Llew's Reviews

Archive for August, 2006

Book #49 Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier

Sunday, August 27th, 2006 by Miss Laura

Charles Frazier, author of “Cold Mountain”, has FINALLY written a second novel which also takes place in my beloved mountains. Instead of being set during the Civil War, this is before and during the removal of the Cherokee during the Trail of Tears era told by an orphaned white boy who became the adopted son of an Indian chief, Bear.

And, oh how I adored it.

However, it’s impossible not to like a book where it had John Calhoun giving advice such as this about speaking French:

“But he would pass along a trick he had learned, which was this: you couldn’t go wrong if you pronounced every single word of the language as if it were a child’s euphemism for the private parts.”

And then there is this hilarious gem about messing with outsider journalists looking for a story:

“I told one of the writers that our fields were so nearly vertical we planted our corn with a shotgun and had to breed a race of mules with legs shorter on one side than the other for plowing. And when he asked how we transported the corn down off the mountain, I said, In a jug.”

I’ve always loved smart-ass southerners. Then again, I do come from a long line of them (including John Calhoun for that matter. Although, I do realize I shouldn’t claim that link as he was one crazy racist son of a bitch.)

Book #48 New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 by Miss Laura

When I saw Mrs. Meyer’s name on the SIBA’s front page as one of the many authors who would be in attendance at the South Eastern Booksellers Assosciation’s trade show in Florida in September, I was shaking with glee. I decided that if I was not weighed down by an army of tote bags filled with freebies I had swiped from publisher booths, I just might swan dive down the waiting line to land (gracefully) on the autograph table in front of her. I wondered if she’d sign my neck. It would only be fitting.

Then, she informed me that SIBA’s website was WRONG, and she would not be there this year. The SADNESS.

Thus, the only way I could alleviate the pain was to read her latest offering, New Moon, which is a sequel to her first novel, Twilight. Ben asked me what my book was about and when I mumbled, “Vampires” he started laughing at me. His laughter got louder as I corrected myself with, “Actually, it’s about Werewolves AND Vampires.” We all need to diversify ourselves a little bit, yes?

These are clean yet spicy with action young adult novels written by a woman who attended the same university I did who I kind of sort of know from a message board we both visit. I would highly recommend them to the age group they’re intended for, and have been a little sad that I haven’t been able to handsell more at my shop. (Although they have been doing pretty well – just not as well as I’d like.)

Book #47 The Butterfly Hunter by Chris Ballard

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006 by Miss Laura

After seeing this one featured in the Southern Independent Booksellers Association spring catalog, I decided to pick it up. The book focuses on ten ten various people in unusual careers which they’re not only highly passionate about but are their own personal “dream jobs.”

Let’s look at what qualifies as these ten people’s dream jobs:
* A fellow who changed his name to “Spiderman” who climbs buildings (to inspect for structural damage and insurance estimates.)
* A Hollywood voiceover artist who does the voice work for movies and commercials
* A female lumberjack. (The term lumberjill seems a bit too cutesy for this woman who, I believe if I met her while she was sporting an axe, might cause me to wet myself.)
* A butterfly hunter who likes to sweat it up in the rain forests of Costa Rica.
* A coach who suffers from Palsy and has never played football, yet is an amazing NFL coach for Kickers.
* A mushroom hunter.
* An artist whose subject matter happens to be prosthetic eyeballs. (Or maybe everyone doesn’t need the term, “Ocularist” explained to them.)
* A handwriting expert.
* A man whose life work is building a life size model railroad based on the route between Troy New York north to the Canadian border exactly as it appeared on September 25, 1950.
* An assistant professor of management and organizations at the school of Business at NYU who studies people and their careers.

Now, let’s look at MY list of personal dream jobs:
* Heiress
* A Countessa with a legion of ready Cabana Boys at her service
* Bookshop Girl
* Independently wealthy literary author

Book #46 The Shadow Of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Saturday, August 12th, 2006 by Miss Laura

All the cool kids were doing it.

This was oddly like “The Historian”, only without the vampires and dusty letters. It was told by way of the same strange dips into the past which were supposed to be tension building, but instead the reminscing factor drained most of the suspense away. This is good for people like me though. My heart can barely handle recent pictures of Britney Spears in a tank top, much less the stress of old leather-face stalking the streets in the shadows. And by leather-face I’m referring to Julian Carax in the novel, not of Tara Reid.

Although, I do have to say that I’m a sucker for novels where the main character reminds me of myself and Daniel Sempere does that with lines like, “I was raised among books, making invisible friends in pages that seemed cast from dust and whose smell I carry on my hands to this day.”

Oh, the marks that being raised in your father’s bookstore will leave on you.

Book #45 Hope was Here by Joan Bauer

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006 by Miss Laura

This is another book on the local school’s reading list, but this time for a middle school. Being quite the sucker for young adult books, I thought this was well done all the way through.
Plus, it had lines like, (said to a girl who is moving from New York to Wisconsin) “There’s a lot of cheese where you’re going, Hope. I’m not sure how this affects people long-term…”

Book #44 Tiny Ladies In Shiny Pants by Jill Soloway

Saturday, August 5th, 2006 by Miss Laura

I should smack whoever recommended this book to me. SMACK THEM UPSIDE THE HEAD.

Book #43 Letter In A Woodpile by Ed Cullen

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006 by Miss Laura

What a fantastic little collection of amusing and well told stories essays. Although I did feel as if I should be a 55 year old man to enjoy them so much.

Also, I did not know that armadillos lived in Louisiana. I guess it makes sense since it’s right by Texas, but I had just never thought of it. I’ve never lived in a world where an armadillo might be my grub-loving neighbor. But that’s ok since I’m fairly sure it’s not something I really want anyway.

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