Book Review Paris by the Book

I bought Liam Callanan’s Paris by the Book simply because he leaves in Wisconsin and I want to support local authors. Friends of mine also recommended his works.  I enjoyed this book a lot.

It is the story of a Leah, who’s husband disappears and the only clue he leaves is plane tickets to Paris. Intending on staying for a while, she finds herself not able to tear herself or her two daughters away. They all see him (Robert) in the men they see around the city.

In many books, the protagonist is strong and determined. Readers want that. However, that is not how people work.  I found Mr. Callanan’s portrayal of a woman with doubts and mind changes real, but without sending me on a confusing track of a narrator that changes her mind too much.  His main character is filled with doubts, but it is done in a well-written way.

I also found that Mr. Callanan did a masterful job of describing Paris with out burying the reader in details. Also well done with how he handled the characters speaking French. He was able to provide realness while also getting what was said in French across.

I enjoyed this family drama set in a city that I now really want to visit. It makes me hope and believe that I can go there and find Leah and her two daughters running a small book store (though not well).

 

PS- Find the 30 minute video of The Red Balloon (1956) AKA Le Ballon Rouge on #Youtube. It is not necessary, but it will help put you in a #Paris mood before reading Liam Callanan’s book. (No Paris landmarks were harmed in the book or the movie). https://youtu.be/K2dor2_tCI0

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Book Review- Harbach

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

I read this book because my wife bought it and it was sitting on the bookshelf. Even though I knew better I suspected it was sort of like the book The Catcher in the Wry by Bob Uecker. In other words, reading it was a random act.

With that said, I enjoyed the book. I am not a baseball fans, but only rarely skimmed the exposition about the game. Mr. Harbach did a nice job of creating a world that was an imaginary college in an imaginary city along the imaginary Lake Michigan (okay one thing is real). It took me a while to like the characters and begin to like them, but I eventually did.  It was a unique story with some interesting twists.

The author did a masterful job of showing both sides of the conflicts between classmates, lovers, and parents. You could see how each character could see themselves in the right as opposed to one person being the bad guy and one being the good guy.  I found this similar to Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, but in a less frenzied way. As a reader, I loved each character’s inner struggle.

Dead Sure? A Book Review

Dead Sure? Took me on a mind-twisting romp to 1929 and back again. It was a story full of strong characters and plot twists that kept me guessing.  I definitely felt for Tim, a man transported back to 1929 leaving his daughter to grow up without a parent. Especially when he has to face Charles, the antagonist that outsmarts everyone and hurts so many people (including many people in the present).  

This story has a lot of heart and kept me reading right until the end. And like any great story, I will remember these characters long after I put the book back on my book shelf (metaphorically, I got the kindle version).

Wisconsin Author Profile

A couple of years ago Dixie Jarchow and I began an interview show that premiered on the public access channel in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Like the name suggests, we wanted to showcase authors that are in our neighborhood. Those authors you will not know. But we wanted to hear their story, find out what they know about writing, and make a pitch for their book.

Earlier this spring, we interviewed Kerri Luksavitz.  (I never thought I would be able to spell that name by heart,) In some ways she is the type of author we had in mind for our show.  Like many of us, she had that story she wanted to tell. She also had the writing bug. However, the publishing industry is tough today.

 

Here is a link to her interview:  https://youtu.be/nYcxHkn6cVo. As I said, she had that story she wanted to tell.  Not only did she write it and write to get better, she went back to school to follow her dream.

The result is a YA novel called  Mystery Horse at Oak Lane stables.  Look for her website and check this book out.  As you might guess, Kerri is a rider and is passionate about horses. Enough so that she has plans for a trilogy.

I have not read the book as of this writing (Dixie has). However, I am intrigued by the way Kerri included the ins and out of horse competition.  It was so realistic that Dixie thought maybe it was nonfiction and to me those details that make a story sound real are crucial. Her future books will follow her main character  Cassie as she grows and progresses in competition. Just read part of this quick amazon review:

What a perfect gift for the horse lover in every family! The author, Kerri Lukasavitz, has created a story that pulled me into the plot right away. It was an engaging story with several twists that kept me guessing as to what would happen.

Cassie, the main character, wants a horse to call her own and to love. As she and her father search for the perfect horse for her, I felt the range of emotions that the protagonist experienced…every hope, every disappointment, every concern, everything. I didn’t want to put down the book.

woman standing near sheep

Photo by Tim Savage on Pexels.com

I hope you get as much entertainment and information from our interview as we got from talking to Kerri.

The Very Marrow of Our Bones

The Very Marrow of Our Bones: A Novel Paperback – April 3, 2018

by                                            Christine Higdon

I believe I put this book on my wish list to support ECW Press. Then I accidentally bought it.  I am so glad I did though. It is a well written well paced book.

The novel has many mysteries to solve and while it does in an engaging way, it also does it in a realistic way.  Ms. Higdon actually reveals a mystery without fake suspense and build ( answers come in the story when they should). As a reader, I acknowledged it, was surprised the answer came and then saw more book to read.

Ms. Higdon tells this story that lasts for 40 years without a lot of exposition. The action are immediate and the characters are engaging. The secondary characters are not necessarily well explained, but I could tell that they were fleshed out and the author showed only what she had to show.

I definitely rooted for these characters they will live on in my mind. Even at the end of the book, the author is revealing the actions and motivations of the characters that I didn’t even consider.

 

Author Profile- David Michael Williams

David Michael Williams

An interview so great we did it twice!

A couple of years ago Dixie Jarchow and I began an interview show that premiered on the public access channel in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Like the name suggests, we wanted to showcase authors that are in our neighborhood. Those authors you will not know. But we wanted to hear their story, find out what they know about writing, and make a pitch for their book.

David Michael Williams is passionate about his writing and his desire to help other authors.  Our interview with him provides with great advice about being your own publisher as David has his own LLC.

This spring, Author Showcase switched from filming on the station’s camcorder to using some apple products.  Well it didn’t go so well. The main camera switched off and the camera that was focused on David so that we could have some dramatic camera view changes was the only one we got.  So we will put that up at a future point. You will want to hear what David said.

However, as our producer, key grip, and fearless leader Ruth Percey said, “This second interview is better than the first.”   Mr. Williams is a fantasy writer that likes to bend some other genres and he gave an enticing overview of his books in his Soul Cycle Series.  I read his book If Souls Can Sleep. I was drawn into his world and had to keep turning the page to see what happens.

I recommend check out these books and the other series on his website https://david-michael-williams.com/

I also recommend watching our interview with him.  It is located here: https://youtu.be/StKKRd3tumg

David is in marketing, but he devotes one day a week to writing, As you get his story, I think many of us will hear how similar it is to our story of wanting to be a writer. However, David has taken the next step and is writing novels and getting them in the hands of readers.

David has learned a lot and is continuing to learn.  We are thankful he is willing to share that knowledge

if souls can sleep

Book Review Holy Cow

Holy Cow by David  Duchovny

nature animal agriculture cow

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

reminded me

Of Swine not

By Jimmy Buffett

In that I hated it.

I love Buffet and Duchovny. Holy Cow, however, is hard to comprehend as to what it actually is?  Is it a children’s book? An adult humor book? A fable or a joke? It is a about a regular milk cow that sees the Box God (a tv) and decides she has to go to India where they do not eat cows.

It reads like a middle school novel. However, it has adult humor and concepts. Duchovony makes an attempt to explain how a cow could book a flight on an airplane, but leaves as many questions as he answers.  At the end, he addresses inconsistencies by saying it is just a story, However, he clearly has never been on a farm.

His message is clear and directly on the page. The cow addresses the reader directly and spouts off what is on the author’s mind.  I agree with it, but I wanted a story.

I did read this book, so it kept me turning the page. It however, did not have a satisfying end.

Drunk In the Warm Glow

I definitely heard echoes of Holden Caulfield as I read this book. Tyler is a modern young person with some issues trying to make sense of the world. He tries portray himself as normal by mimicking the characters in movies and TV shows that he is obsessed with.

He also uses chemicals to help him do that.

Anderson’s main character tell us his story. It’s a unique one while hitting the anxiety that we felt as young people (not that you will not identify if you are not so young). Tyler feels like he is a fraud and is more comfortable with failure due to his childhood. He finds himself doing terrible things to continue his failure. I found the way Anderson let us into Tyler’s head through first person and then had him be a reliable narrator well done.

Anderson also did well with his dialogue and inner monologue. The language and the events of family time with the girlfriend’s family was dead on.

Tyler cynicism reveals the craziness that our modern society has become- from casual sex to foreign policy. To me a literary novel searches the depth of human experience while revealing the condition of society as it truly exists. Anderson does both well.

Drunk In the Warm Glow on Amazon-