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Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times

by Ralph Stanley, with Eddie Dean
Thursday, June 29, 2017

A giant and legend in the music business, Ralph Stanley recounts his 60+ years in the industry with warmth, honesty, and great story-telling.  It isn't just a book about the music business - it's about rural life in the early 20th century and what it was like to grow up in those times in a corner of Appalachia.   He remained true to his vision of the Stanley Brothers sound despite trends in the music business; and late in his life experienced a renaissance when others discovered his music through the hit movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"  If you read "Hillbilly Elegy" you will like this book also.  This...

Less Than a Treason

by Dana Stabenow
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Kate is alive!

If you are a fan of the Kate Shugak series, you’ll remember that her fate was uncertain at the cliff hanger end of the previous novel. And then we had to wait four years for this latest book to tie up all of the loose ends. In the opening pages we find out that Kate did indeed survive, but then she immediately disappears with no apparent word to Jim, the Aunties, or most anyone. Eventually Kate reappears when a group of orienteers trek past the remote Alaskan cabin that belonged to Old Sam where she has been staying for months to heal. Events ensue that cause Kate to return to civilization to solve yet another crime. But is she...

Outliers

by Malcom Gladwell
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Malcom Gladwell has a gift for weaving a compelling narrative.  In his bestselling nonfiction book, Outliers, he tackles the complicated subject of success, taking a special interest in those individuals who lie on the outside of what is considered to be normal, i.e. the outlier.  Gladwell delves into the question of why some people have remarkable success while others of equal or even greater ability fail to ever reach their full potential. Conversely, he points out how disadvantages can actually be the best catalyst for success. What are the factors at play that make a person successful?  Is it genius?  Is it drive? Or could it be...

Murder on Capitol Hill

by Margaret Truman
Monday, June 26, 2017

A recent trip to Washington DC made me decide to re-read a couple of mysteries I had enjoyed in 1980's.  Margaret Truman's Murder on Caiptol Hill was an easy read, with reasonably good descriptions of places I had just seen, but I found the story to be bit clunky.  The characters felt stock and not fully fleshed out.  I'm not sorry I did some re-reading, but they seemed more entertaining in 1981.

Check our Catalog to see if you agree with me.

This review was NOT influenced by mother's chilly encounter...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It is 1975 and the Vietnam War has reached the home of 10 years old Hà, in Saigon. She and her family flee their home by boat and end up in Alabama, USA. This is a story about family, perseverance and hope. The story is captivating and the writing style compelling.
 
This is the first verse novel I have ever read. A verse novel is a novel-length narrative in which the story is told through poetry rather than prose. The blank space on the page creates time to reflect on Hà and her experiences.
 
I could envision her and her family sleeping on grass mats while the boat rocked back and forth. I...

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