Stay Cool With a Good Book
Here are a few books to check out while you’re trying to stay cool on these hot days.
By Deborah Schupack
Plume, 2010, $15
Suppose you discovered a box or briefcase — on your own property — that contained 1 million dollars. You have no idea how it got there. Do you keep it and say nothing? Do you turn it in to the police?
This is the dilemma that the neighbors on Sylvan Street face when a briefcase filled with a million dollars turns up at a neighborhood barbecue. Some of the neighbors feel the money should be turned in; others, knowing how much they can use the money, say keep it.
The “keep it” team wins, and all sorts of mayhem follows. This book offers a look at what we might do if enough cash is waved under our noses.
Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger
New and Selected Stories by Lee Smith
Algonquin, 2010, $23.95
I’m generally not a big short story fan because I get aggravated. It bothers me that I’m just getting to know the characters — and then the story ends. But I will say that Lee Smith does the genre proud with this book.
Seven of these stories were from previous collections, with seven new ones and a novella added to the mix. There are stories about relationships, dogs and children.
Smith is a writer with an extraordinary gift.
Seaworthy: A Swordboat Captain Returns to the Sea
By Linda Greenlaw
Viking, 2010, $25.95
If you’ve read “The Perfect Storm” (or seen the film), this author’s name will sound familiar. Greenlaw, author of “The Hungry Ocean,” decided at the age of 47 that she wanted to go back to bluewater fishing. This book is about what it took for her to return to that life after 10 years away.
When the book begins, Greenlaw is in jail in Newfoundland for running afoul of fishing laws. We follow the story of how she found a boat to captain again (and one that didn’t turn out to be in the best of shape); got a crew together and headed out.
It’s a fascinating look at a world most of us will never experience.
Requiem by Fire
By Wayne Caldwell
Random House, 2010, $25
This is the sequel to Caldwell’s novel “Cataloochee,” and I’m sorry that I misplaced it under some other books until a couple of days ago. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down.
These mountain people just worm their way into your heart, and you want to know everything that’s going on in their lives. Cataloochee, in the Great Smoky Mountains, is changing. The government is buying up land for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the old-timers must decide whether to take the money and move on or to take a lesser amount and have a lifetime right to stay there. For most, the land has been in their families for generations.
Silas Wright is figuring on staying put, but a couple of the younger neighbors are leaving. There are some downright funny situations as well as some that will evoke tears.
I just loved this book!
Contact Faye Dasen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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