Laurel Johnson speaks for her grandmother, Esther Clara Sanow Ford, with this - what the author refers to as creative nonfiction - first-person tale oLaurel Johnson speaks for her grandmother, Esther Clara Sanow Ford, with this - what the author refers to as creative nonfiction - first-person tale of a woman's journey through life. The reader relives history through the eyes of Esther, who experienced the hardships of World Wars I and II and the Korean War, the discord of the Vietnam War, and the worst depression this country has experienced to date. Esther's life evolved from one extreme to the other, from having to cook on a wooden stove, read by kerosene lantern and use an outhouse to one with all the luxuries electricity and running water have to offer; and from riding in horse-drawn carriages to traveling by automobile. How delightful to read about her antics as a child and terribly sad to learn of the death of a beloved child during her marriage.
Esther was a forward-thinking woman who lived during an exciting, progressive time in our nation's history. Her love and devotion to her family, especially her husband Herb, was her number one priority. It is through Esther one is reminded of the basics of life: enduring hardships with bravery and positive thoughts, loving with all one's heart, showing kindness toward others, and above all, being true to one's self.
It's a rarity when a book of this quality crosses my desk. It seemed as if Esther sat across from me, talking directly to me. I didn't want to put the book down, nor did I want it to end. Although Esther may not have had a documented impact on the history of America, she certainly made an impact on this reader and, I imagine, many others.
The author, John Grogan, and his wife, Jenny, newly married and worried about facing the trials and tribulations of raising children, decided owning aThe author, John Grogan, and his wife, Jenny, newly married and worried about facing the trials and tribulations of raising children, decided owning a dog would be good practice for them. With fond memories of childhood pets leading them onward, they picked Marley, a Labrador retriever, from a large litter of pups. From day one, Marley proved to be a handful. He devoured everything in sight, tore through the house, ripped through screen doors, flung spit over the walls and guests, and worst of all, went crazy during thunderstorms. He was kicked out of obedience school and never quite learned how to properly heel. He would greet guests with enthusiasm, literally running into them and putting his paws on their shoulders.
Although Grogan claims Marley to be the world's worst dog, I'm sure this is said tongue-in-cheek. Marley proved to be Grogan's mentor; teaching plenty of lessons about love, loyalty, friendship and enjoying life to its fullest. Although I had issues with parts of this book (making Marley stay in the garage and the author's wife's hatred for the dog after she had her baby),I laughed, I cried, I didn't want it to end. As a dog owner, one of which is a black Lab, I enjoyed this book very much and am thankful our Lab isn't quite so manic as Marley. I wonder, though, what happened to Lucky?
ALREADY ASLEEP begins with a young boy named John asleep in bed and progresses through individual family members, as well as pets, all slumbering afteALREADY ASLEEP begins with a young boy named John asleep in bed and progresses through individual family members, as well as pets, all slumbering after a day filled with play and work activities. Written in a charming style and soothing cadence, and illustrated with warm, endearing watercolors, this is the perfect bedtime story for young children.
As the literary market continues to tighten its proverbial belt, today's writer must assume more of the responsibilities surrounding book publishing tAs the literary market continues to tighten its proverbial belt, today's writer must assume more of the responsibilities surrounding book publishing than ever before. No longer can a writer depend on a publisher or agent to accept a manuscript in need of editing, and submitting a manuscript that isn't as near perfect as possible will, in all probability, result in rejection. To the rescue comes acclaimed author Carolyn Howard-Johnson with The Frugal Editor, the latest in her How to Do It Frugally series. This little gem is a must-have for any writer, published or not, bestselling or unknown. Filled with valuable tips, The Frugal Editor touches on all aspects of self-editing, such as how to spot common grammatical errors, from superfluous adverbs to confusing dangling participles, as well as how to organize the workspace, format the manuscript, and use Word's tools to the fullest. Also included are sample query and cover letters, and pointers on correcting intrusive taglines, when to use an ellipsis, and correct spacing, to name a few. The book takes the reader step-by-step through the editing process, from rough draft to galley. No questions are left unanswered, no topics left uncovered. This generous writer goes so far as to recommend resources through other books and websites, with plenty of advice from agents and editors.
The Frugal Editor is one of those reference books every writer should have by their computer for constant use and study. Highly recommended.
Chicago is hosting the World’s Fair in the year 1893 but there is trouble afoot. A killer dubbed the Phantom of the Fair is on the loose, garroting hiChicago is hosting the World’s Fair in the year 1893 but there is trouble afoot. A killer dubbed the Phantom of the Fair is on the loose, garroting his victims to near-decapitation and burning their bodies. Inspector Alastair Ransom has his sights set on a young man named Waldo Denton but Denton is exonerated by Ransom’s archenemy, Police Chief Nathan Kohler. When Denton disappears, with Ransom’s help, evidence proves he was the Phantom. But another killer quickly steps in to fill the Phantom’s shoes, this one more vicious and brutal than the Phantom.
Named the Leather Apron because the killer literally butchers victims, Ransom’s investigation leads him to the underbelly of Chicago, desperate to put an end to this manic murderer who preys on the homeless. What Ransom learns shocks even this skilled detective. With the help of Dr. Jane Francis, aka Dr. James Phineas Tewes, and a group of homeless children, along with primitive forensics, Ransom trails the Leather Apron to tunnels beneath the World’s Fair, where a bloody battle has already begun.
Robert W. Walker delivers an outstanding historical mystery, with compelling characters and a shocking resolution. Dialogue and narrative magically transcend the reader to the true realism of Chicago of the late 1800s, skillfully highlighting unfolding historical events and the roles women played in medicine and society as well as the plight of the homeless. This twisting mystery provides plenty of gut-wrenching suspense embedded in a galvanizing plot that refuses to allow the reader to put the book aside. Inspector Alastair Ransom is a unique character, a man of great depth and principles who lives by his own rules, and who can easily carry this invigorating series forward.
As mayor of Lake George, a small resort town, Loren Graham tends to become overly involved in local investigations, much to the chagrin of Sheriff’s IAs mayor of Lake George, a small resort town, Loren Graham tends to become overly involved in local investigations, much to the chagrin of Sheriff’s Investigator Jim Thompson who has warned her to keep out of matters involving law enforcement. But when a stranger stumbles across a skeleton and insists on showing Loren, Loren finds herself drawn into the murder of a young college student 25 years earlier.
Travel writer Millicent Halstead has moved back to Lake George, where she once lived with her husband, poet Carl Durocher, rumored to have had an intimate relationship with the murdered young woman. It’s bad enough that Millicent keeps imposing on Loren’s time, which distracts her from mending her tense relationship with boyfriend Don Morrison, but someone is stalking the neighborhood while local bat expert Arthur Blake’s reclusive mother keeps disappearing. Although Loren tries to stay below Thompson’s radar during the ongoing murder investigation, she keeps being pulled back in by those who knew the young woman. When Loren inadvertently learns the identity of the killer, she becomes targeted for murder.
Secrets Dark and Deep is exceptional; so skillfully written, the reader gets lost in the flow and it ends all too soon. The story moves at a fast pace, nicely building suspense until a climatic, nail-biting ending. As part of the Lake George Mystery series, past and future books ensure a building relationship with likeable Loren Graham and her cozy resort town. White delivers a colorful cast of characters readers will not easily forget and a galvanizing plot that guarantees edge-of-the-seat involvement.
In Lippman’s latest installment of the Tess Monaghan series, Tess has taken on a new gig as consultant to the local newspaper, where her job duties arIn Lippman’s latest installment of the Tess Monaghan series, Tess has taken on a new gig as consultant to the local newspaper, where her job duties are to train reporters in investigative techniques, using three recent cases as paradigms. One of the cases Tess plans to focus on is the murder of a local federal prosecutor. When Tess’s significant other, Crowe, befriends a homeless street kid, Tess inadvertently learns the young man has information about who killed the prosecutor. In an effort to inform the authorities without identifying her source, Tess sets up an interview between the young man and a reporter. Although she promises Crowe she will do everything she can to protect the young man’s identity, federal agents insist she reveal her source. When Tess doesn’t cooperate, they begin to threaten her family and hint at filing felony charges against her. Crowe goes into hiding with the young man, unaware that two federal agents have honed in and are after them, not to bring them in but to kill them.
The Tess Monaghan series remains a constant bestseller in PI series to date. Tess is a strong character, a young woman with an edge. To counterbalance her cynicism is her mate, laidback and amiable Crowe. Lippman excels at characterization, and with No Good Deeds allows the reader a deeper look into Crowe’s persona and background. And, as always, spending time with Tess is a bonus. This must-read moves at a fast pace and has plenty of interesting characters.
This story centers around a small, religious statuette which bears a strong resemblance to Bernadette Doyle. It is tradition in Bernadette’s family thThis story centers around a small, religious statuette which bears a strong resemblance to Bernadette Doyle. It is tradition in Bernadette’s family that the statue be handed down from mother to daughter, but Bernadette and her husband have one biological son, Sullivan, and two adopted sons, African American brothers, Tip and Teddy, but no daughters, so the ultimate fate of the statue is in question. Bernadette dies from cancer when Tip and Teddy are young and Doyle assumes the responsibility of raising them. It is Doyle’s dream that his sons share his passion for politics and follow him into a career in same. But Tip is a student at Harvard who wants to be an ichthyologist while Teddy is interested in the priesthood. Doyle, however, asks Tip and Teddy to attend a speech by Jesse Jackson with him in hopes of interesting them in politics. Afterward, Tip argues with Doyle and unintentionally steps in front of a car. A black woman saves Tip by pushing him out of the way but is injured and rushed to the hospital. Doyle offers to care for her young daughter, Kenya, while she is recovering. And this one person stepping into their lives forces each of these men to come to terms with the past, each other and themselves.
Ann Patchett’s eloquent prose is exceptional, to be absorbed and savored, as she delves deep into the psyche of her characters and delivers a slowly evolving plot. Although Run does not quite meet the high standards of Patchett’s Bel Canto, it is an intriguing, enjoyable read. ...more
Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel couldn't be about a more thrilling, yet popular, topic: Dracula. The author expands on Bram Stoker's named Dracula: VlElizabeth Kostova's debut novel couldn't be about a more thrilling, yet popular, topic: Dracula. The author expands on Bram Stoker's named Dracula: Vlad the Impaler, a brutal ruler with an enormous hunger for bloody deeds.
The book begins when a teenage girl finds a book in her father's library empty save for a woodcut of a dragon in the middle. Along with the book is a packet of letters which begin, "My dear and unfortunate successor." Shortly after she asks her father about the book, he disappears. His daughter begins to fit the pieces together and realizes with horror that her father may be stalking Dracula.
The Historian follows three basic plots: one from 1930 involving Professor Bartholomew Rossi, who embarks on a search for Dracula after receiving one of the mysterious empty books with the woodcut of a dragon. The second takes place during the '50's, with Professor Rossi's student, Paul, who seeks counsel from Rossi after receiving a similar mysterious book. Shortly after this, Rossi disappears and Paul frantically goes after him in hopes of saving him from Dracula. Follows the third plot, some twenty years later, involving Paul's daughter and her somewhat naïve, rambling search for her father.
A mixture of fact and fiction, this lengthy novel is an absorbing read. Dracula or not, Vlad the Impaler is a horrific historical figure, and his bloody actions at times are beyond comprehension. The author's reason for the creation of Dracula is somewhat vague but fits well into the storyline. The book is well worth the read, if only for the historical and geographical descriptions.
Chattanooga medical examiner Jess Carter has been acting ME for Knoxville since the suspension of Dr. Garland Hamilton based on testimony by Dr. BillChattanooga medical examiner Jess Carter has been acting ME for Knoxville since the suspension of Dr. Garland Hamilton based on testimony by Dr. Bill Brockton, forensic anthropologist and founder of the Body Farm. When Brockton is asked by Carter to help investigate the death of a transvestite mutilated and bound to a tree in a state park, he recreates the crime scene at the Body Farm using a cadaver similar in appearance and body. As Carter and Brockton proceed through their investigation, they acknowledge their attraction for one another and tentatively begin a relationship. But very quickly, Brockton discovers Carter’s nude body tied to the surrogate corpse at the Body Farm, and all clues point to Brockton as the murderer. Brockton is banned from his offices at the University of Tennessee and his house has been taken over by the Knoxville Police Department as they build their case against him. With the aid of friend and renowned criminalist Arthur Bohanan, Brockton begins a frenzied investigation into the murder of Dr. Carter, which puts his own life in peril.
Jefferson Bass is the pseudonym for the writing team of journalist Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass, the actual founder of the Body Farm. The two have once more created a twisting mystery while providing a learning experience for the reader in the fascinating world of forensic anthropology. Although the book tackles an issue some may find offensive, this does not detract from an overall good read.