
Growing up in the the small Indiana town of Plainview, Indiana, Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean have been friends since childhood. Guitarist El Walker swore he would never set foot in town again, but circumstances conspire against him, and soon he is in Plainview, playing the blues at a local wedding. Once in town, it does not take long for his past to come to light. El Walker’s past affect both Odette and Barbara Jean, who must now face some hard truths about their families. Clarice, also a musician, faces a crisis in her musical career. This is a story of forgiveness, friendship, and family, set a tightly knit community. The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues is the author’s second book, set after the events of The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can Eat, this one continues the story of the three friends and their families. Odette’s mother and Eleanor Roosevelt, two lively ghosts, make appearances, adding humor and charm to the tale.
The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can Eat is 2017’s One Great Read.
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Imagine that the Devil holds a large territory in the Old West, and runs his holdings from a bar. Izzy, who has worked cleaning and serving in the bar, turns sixteen and makes a bargain with the devil: she will serve as his Left Hand, traveling his territory with a circuit rider. Izzy is given no explanation of her actual role, just set forth on the road, similar to many traditional quest fantasies. I have a fondness for fantasies set in the Old West, and thought this was truly wonderful. I admit that this may be somewhat due to my visualizing Izzy’s “boss” as Al Swearingen as played by Ian McShane in HBO’s Deadwood series (my all-time favorite anti-hero). Nonetheless, I enjoyed seeing Izzy struggle to find her way and her strengths, as well as the characters of her mentor, Gabriel, and the magician, Easterly. Silver on the Road is the first title in The Devil’s West series. Book two, The Cold Eye, was published in 2017.
Falcio val Mond is the the first Cantor of the Greatcoats, the the head of the king’s special Magisters who up uphold the king’s law. The problem? The king has been dead for five years. This means that Falcio and the rest of the Greatcoats no longer have a king’s law to uphold. Yet, Falcio and his friends Kest and Brasti have not given up on the king’s dream of a united land of Tristia. The Greatcoats, once a powerful group, have been scattered and are generally reviled. No matter their circumstances, Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are determined to carry out the king’s last command to them, or die trying. When a wealthy gentleman they are protecting is murdered, they find themselves on the hunt for the killer, discovering that larger power play is underway. Tristia is threatened, and perhaps the only people who can save it are three disgraced Greatcoats.
This is a fast-paced, rollicking adventure written in the same vein as The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas. The three Greatcoats believe in honor and valor, and their friendship holds them firmly together as they face their foes. The story is full of humor, swashbuckling, and breakneck action. In a fantasy field where many books contain 100 points of view, Traitor’s Blade is refreshing as it much of the story is told from Falcio val Mond’s point of view. An enjoyable read.
Anyone who knows me knows the scorn I feel for cell phones but on the other hand, I love reading about our infrastructure, whether it’s bridges, tunnels, skyscrapers or cell towers, I find the work that goes into it and the workers who do it fascinating and I’mnot talking about the desk jockeys who are designing the stuff, I’m talking about the workers doing the physical work. So imagine my glee when I discovered Tower Dog by Douglas Scott Delaney in our new nonfiction area. Although reality TV might try to convince you otherwise, the most dangerous job in America is cell phone tower worker (tower dog).
When Delaney was writing this book, a worker was dying about every 40 days. You might think “What? Why haven’t I heard about this on the news?” Well, you won’t – these workers are just nobodies to the news media and the only way you’ll hear about them is if one happens to die in your area or if all the tower dogs decided to strike (one day with no cell tower work being done would be very inconvenient for most people and one week would be apocalyptic). If you would like to stay informed about deaths/fines on companies, the author says a good website is “Wireless Estimator.” Delaney is not only a tower dog himself, he’s a writer and he is also trying to make a documentary about the job. He’s a great writer and I really liked reading about the job […]
H.H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil provides an intriguing complement and contrast to Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City, as the author aims to uncover and convey the actual facts regarding the case of the man who is frequently (erroneously) called: “America’s First Serial Killer.” The better-known portrayal of Holmes (as the devious entrepreneur who built a hotel to lure in visitors to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair in order to kill them) has been influenced by sensationalized newspaper accounts of the time, as well as by Holmes’ own lies and exaggerations, and has thus grown to include far more crimes and murder victims than can in fact be verified. Author Selzer (who can also currently be seen on the History Channel series: “American Ripper”) offers extensive research in this readable account of how the genuine story of H.H. Holmes influenced the legend.
The characters in these eleven stories are all on the edge of making some pretty rotten decisions. Most of them go over that edge, some in a very big and darkly comic way. In The Valetudinarian Arty’s plans of enjoying his retirement were derailed. On their second day in Florida his wife was killed in a head-on collision. Afterward his worse instincts kick in. He fights with his neighbors, alienates his only friend, and eats only foods that add to his heart and gallbladder troubles. On his 66th birthday he orders a pizza and a prostitute shows up at his door. The calamity that ensues is unpredictable and quite amusing. In More Abandon (Or What Ever Happened to Joe Pope?) Joe stays late in his office and pines over his happily married and pregnant co-worker. He smokes and drinks and destroys property. You can’t imagine how bad it might go and it’s seriously exciting to watch it happen.
If you like stories about difficult but ultimately likeable people in sad but funny situations you will like The Dinner Party by Joshua Ferris. I sure did.
Fredrik Backman’s central characters, flawed, prickly individuals, slowly reveal themselves as people to be cherished. I truly love his books, and whole-heartedly recommend them to everyone. Britt-Marie Was Here is no exception. An older woman who has devoted her entire life to her husband, only to discover that he is unfaithful, sets out to make her own way, and finds herself in a small, economically-depressed village with apparently little to recommend it. She stumbles into becoming the soccer coach for a ragtag group of local youth (although she knows absolutely nothing about the game!), and ultimately finds herself with friends, for the first time in many years.