Book Reviews

Books Reviewed by Friends and local patrons: 

His Hands by Yvonne Lehman
Reviewed by Cristy
Summary and Review: This book was a great read! I suggest it to all. It’s about a man who saves a girl in a plane crash, scarring his hands in the process. He believes the girl died. Seven years later, a woman is looking for her hero so she can thank him and maybe help him. But when she finds him, the words do not come. She does not know how to tell him who she really is.
 

The Ride of Our Lives: Roadside Lessons of an American Family by Mike Leonard
Reviewed by Darrell
Summary: This book follows Mike Leonard, his elderly parents and several others from his family as they take a month long cross-country trip in an RV.
 

Review: I laughed out loud many times while reading about Mike and his very unique family. It’s also a very touching story about Moose and Spoose (Mike’s parents) and some of the challenges they faced raising a family. My favorite part, however, was the learning how Mike’s parents are coping with some of the challenges they’re facing now that they are elderly in a country and culture that is fixated on youth.
The book includes a DVD with video from the trip. The DVD supplements the book nicely and includes information not included in the book and not previously shown on TV. (Seen on PBS) 

When The Morning Comes and When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall
Reviewed by Isy
Two very easy to read and informative books on the life of an Amish girl. I enjoyed immensely and learned much about the Amish way of life. 

The two spend time together and get to know each other, but do they really know? Are they helping each other heal from past wounds? Well. that’s for me to know and you to find out. I’m not about to give it all away. Just PLEASE read this book! It’s about faith in God, love and emotional healing. 

Einstein by Walter Isaacson
Review by Janice

Do not let the 550 pages discourage you, this is an excellent book. It is a great blend of history, science and whimsy. We (my husband and I) both read it and marveled at the knowledge of the author and the interesting characteristics of Einstein.

The Saddlemaker’s Wife by Earlene Fowler
Review by Donna

Earlene Fowler has started another great series: The Saddlemaker’s Wife. Main character, Ruby McGavin lost her husband (Cole) in a car accident only 6 months after marriage. In his will and much to her surprise, Ruby inherits part of a cattle ranch in Cardinal, California. Her late husband never mentioned any family, saying they were all dead. When Ruby goes to the ranch, she finds the McGavin family very much alive and shrouded in mystery. The Saddlemaker’s Wife is emotionally powerful and makes for exciting reading.
 

 Iacocca: An Autobiography
by Lee Iacocca with William Novak 

Reviewed by: Isabelle
I really don’t know why I started this book, probably because it was given to us by dear friends for Christmas in 1984 — really!! I started reading it early in 2007. It is easy reading – easy to put down and start up again. It is very informative about automobiles and their construction. I definitely like Iacocca’s love of life, his honesty and his devotion to a job and the people involved in it. Many think he should run for president. Maybe he should. He truly loves America. I recommend it if you have perseverance and want to learn about automobiles and American business.  

The Church Ladies By Lisa Samson 

Reviewed by: Robin
I liked this book enough to find more books by Lisa Samson. Written from a Christian perspective, this story of church ladies is good. The people are real and likeable. I enjoyed this book and I recommend it

Women’s Intuition
By Lisa Samson
Reviewed by: Robin 

I liked this book even better than The Church Ladies. Another book by Lisa Samson, written from the Christian perspective, this is a great story. It doesn’t take long to get into this book. Well written with great descripitions. I liked this book because of the people and the way the author has set up each chapter to be from a one of the 4 women’s perspective. I definitely recommend this book! I can’t wait to read another of Lisa Samson’s books. There are about 8 more books by this author that I plan on reading. I am so glad that we are able to order books from the other libraries through the SELCO system. 

Songbird
by Lisa Samson
Reviewed by: Robin 

432 pages of good writing. The story is good and it is well written. This book is about a woman whose mother dropped out of her life when she was 11 years old. The story begins with the main character in her married life and then the retelling of her past and then back to the present. 

Easy to read and exciting to follow. A bit of a sad story but the author doesn’t keep you sad. The story is written with a certain amount of survival thinking for the main character. I recommend this book to those who appreciate Christian fiction that is written with “gut-level honesty” about real issues. 

90 Minutes in Heaven
by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey
Reviewed by: Robin 

A true story of death and life. This book was recommended to me. This is an interesting story of a man named Don Piper who is pronounced dead at the scene of a accident. After ninety minutes in heaven, he awakens singing. I appreciated the insight that is given but I thought the author jumped around a bit too much with the narrative–it wasn’t always a smooth transistion. Just the same, I do recommend this book for the information on his experience in heaven and the emotional obstacles that he overcomes while physically and emotionally recovering from the accident. 

The History of the English Language
by Seth Lerer (“The Teaching Company”)
Reviewed by: Darrell

Summary:
This set of 36 audio lectures traces the history of the English language from its ancient roots to today. The lectures are divided into three parts. Part one focuses on the early development of English and provides some technical background on the study of languages in general that makes it easier for one to appreciate and enjoy these lectures. Part two looks at the development of English from the middle ages to about the 20th century. Part three deals almost exclusively with the development of American English. 

Review:
I found these lectures were fascinating. They gave me a much greater appreciation and understanding of how English began and also how it continues to evolve to meet the challenges of our modern society. The author of these audio lectures has an obvious love for this subject and he does an excellent job of exploring this subject in a manner that was, to me, most enjoyable. 

The most difficult section for me was part one. To fully understand some of the technical information in this section I’ll need to listen to the lectures in this section again and read the study guide that comes with the cds. The fact that I did not have a complete understanding of all the material in part one after my first listening did not detract from my enjoyment of the other 2 parts of the course. 

The second part covers the evolution of English from about the middle ages until about the 20th century. In this section the author describes how the evolution of English was shaped by the King James Bible, Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson and many other factors. This section also covers what is known as “The great vowel shift”, which changed the pronunciation of English radically and set English apart from the various European languages from which it evolved. 

The third part concentrates on “American English”. The author traces the development of the English language in America and he goes into great detail on what makes our particular flavor of English unique. He also discusses how things such as African American English, the writings of famous Americans (such as Jefferson and Lincoln) and even how particular technical innovations have helped to shape the way we speak today. For example, in this part the author talks about how and why “Hello” developed into the greeting Americans typically use when they answer the telephone. The third part was my favorite because it provided so many insights into the way we use the language today. 

This is an excellent set of material for people interested in language and for life long learners in particular. The 30 minute format of the audio lectures is perfect for those of us that happen to have a 30 minute commute to work!

Bryson City Seasons
by Walt Larimore, M.D.
Reviewed by: Robin 

If you enjoyed Jan Karon’s Mitford Series or James Herriot’s animal stories, you will surely enjoy this series by Christian medical doctor, Walt Larimore.
He has intertwined stories about his family, his medical practice, and life in Bryson City, NC.
I had read the first book in the series, Bryson City Tales and enjoyed it so much that I asked our librarian, Monica, to consider ordering this series for our Chatfield library.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes real people and real situations. I would love to meet the folks of Bryson City! 

BOLD SPIRIT
by Linda Lawrence Hunt 

Reviewed by: Janice 

An almost unbelievable story of two women, mother and daughter, who walked from Spokane, Washington to New York, over a century ago.
The two, armed with a compass and a curling iron, expected to win a wager which would save their family farm from foreclosure, only to meet
with disappointment and devastating consequences. The story combines historical events and psychological issues of the time with the details
of their challenging journey. The author refers to the life of Helga Estby as a “rag-rug history” from which she was able to construct a thought provoking story. 

EDUCATING ALICE – The Adventures of a Curious Woman
by Alice Steinbach 

Reviewed by: Janice 

Alice Steinbach quit her job as a Pulitzer Prize-winning Columnist for the Baltimore Sun and roamed around the world as an informal student
taking French cooking lessons in Paris and Border collie training in Scotland, as well as other such pleasant and unusual adventures.
Ever the lady – Alice mingles with people around the globe to combine her greatest passions: learning, traveling and writing.
She portrays a limitless account of her experiences as if to tempt the reader with the question, “How is it we are content to stay home and read
of such fun?” Whether you harbor the soul of an adventurer or are just satisfied to read about worldly encounters from your comfy chair,
you will be delighted to share Alice’s travels.
 

One True Thing
by Anna Quindlen
Reviewed by: Robin 

“Love what you have” are the words under this title. This was an interesting book about real life with a bit of a twist towards the end.
I enjoyed reading it because it was real but without the emotional attachment. Towards the end it did seem to drag out.
Stick with it anyway – you must read to the end to understand what I mean by a bit of a twist. I do recommend this book. It does give some insight to what it could be like if one were in this situation.

Silent Lady
by Catherine Cookson
Reviewed by: Robin 

This was a good book with a bit of mystery and the struggle to survive. I liked the details of how these people lived each day during a time of
hardship. This book was well written by an English author. I look forward to reading her many other books. 

1776
by David McCullough 

Reviewed by: Isabelle 

David McCullough really ought to be awarded a Medal of Honor for service to his country. After writing John Adams Mr. McCullough got more interested into the Revolutionary War itself. He searched both American and British archives intensively and produced a powerful historical narrative about ordinary people who had an ardent belief in freedom. 

In 1776 David describes the defeats of the Americans by the overwhelming odds of the British Red Coats and the hired German Hessians. There are only 2 battles won—Boston and Trenton- and they were carried out in the darkness of night with the element of surprise. 

We have been led to think the Revolutionary War was over in 1776 but actually the Battle of Trenton was fought Jan. 2 and 3 of 1977. Many more skirmishes were fought over the next 6 years as the Treaty of Paris wasn’t signed until 1783. 

Washington was discouraged, downcast and felt sorry for himself but with the help of Nathaniel Greene and Henry Knox and a few more faithful ordinary men (farmers, business men, teenage boys) we have become a nation under a great constitution. 

1776 is truly a story and study of American patriots, a story of defeat, perseverance and a predominating spirit of freedom. 

Tara Road
by Maeve Binchy 

Reviewed by: Robin 

This book is a good story of a variety of personalities who live on Tara Road in Dublin, Ireland. It is mainly about how unexpected changes in the lives
of two women lead them to a new place, where they experience what they need to grow and move on with new strength. Don’t let the number of pages put you off reading this modern tale of life on Tara Road. 

Peanut Butter on My Pillow
by Rita W. Kramer
Reviewed by: Robin
 

Author raised her family of 8 children in Fountain…*see page 113 for reference to our Chatfield Brass Band and the Free Music Lending Library…A bit dated (1980) but good just the same. Many poems, references to Bible verses, and discussions with the Lord Jesus are in abundance throughout this book. 

This was an entertaining and a helpful book. I recommend it to all moms. Take from this book what you need. There is something for everyone! 

Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook 2005 

By Julie Schnittka, Editor 

Reviewed by: Monica 

Summary: 

A very nice variety of recipes, menu plans, timetables, centerpiece ideas, food crafts, and helpful tips for creating memorable holiday meals or treats throughout the year. 

Review: 

This book is packed with extremely appealing color photographs of food that I think would entice even the most reluctant cook into the kitchen. Timelines and suggested menus are provided to help make your holiday planning even easier. The Thanksgiving section for instance, provides a timeline of preparation ideas starting a few weeks before the holiday right on up to the day itself. A full “Traditional Turkey Dinner” menu, directions for creating a simple but elegant centerpiece, a variety of side dishes, “autumn soups”, and several of the most delicious looking cranberry recipes I’ve ever seen are provided. The Halloween section is one that you’ll want to check out soon if you are planning a party. Helpful hints, food facts, and decorating ideas are sprinkled throughout the book to help inspire you to make the next celebration you host a tasty and visually attractive affair. 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 

by Douglas Adams 

Reviewed by: Darrell 

Summary: Arthur Dent is rescued from Earth just seconds before the planet is totally destroyed to make way for a galactic freeway. This science fiction story is the hilarious satire that started the entire “Hitchhikers” series of books that follow Dent on his galactic travels. 

Review: If you like Monty Python you’ll probably like the many Hitchhiker books by Douglas Adams. 

I was inspired to reread this book after many years because my daughter came home from a recent Knowledge Bowl and wanted to know what was so special about the number “42”. I tried to explain to her how the number “42” became kind of a joke response to any deep philosophical question because in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” it was the answer to life’s greatest question that a super advanced computer came up with after churning away for millions of years on the problem. The confused look on her face reminded how much I enjoyed Adam’s bizarre books and his hilarious characters when I first read the “Hitchhiker’s Guide …”! 

Kids probably won’t understand or appreciate the humor in this book but it’s a fun read for adults. 

More Reviews:

Title Author Subject Type Word .doc Link Reviewed by Reviewer Rating

My Sergei
by E. Katerina Gordeeva with E.M. Swift biography, sports non-fiction Read Review Robin Friend
Mary Lou Retton’s Gateways to Happiness Mary Lou Retton with David Bender inspiration, sports non-fiction Read Review Robin Friend
Mitford Cookbook Jan Karon and edited by Martha McIntosh cooking with characters from the Mitford series fiction Read Review Janice Friend
Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny Zainab Salbi and Laurie Becklund biography, history non-fiction   Read Review Isabelle Friend
Learning, Creating and Using Knowledge Joseph Novak education, learning non-fiction Read Review Darrell Trustee
The Story of Chicago May Nuala O’Faolain biography non-fiction Read Review Darrell Trustee
Summer Begins: The Callahan Cousins, Book 1 Elizabeth Doyle Carey family traditions, youth fiction fiction Read Review Sarah Patron
               
The Joy of Thinking: The Beauty and Power of Classical Mathematical Ideas Edward Burger & Michael Startbird mathematics, effectiveness non-fiction   Read Review Darrell Trustee
Turning Numbers Into Knowledge Jonathan Koomey problem-solving, data analysis non-fiction Read Review Darrell Trustee
The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin H.W. Brands biography, history non-fiction Read Review Hal Patron
The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century Thomas Friedman Communications, Technology non-fiction Read Review Darrell Trustee
Bitch Posse Martha O’Connor female friendship, psychological development fiction, suspense Read Review Bryan Book Club Member
John Adams David McCullough history, biography non-fiction Read Review Isabelle Friend
Bold Spirit Linda Lawrence Hunt history, biography non-fiction Read Review Marj Friend
             
The Stars H. A. Rey astronomy non-fiction Read Review Marj Friend
Leonardo DaVinci Charles Nicholl biography non-fiction   Read Review Marj Friend

Books Friends Have Been Reading:

TITLE: AUTHOR: NOTE:
Hot, Flat and Crowded Tom Friedman This is a typical Friedman book, not easy reading (our patron said) but worthwhile. Mr. Frieman is a wise and informed man.
Home to Holly Springs Jan Karon Jan Karon’s latest book, Home to Holly Springs, is light reading but more thought provoking than the Mitford series. This is the first fiction book this patron has encountered that addresses stem cell transplants.
Educating Alice Alice Steinbach Steinbach had so much fun running off to Europe to find herself, as recounted in her first book (Without Reservations), she decided to quit her job writing for the Baltimore Sun and devote herself to similar educational adventures. Following the advice of Japanese poet Basho (“To learn of the pine, go to the pine”), Steinbach takes off again and recounts eight endeavors, including studying French cooking in Paris, attending a Jane Austen convention in England and meeting geishas in Kyoto. She captures the uniqueness of each setting, aided by a sharply curious sensibility she claims stems as much from her childhood admiration for Nancy Drew as from her reportorial training. That spirit of openness also enables her to strike up many spontaneous conversations easily, frequently launching other discoveries. A search for a bonsai garden in Florence, for example, winds up becoming a tour of several palaces normally closed to the public, which leads to an old priest’s tale of rescuing priceless paintings from a flood. Yet for all Steinbach’s attention to others, her account remains resolutely personal, as her experiences unleash bittersweet childhood memories, and an ambiguously romantic relationship with a Japanese gentleman is never far from her thoughts. Her stories are powerfully seductive to anyone who’s ever been tempted to get up and go, following interests wherever they may lead. Even during the occasional setbacks, from language barriers to confusing geographies, Steinbach makes such a life look highly desirable.
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Next to the exhortation at the beginning of Moby-Dick, “Call me Ishmael,” the first sentence of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice must be among the most quoted in literature. And certainly what Melville did for whaling Austen does for marriage–tracing the intricacies (not to mention the economics) of 19th-century British mating rituals with a sure hand and an unblinking eye.
Crash Proof Peter Schiff Non fiction look at the coming ecomonic crash. Written in 2006
The Sorrows of an American Siri Hustvedt In her fourth novel (following the acclaimed What I Loved), Hustvedt continues, with grace and aplomb, her exploration of family connectedness, loss, grief and art. Narrator and New York psychoanalyst Erik Davidsen returns to his Minnesota hometown to sort through his recently deceased father Lars’s papers. Erik’s writer sister, Inga, soon discovers a letter from someone named Lisa that hints at a death that their father was involved in. Over the course of the book, the siblings track down people who might be able to provide information on the letter writer’s identity.
The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood In a startling departure from her previous novels ( Lady Oracle , Surfacing ), respected Canadian poet and novelist Atwood presents here a fable of the near future. In the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, far-right Schlafly/Falwell-type ideals have been carried to extremes in the monotheocratic government. The resulting society is a feminist’s nightmare: women are strictly controlled, unable to have jobs or money and assigned to various classes: the chaste, childless Wives; the housekeeping Marthas; and the reproductive Handmaids, who turn their offspring over to the “morally fit” Wives. The tale is told by Offred (read: “of Fred”), a Handmaid who recalls the past and tells how the chilling society came to be.
Talking Straight Lee Iaccoca What impressed me most about Iacocca is his incredible frankness. He doesn’t beat about the bush. Also, the book clearly depicts his clinging on to crucial values which allowed him to be successful in both fields: at work AND at home.
What Happened: Inside the Bush White House… Scott McCllellan “I still like and admire George W. Bush,” writes Scott McClellan, who served Bush for two years and nine months as White House press secretary. “I consider him a fundamentally decent person, and I do not believe he or his White House deliberately or consciously sought to deceive the American people.” Yet the entire brunt of McClellan’s book is precisely the opposite: that Bush and “his top advisers,” by whom he was “terribly ill-served,” systematically deceived the American public about their reasons for going to war in Iraq and about the effort to discredit a critic of the war, Joseph Wilson, by making public his wife’s position at the Central Intelligence Agency.
Minnesota Voices Theodore Blake Short stories about Minnesota heritage; funded by the WPA.
After Sorrow: An American Among the Vietnamese Lady Borton Lady Borton worked in South Vietnam from 1969 to 1971 with civilian amputee victims of the war. She also went to North Vietnam, worked with the Vietnamese boat people in a refugee camp in Malaysia after the war, made several trips to Vietnam in the late 1980s, and today is field director of Quaker Service-Vietnam in Hanoi. Her previous book, Sensing the Enemy: An American Woman Among the Boat People of Vietnam (1984), was a compassionate account of her earlier work with the Vietnamese. This book is an even more compelling sketch of her later years in Vietnam, largely among ordinary peasants, especially the women. It is a testament to the ingenuity, tenacity, and indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese people, who suffered over 40 years of wars, and it offers a rare Western glimpse into their culture and soul. No matter what one’s views on the war, this is a sensitive, insightful vignette.
The China Study T. Colin Campbell Referred to as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology” by The New York Times, this study examines more than 350 variables of health and nutrition with surveys from 6,500 adults in more than 2,500 counties across China and Taiwan, and conclusively demonstrates the link between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The Tainted Relic Medieval Relic Mystery Writers Book on CD. Medieval Relic Mysteries. This entertaining but uneven round-robin effort by six British crime writers traces the sinister history of a “fragment of the true cross” from its origin in Jerusalem in A.D. 1100 through 10 bloody centuries. In Beaufort’s prologue, Barzac, the unlikely Arab custodian of this artifact, places a curse on anyone touching the scrap of wood “stained with Christ’s blood” after Crusaders massacre his family.
Mercy Jody Picoult Issues of today
In to the Wild John Krakauer After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska, where he went to live in the wilderness. Four months later, he turned up dead. His diary, letters and two notes found at a remote campsite tell of his desperate effort to survive, apparently stranded by an injury and slowly starving. They also reflect the posturing of a confused young man, raised in affluent Annandale, Va., who self-consciously adopted a Tolstoyan renunciation of wealth and return to nature.
A Cold Day for Murder Dana Stabenow A Kate Shugak Mystery Series; a series of mysteries based in Alaska; main character is a native Inuit woman; fascinating reading
Devil in a Blue Dress Walter Mosley It’s 1948 in Los Angeles, and Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins needs to make a mortgage payment. Too bad all he has in his pocket is lint. Along comes a savior, looking like a devil and talking like a devil, but offering Easy the precious cash he needs. The man has one simple request: find the woman wearing the blue dress in a photograph. But Easy knows that you get what you pay for in this world, and the man wouldn’t be paying so much if it were that easy. Life is tough. But so are Easy Rawlins and his wild helpmate, Mouse.
My Antonia Willa Cather This novel about the friendship between two Nebraska children, Jim Burden and Antonia Shimerda is considered Cather’s masterpiece. The fortunes of the two families are opposed: the Burdens thrive while the Shimerdas decline, a downfall that culminates in the suicide of Antonia’s father, which forces the girl to work in the fields and then as a servant. Throughout all her trials, Antonia’s strength, humor, and goodness sustain her and her family–and Jim, for whom she is a lifelong inspiration and mentor. Willa Cather called this novel “the best thing I’ve done.”
Pacific War Stories Rex Alan Smith Stories of World War II heroism in the Pacific theater. As the full title reads: Pacific War Stories: in the words of those who survived.
At Home In Mitford Jan Karon Many of the Friends of the Library are re-reading the Mitford Series of books by Jan Karon. Delightful tales of interesting characters set in a small town.
Mrs. Mike Benedict Freedman and Nancy Freedman In this perennially appreciated romantic saga, a police officer named Sergeant Mike Flannigan and a pretty young woman named Katherine Mary O’Fallon fall in love in the Canadian wilderness.
Blonde Faith Walter Mosley Easy Rawlins, the hard-boiled, all too human, black private investigator who made his literary debut in DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, is back in his 10th mystery by critically acclaimed crime writer Walter Mosley. This time, the cases Rawlins set out to solve are close to home: when the daughter of his friend Christmas Black shows up on his doorstep, it’s obvious that Black is in trouble. Easy sets out to find him, but not before another friend goes missing: Mouse, Easy’s closest friend, who may be wanted for murder. Mouse’s record with the police isn’t pretty, and if the police find him before Easy does, Mouse’s troubles might come to a violent–and permanent–end. And Easy’s personal life is in shambles as well, after the woman he loves informs him that she is marrying another man. A colorful cast of low-life characters enriches the already compelling plot as Mosley’s favorite hard-bitten character battles through some of the most tormented adventures of his career.
My Mother’s Daughter H. J. Cummins WWII literature; Nazi occupation of Czech Republic during WWII; one woman’s story of survival
The Mascot Mark Lurzen Holocaust literature; Latvian community based story of little Jewish boy adopted by SS unit during WWII occupation; an almost unbelievable story of survival as told by this boy as an adult finding his roots.
Song of the Lark Willa Cather Based on the career of Metropolitan Opera star Olive Femstad this novel traces the life of Thea Kronberg, a singer who leaves small-town Colorado to go to Chicago to study music, where she rises to the top of her profession. After a turbulent life that includes the death of a lover, exploitation by a teacher, and a passionate affair with a married man, Thea finds happiness–but her truest happiness, throughout, comes from her career as a singer.
Age of Turbulence Alan Greenspan Did you know he started out as a jazz musician?
Oh, My Stars! Lorna Landvick tells of a neglected, unhappy and un-pretty girl’s struggle to adulthood, ending up in North Dakota
With Donald Harington Can’t recommend. This is supposed to be an Ozark yarn with mystical overlays. The first few chapters are very interesting and set the stage for a very good story; however, he must have missed a deadline with his editor because instead of developing the story, this author simply made all his characters perfect and gave every situation a perfect ending a la Danielle Steele and, by the way, the heroine and hero are beautiful and handsome. Even their animals are perfect. People in the Ozarks are wise; people in California are shallow and mean. The author wants you to be able to tell his characters are from the Ozarks because they say “ary” and “h’aint” a lot. Not even good bathtub reading. Read Jesse Stuart instead.
1491 New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Charles C. Mann New revelations of the Americas before Columbus
Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger Nigel Slater The story of a boy’s hunger
The Saddlemaker’s Wife Earlene Fowler Western setting with unexpected emotion
 

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