I went into this book with mixed feelings. I'd always heard how Ms. Lee didn't want much to do with the outside world (outside of Alabama and. more spI went into this book with mixed feelings. I'd always heard how Ms. Lee didn't want much to do with the outside world (outside of Alabama and. more specifically, Monroeville). But, apparently she and her sister, Alice, eventually became great pals with the author, a reporter with the Chicago Tribune.
Ms. Mills originally tried to contact them when Chicago was inaugurating the One City One Book project and the first book they chose was To Kill a Mockingbird. I even bought a new copy of the book for that reading, although my original copy (1962 edition) is still usable, if a bit ratty. The Chicago Public Library apparently tried to get her to make an appearance. That was a no go but she did ask about Mary Dempsey, who was at that time head of the CPL (don't think she is anymore although she could be). So Mills gradually met Alice and subsequently Harper Lee herself. Taped most of her conversations with Alice but wasn't even allowed to take notes with Harper.
I think the vulnerability the author presented with her lupus (not that she bragged about having lupus but it just came out when she had to make a trip to the hospital) helped the relationship; although they were already getting on like a house afire.
It was a very enjoyable book. Maybe it helped that I was listening to it and not actually "reading" the book.
I think we could have done without the epilogue though. At a certain point, it apparently gets through that time is limited and this was probably their main reason for cooperating with this author and not with all the other people who breezed through Monroeville. This person put down some roots and rented a house there. But I don't think we needed to know what happened to the Lee sisters. Specifically at a time when we are contemplating what to do about my 98 year old mother who keeps falling out of her bed (all right, it was only twice). ...more
Third in the Burying Barry series. Former cop in Charlotte but came home to Gainesboro, somewhere in the AshevilleThis would actually have been ★★★ 1\2.
Third in the Burying Barry series. Former cop in Charlotte but came home to Gainesboro, somewhere in the Asheville area, to help in the family undertaking business when his father developed Alzheimer disease. He works with Uncle Willie now that Dad is unable to work.
Here, he is preparing a body, Y'Grok, a Montagnard from Vietnam's Central Highlands. The Montagnards aided the Green Berets and then the GB left. The Montagnards apparently had to be smuggled out of the country and primarily came to North Carolina. However, most of them went to Greensboro, Charlotte and Gainesville. I think they are mostly on the other side of the state. Asheville is in Western NC. I go there several times a year. And de Castrique refers to a picture taken of Barry and Susan at one of my favorite waterfalls, Looking Glass Falls in the Pisgah Forest.
The body is stolen. And there are people coming from all over for the funeral. Oh! What to do?
Barry spends most of this book getting bashed, battered and attempted shooting. Plus a romantic complication. Both Barry and Susan are convinced that the other is involved with another and about to dump him/her. It is an amusing hook.
The basis of this book is a project known as the Raven Project, named for a betrayed soldier. One of the people attending the funeral is the betrayer. Others attending want to find him and hold him to account.
Although this has taken me about a year to read, close to 70% was read in the last two days. So it kind of dragged in the beginning but really picks up once you get into it. Or, it did for me, anyway. ...more
This was just fun. Anthology of relatively short vignettes pertaining to all sorts of different facets of Southern life.
I went through most of this bThis was just fun. Anthology of relatively short vignettes pertaining to all sorts of different facets of Southern life.
I went through most of this book thinking that she was some old lady. Came across some biographical data and found that we were the same age. So, if she's an old lady then apparently so am I.
The story that really got to me was when one cousin in Virginia had a gathering of the clan. They were all supposed to bring their inherited Chippendale chairs. Someone had bought a 12-piece set and somewhere along the line a grandparent or great-grandparent had given to each of the descendants. One of them had become very rich, probably in the dot-com world or some such thing. Anyway, they are having a tea party and they are each at their chair and he asks them each to say something about their chair. Some event their chair had been through or possibly a song/poem their chair inspired. This tale had me rolling on the floor. Of course, the guy's aim was to buy up all the chairs and reunite them in a setting fitting for Chippendale chairs.
The author is apparently on NPR and a first-grade teacher - after failing as a nurse and a waitress. Another tale stunningly told.
I think I will probably look for her other book, too.
Carolyn Jourdan had made a name for herself as a counsel for a senator when her mother had a heart attack and Carolyn had to go backVery interesting.
Carolyn Jourdan had made a name for herself as a counsel for a senator when her mother had a heart attack and Carolyn had to go back to their small town in Tennessee to take her mother's place at her father's doctor office. He is apparently the only general practitioner in the town. But it does sound as though they are not far from Knoxville.
At first, it is only meant to be for a few days. But, soon, a few days stretch into a few weeks ... months.
There is a lesson here taught to the author - sometimes you just have to show up ... day after day. She does compare showing up as receptionist to a country doctor as opposed to showing up at the Senate. It means more in the country. She shows up for work at the Senate and it has immediate effect on individuals. Not quite the same when people need the doctor and his staff to show up.
This was an enjoyable book. Matter of fact, this was one I read twice. It wasn't until I was halfway in that I remembered that I had read it before. iThis was an enjoyable book. Matter of fact, this was one I read twice. It wasn't until I was halfway in that I remembered that I had read it before. i knew I liked the character of Skip Langdon but had forgotten the title....more
Christmas in the Carolinas and somebody dumps a box of puppies on Raine's doorstep. So half of the book is taken up with her trying to get puppies adoChristmas in the Carolinas and somebody dumps a box of puppies on Raine's doorstep. So half of the book is taken up with her trying to get puppies adopted to good homes. And her new boyfriend is dumping his daughter on her. They don't hit it off too well at first. And the next thing you know, Cisco, the golden retriever, is being used as a drug dog. I thought he was search and rescue....more
Like a dope I was up all night reading this book. One of the good things about retirement is that if you want to stay up all night reaActually 3 1/2 ★.
Like a dope I was up all night reading this book. One of the good things about retirement is that if you want to stay up all night reading you can.
Here, Barry is moving a grave when another body turns up. The other body turns out to be an ex-boyfriend of Barry's girlfriend. And he is found holding her/her dad's gun. So Barry is sucked into finding out what is going on and clearing her and her dad's names.
What I like about this series is that it takes place near Asheville, NC, near where my Mom lives, so I know these places and stores. They go to Etowah - I know where that is. They go to Ingles and Belks. I know those stores. Matter of fact, I was just in them at Christmas. ...more
Former policeman (possibly detective) has to come home to western North Carolina to run the family business - undertaking - because his father has AlzFormer policeman (possibly detective) has to come home to western North Carolina to run the family business - undertaking - because his father has Alzheimer's. His girlfriend is a doctor and he gives her plenty of business.
Thought there were a few lulls here. It started out pretty good with Barry getting shot at a burial because the shooter wants Barry to give the deceased a message. Okay, the shooter isn't playing with a full deck.
There are a number of shootings in this book, plus the EPA comes in when it is determined that someone has been fouling the waters. And Barry thinks there is a real estate scam going on.
Plus, they go to one of my favorite places, the Pisgah National Forest and the author gives a rundown on how George Vanderbilt bought the whole place up all of those years ago. Along with Mr. DuPont. Although de Castrique didn't mention DuPont. Or the big park named after DuPont.
So this was probably about 2 1/2 until they went to Pisgah Forest.
This is one of those archaeology mysteries. I enjoy this series but I think there may only be one more in this series to read. I think she moved on toThis is one of those archaeology mysteries. I enjoy this series but I think there may only be one more in this series to read. I think she moved on to another series. But I like the Lindsay Chamberlain character. She can't stay out of trouble.
Here, her half-brother Sinjin comes to call. Archaeological finds that her grandfather made get sent to her. A skeleton shows up. The finds get stolen and the finger is pointed at her. Plus, she loses her job. So Lindsay is in trouble throughout the whole thing.
Much as I liked John Berendt's book, and I kind of liked the movie - or maybe I just liked Kevin Spacey - I thought I would like this book. AnFinally.
Much as I liked John Berendt's book, and I kind of liked the movie - or maybe I just liked Kevin Spacey - I thought I would like this book. And I guess I kind of did like parts of it. The problem was that this book just dragged. Although she didn't put in the transcripts from each of the four trials, it dragged as if she did. Actually I might have enjoyed it more if there had been transcripts. But it just drags out each detail in each of the trials.
The first half of the book was much more interesting. More about the real story (I don't know if it is actually the"real" story) of Savannah and events leading up to Mr. Hansford's death and the Jim Williams story. Not quite the same as I recall in Berendt's book.
I enjoyed this story. This might really have been 3 1/2 stars.
She alternates life with Lindsay with tales from the past when the French and Spanish weI enjoyed this story. This might really have been 3 1/2 stars.
She alternates life with Lindsay with tales from the past when the French and Spanish were fighting over what is now the SE US and the natives were a mere incidental, frequently used as slaves. These tales had important information for what was happening with Lindsay. But I found them a little disconcerting.
They did have a purpose.
Interesting caving story and brings in the dispute between archaeology and native peoples - who have the impression that the archaeologists are little better than thieves....more
I've kind of gone back and forth on this book. Very funny. But I was a little distracted by the story the character is writung. It is a horrble story,I've kind of gone back and forth on this book. Very funny. But I was a little distracted by the story the character is writung. It is a horrble story, but funny. Tries to emulate Raymond Chandler/Dashiell Hammett - "her eyes as narrow as Jimmy Swaggert's theology."
Both stories are entertaining.
I will probably give the second book in the series a chance....more
I generally enjoy the Bone Farm series. There were parts of this that were a little disturbing. For one thing, it is not a very good idea to read abouI generally enjoy the Bone Farm series. There were parts of this that were a little disturbing. For one thing, it is not a very good idea to read about autopsies on public transportation.
And, at a certain point, it gave me bad dreams one night so I had to put it down for a while. I think it was all that talk about substituting body parts. Because that doesn't happen to me very often. Where something I have read during the day so stayed with me that it affected my dreams at night.
And so I was reading along today when all of a sudden Brockton was driving east, past the airport "through Maryville and Townsend to Great Smoky Mountains National Park" and I was taken back to when I went to school in the area. The college, too, had an annual trip to Tremont - for a picnic or something, I think. And trips to Cades Cove. It had me looking for Abrams Creek, too. Nice adventure in the mountains, though.
Must be almost time for a trip down South. ...more
I picked this up the other day and couldn't remember if I had read it or not.
But, even so, I enjoyed listening to it on a car trip.
I'd forgottenI picked this up the other day and couldn't remember if I had read it or not.
But, even so, I enjoyed listening to it on a car trip.
I'd forgotten all about this book. What was about, who the killer was, etc. So it was almost like a new book.
But the one think you couldn't forget was the beginning.
Anna Pigeon is back in the Natchez Trace again (another one there was "Deep South" (I couldn't get the link to work)). Point Lomax is one of the few remaining buildings or "stands". The park service interpreter shows up one morning and discovers the remains of grossly overweight man in his underwear on an antique quilt in "Aunt Polly's" room. Anna gets called away from a wedding, which she had even bought a dress for. So on one front she will be working to resolve the case with the local county sheriff, who is up for re-election, and on another she is in the process of falling in love with a local minister/sheriff (of another county).