Friday, March 30, 2012

The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney

I had read The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney a while back and enjoyed it enough to want to check this new novel out - especially because of the abandoned looking trailer on the cover. Trailers happen to abound in this literary mystery set in a close knit and even closer lipped gypsy community. Ray Lovell is a private investigator - half gypsy by birth - who is hired by a man to investigate the disappearance of his daughter, Rose, seven years earlier. The narration alternates between Ray and J.J. , Rose's teenage nephew. Neither narrator has access to the right information , so the reader has to work through the clues as well, especially because of the disturbing and opening scene with Ray in a hospital unable the recall the circumstances which have brought him there.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Battle Hymn of Stonewall Nix by Baker Lawley


The Battle Hymn of Stonewall Nix by Baker Lawley is the best YA novel that you can finally get !!!!

Lawley sat next to me at AP grading in June.  Since he grew up in Alabama, I started talking to him about the South and blues music and by the end of the week, he agreed to let me read his book that is targeted at young male readers - a demographic we agreed is underserved.  Protagonist Stonewall Nix is the son of a rabid Civil War demonstrator in the sleepy town of Pine Bough.  He and his best friend Clyde, an African American high school football star who also happens to play in the marching band, lazily contemplate the LCDs - lowest common denominators - of high school and the One More Reason's why life in their dying old lumber mill town sucks.  Then, just as the Board of Ed is getting ready to cut marching band from the curriculum, the new girl comes to town.  Motivated by teen lust, a shared love of, of all things, marching band and American history, and Sadie's red hair, Stoney decides to join his father's  reenactors for the first time to impress the girl.  Lawley' book embraces the awkwardness of high school, reaffirms the importance of having a sense of place, and, most importantly, is a love song to the blues.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Montague Book Mill in Montague Massachusetts

We had another chance to visit our favorite bookstore again this weekend. A bookstore with the motto "Books you don't need in a place you can't find" suits me fine. We arrived on Sunday morning for coffee and an egg bagel as the little cafe overlooking the falls was full of people reading, working on laptops and chatting over newspapers. The day was sunny and perfect,and although we got away without buying any books this time, this bookstore wins the favorite bookstore on the planet award.

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

This book kept me reading on a recent weekend trip to Massachusetts. Started reading it when our flight out to Cleveland was delayed and finished reading it at my favorite bookstore (see related post - The Montague Book Mill). This slim novel attracted my attention as a Man Booker nominated title. The central character, Tony Webster, is a college lad as the novel opens and reflects on his life 40 years later at the book's end. It is a story of love lost, redemption and various faces closure wears in our lives.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Book Giveaway

To enter a contest to win a copy of Anne Lamott's Some Assembly Required