Wednesday, February 22, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Red Glove (Curseworkers) -- Holly Black

SOURCE: Purchased both White Cat and Red Glove from booksellerI fell in love with Ms. Black's writing when I picked up a book called Ironside. Since then, I've grabbed every Holly Black book without even engaging in my customary pre-read test of the first chapter.

In White Cat, the first book of the Curse Workers series, I was dismayed to learn the protagonist was a member of a family of criminals. Cassel is a con man extraordinaire. I can forgive a lot of bad boy behavior, but having spent ten years dealing with ripoff victims, I wasn't quite ready for Cassel. I was on the verge of returning the book when Cassel's story reached me and I continued on and I'm glad I did. By the end, I could even understand and empathize with Cassel, which is a testament to Ms. Black's ability to build characters.

BOOK REVIEW: Falling Women and Other Stories -- Ellen Herbert

SOURCE: ARC provided by the publisher

Back in college, one of my lit professors defined Southern writing as the literature where locale was as much a character as the protagonist and the antagonist. In the case of Falling Women and Other Stories', dozen delightful tales, most take place around the small fictional town of Braxton, North Carolina where sinners are outcast, but prodigals are welcomed with mostly open arms.

This is a content-rich volume which allows readers to explore the town from the bottom to the top of the social ladder. For example, in the title story, readers see that two entirely different sisters from good family can "fall" from the esteem of the Southern Baptist run community for entirely different reasons.

Monday, February 6, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Shine -- Lauren Myracle

Does friendship last forever? Cat stopped hanging with her best friends three years before and closed herself off to hide from an incident she can barely allow herself to think about. But when her best friend, Patrick, is assaulted and left for dead because he's gay, Cat sets out to find out who did it.

Cat well knows that crime's easily covered up or just plain ignored in her isolated, clannish and prejudiced North Carolina hometown. Shine, like the best Southern literature, has place as much of a character as the people who live there.

Black Creek, NC is a poor mountain town. Religion and the 3-Ms (moonshine, meth, and marijuana) are key recreation as well as gossip and prejudice.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

COMMENTARY: Never Eighteen Pass it On (Part 2)

Several months ago, I was honored to be offered the opportunity by author Megan Messina Bostic to read and pass on her debut, Never Eighteen. Attached is my first blog entry describing my choice, St Michael Indian School in AZ. I chose this group because of their Christmas Wish List on Amazon.

Never Eighteen Project

Below is a letter I received from Melissa Coles, the School Librarian in response to receiving the book:

Friday, February 3, 2012


It was 1989 when I saw the job posting for the Oklahoma Manufacturers’ Directory Coordinator. I had no idea what the publication was. Turns out, the directory was brand new to the state and Debra Lea was who made the directory what it was.

At the time, Debra was a freshly minted OU business school grad, She took on the job with enthusiasm and a forward-thinking attitude that made the directory easier to search and publish even though database tools were nowhere what they are now.