Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Welcome, fellow Texas book, culture and history lovers. I am HOME! I'd like to offer my profuse apologies for such a looooong absence. Home, for me, is pretty much the middle-of-nowhere west Texas. What this means in practical terms is that it took almost a month to get Internet hooked up and working reliably.

Alas, I do not have a review for you today; look for a new one within the week. What I would like to offer you today is a little info about what I've been reading in transit. So here ya go:

So Much For That by Lionel Shriver
Harper, 448 pgs
Rating: 5

Ever dreamed of checking out of the rat race? What if you had diligently saved enough money to do just that? What if the wife you were considering leaving behind is diagnosed with cancer; a virulent and expensive cancer? Up front, this is a difficult book but well worth the distress it causes. Be courageous.

The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña by Dagoberto Gilb
Atlantic Monthly Press, 218 pgs
Rating: 4

The first novel from the incomparable Gilb. Mickey Acuña is holed-up in a YMCA in El Paso. His past is so vague he may not actually exist. His future is precarious, to say the very, very least. This is the story of a man with only one option left and the characters who share his condition at the Y. This one may motivate you to continue getting up at the alarm clocks warning, donning that monkey suit and tie.

Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
Bantam, 320 pgs
Rating: 3

This is Stephanie Plum comedy/mystery number nineteen. It's funny, silly, slap-stick stuff, the usual. Steph, Lula, Ranger, Joe and Grandma reprise their roles. There may actually be some movement in the relationship triangle. It's good but it's the usual. Ms. Evanovich needs to shake up the formula.

The Ophelia Cut by John Lescroart
Atria Books, 432 pgs
Rating: 3.5

Dismas (yes, the good thief) Hardy is back. Murder, murder-for-hire, rape, sex-slave trafficking and, of course, politics in the City by the Bay. This is the best Lescroart thriller in years. If you think you know exactly what went down by the end of this novel, please let me know.

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Bloomsbury USA, 261 pgs
Rating: 4.5

Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi, teenage pregnancy, dog fights, functional orphans, spirit-defeating poverty and the walking wounded. Yeah. Another difficult one, threatening to rip out your heart and stomp on it just to make sure you're wounded, too. Be more courageous.

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