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Pick-a-Shelf: Monthly -Archive > 2016-03 - New Orleans - reviews

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message 1: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8476 comments Mod
How was the book you picked up suit the shelf, New Orleans? If it doesn't, why do you think it's shelved there?


message 2: by D (last edited Mar 02, 2016 09:27AM) (new)

D I loved my first pick of the month - My Sunshine Away
So much to say about it. Who was the narrator speaking to and why kept me wondering and pushing toward the end just to find out. New Orleans? This isn't New Orleans, this is Baton Rouge as the narrator says. But he forgives the outsider for not knowing that.
The book has it all, acts of violence, mystery, family entanglements, coming of age, storms, etc. How do our memories of what happened in our youth play out in our adulthood. How are those memories recalled in new circumstances and do they bring up pain or joy in the remembering.
This is a good book. I gave it a full 4* and I want to be friends with the author. He has to be buried somewhere within that main character.


message 3: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1345 comments Debi wrote: "I loved my first pick of the month. So much to say about it. Who was the narrator speaking to and why kept me wondering and pushing toward the end just to find out. New Orleans? This isn't New Orle..."

Hi Debi, that's very interesting! Which book was that?


message 4: by D (last edited Mar 02, 2016 09:28AM) (new)

D Marina wrote: "Debi wrote: "I loved my first pick of the month. So much to say about it. Who was the narrator speaking to and why kept me wondering and pushing toward the end just to find out. New Orleans? This i..."

Duh, in my excitement I forgot to name the book. My Sunshine Away I guess I read too late into the night and am not fully functioning today. :-)

And, I went back and added it to the original review.


message 5: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1345 comments Hehe, no problem, Debi :-) The book sounds very intriguing, thanks for your review!


message 6: by Karin (new)

Karin | 797 comments I can hardly wait to post a review for my pick, Twelve Bar Blues once I'm done. So far it's shaping up to be the best novel I've read so far this year. I am hoping to read more by this author, and am glad I found this one since it's his first.


message 7: by D (new)

D Fives and Twenty-Fives. I give this one 4 1/2 stars. Character storylines converge in New Orleans as the backdrop to memories of military service in Anbar Province, Iraq during the mid-2000's. Has multiple story lines that are never confusing and gel well within the book. The story draws you in and chapters move swiftly. There is heartbreak and humor in this one and I found myself emotionally attached to the characters. I would recommend this book and I look forward to more from this writer


message 8: by Bea (new)

Bea | 4429 comments Mod
I read two for this shelf: The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke and Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. I gave both 4*.

The Tin Roof Blowdown is a nitty, gritty noir-like mystery set post-Katrina. It is about life after the storm and the darkness of men's souls. Dave Robicheaux is a Louisiana detective that is loaned to New Orleans for a while to attempt to bring order post-Katrina. Back home in Louisiana, he finds that the evil has followed him, threatening his family, forcing him to deal with the events he encountered in New Orleans.

Out of the Easy is about a young girl growing up in the sleazy New Orleans of madams and prostitutes. Josie wants a better life and dreams of college. This is a well-written coming of age story of struggle to keep a dream when life seems so hard.


message 9: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1345 comments I've just finished Mosquitoes by William Faulkner, set entirely in New Orleans. This was my first book by William Faulkner, and it will most definitely be the last. Incredibly boring and confusing. I couldn't care less about the "adventures" of these artists and rich people on a cruise. I gave Faulkner a chance, but that's it. 1 star.


message 10: by D (new)

D Marina wrote: "I've just finished Mosquitoes by William Faulkner, set entirely in New Orleans. This was my first book by William Faulkner, and it will most definitely be the last. Incr..."

I loved your review. It made me laugh.


message 11: by Karin (last edited Mar 19, 2016 02:37PM) (new)

Karin | 797 comments Twelve Bar Blues by Patrick Neate ★★★★

Although at first I thought this was going to be a five star book and it won the Whitbread Fiction Prize, it ended up being a four star read for me, but was still very good.

This story is structured like a 12 bar blues (twice) with a prelude and a coda. Although most of it is set in the early and late in twentieth century, some of it is much, much earlier. It's a true blues story; poignantly tragic with some beauty interspersed here and there, and a story involving fate, tragedy and sorrow. It is set in Africa, New Orleans with smatterings of things in England, New York and Chicago. It interweaves the history of the origins of jazz in much of the part of the story about Fortis (aka Lick) and even includes some fictional scenes with some real jazz legends. It involves witch doctors, chieftains, prostitutes, singers, pimps, and of course Lick with his cornet. But his nickname doesn’t necessarily arise from where you think it might.

Given that this was Patrick Neate's debut novel, I think it’s possible that he has written better novels following it. Whether or not I read them won’t depend on whether or not he can write; he certainly can. Rather, it will depend upon whether or not they are all as tragic as this one.

Recommended.

NB This fits New Orleans as a great deal of it is set there during the rise of jazz, and some at a later time.

For any musicians, in between the prelude and the coda are two part set out in the 12 bar blues pattern:

I-I-I-I-IV-IV-I-I-V-V-I-I

So, Prelude, I-I-I-I-IV-IV-I-I-V-V-I-I, I-I-I-I-IV-IV-I-I-V-V-I-I, Coda


message 12: by Susan (last edited Mar 28, 2016 02:06PM) (new)

Susan | 3411 comments Mod
I listened to The Neon Rain, and it was a great choice for an audio book. The reader had what sounded to me like an authentic New Orleans accent, which was important because the story was told in the first person by the protagonist, Cajun police lieutenant Dave Robicheaux. Also, in spite of the darkness of the plot line, Robicheaux's (which means, of course, the author's) love for the New Orleans setting came through in his descriptions of what he saw wherever he happened to be. I liked Robicheaux, and will be going back for others in the series.


message 13: by D (new)

D Susan wrote: "I listened to The Neon Rain, and it was a great choice for an audio book. The reader had what sounded to me like an authentic New Orleans accent, which was important because the stor..."

I love Will Patton's work as a reader/narrator. You have definitely interested me in this audio book.


message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3411 comments Mod
Debi wrote: "Susan wrote: "I listened to The Neon Rain, and it was a great choice for an audio book. The reader had what sounded to me like an authentic New Orleans accent, which was important be..."

What other things have you read that he's narrated, Debi?

I'll be really impressed if the New Orleans accent was just for this character and he does other accents for other works.


message 15: by D (new)

D Susan wrote: "Debi wrote: "Susan wrote: "I listened to The Neon Rain, and it was a great choice for an audio book. The reader had what sounded to me like an authentic New Orleans accent, which was..."

Susan, Will Patton is the narrator for the Mr. Mercedes trilogy by Stephen King. This body of work is more similar in nature to that of King's book, Misery, as opposed to the horror genre. The last of the 3 comes out late spring/early summer. Great series and will be sorry to see it end.
He has narrated nearly 50 books and has won an audie award for his work, too. He kinda just owns the characters. Once I stumble into a series with a good narrator, I find it impossible to do anything but stay with the audio versions.


message 16: by Karin (new)

Karin | 797 comments So, did I make a mistake because my book wasn't already on the shelf for pick a book for New Orleans?


message 17: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3411 comments Mod
Karin wrote: "So, did I make a mistake because my book wasn't already on the shelf for pick a book for New Orleans?"

Sorry to be so late in answering, Karin. I only just now saw this question. No, you didn't make a mistake. We add books to the Pick-a-Shelf shelf after someone in the group has read it. The only place it has to be for it to be ok for you to read it is the main shelf that's linked to the notice about what we're choosing from for the month.


message 18: by Karin (last edited May 10, 2016 06:31PM) (new)

Karin | 797 comments Susan wrote: "Karin wrote: "So, did I make a mistake because my book wasn't already on the shelf for pick a book for New Orleans?"

Sorry to be so late in answering, Karin. I only just now saw this question. No,..."


Great :)


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