OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS ARE “GAP YEAR GIRL,” BY MARIANNE BOHR AND “ROAD GANG,” BY H.V.TRAYWICK, JR. YOU CAN FIND THEM BY SCROLLING DOWN DIRECTLY BENEATH THIS POST.
UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD …
Like Henry David Thoreau, another New Englander, Maine writer Burl Hall marches to the beat of his own drummer. Some of you may find yourselves tapping a foot in sync with that cadence, others may consider it discordant.
Either way, the primary goal of this project is to highlight “under the radar” books that have something original to say. In the process, I welcome a variety of points of view — liberal and conservative, deeply religious and skeptical, optimistic and grim, traditional and adventurous. That’s how we learn. Edgy is OK, although I will bar the door to work that promotes overtly sociopathic, racist or misogynist views (sociopathic, racist or misogynist novel characters are, of course, fair game).
A radio talk show host, among other things, Burl Hall has combined a very personal spiritual philosophy with some strong beliefs about the environment, the economy, international relations, and other pressing societal issues. The result is an intriguing mix of mysticism and scientific research. Check it out. and if it prompts some sort of reaction, that’s what the “comments” section is for.
“TWO WAYS TO SUNDAY,” BY TOM STARITA.
This novel also has a spiritual connection, but in a much more traditional manner. As Tom summarizes his plot:
“Chris Marcum was a man who had everything — the perfect wife, the perfect job, and the perfect life. He was also sure his belief in God did not depend on those successes. So when an angel appeared to him on his deathbed with a challenge to prove the depths of his faith, Chris immediately accepted. Relive your life, with no recollection. This time however, without the breaks. What happens when instead of going right, you go left? What if there are no happy endings? How much can a man endure before he hits his breaking point? And what happens then?
Makes you curious, doesn’t it?
“MURDER ACROSS THE BORDER,” BY RICHARD STEINITZ.
Richard grew up in the U.S. before moving to Israel in 1968. He is our first Israeli author, and “Murder Across the Border” is his first novel. It is unique within its genre because it shows interaction rather than conflict between two Middle Eastern cultures long at odds.
From the Amazon blurb: “Yossi Abulafia, an Israeli policeman is on reserve army duty, and is photographing antelopes instead of watching the border. His post collapses suddenly, injuring him seriously. After recovering, he discovers that during the collapse he has unwittingly taken a picture of what appears to be a murder — on the other side of the border. As part of his duties he meets with the Palestinian delegation and discovers a connection to the shooter in Amsterdam, and to the murder in Jordan. A series of incidents, shootings and diplomatic activity eventually lead to the unexpected solving of the crimes.”
“INSIGHTS FROM INSIDE,” EDITED BY TOM GERDY.
A disclaimer: I’ve known Tom Gerdy for years. However, that’s not why I approached him about perhaps widening the audience for “Insights From Inside.”
For this is not just a book, but a movement. A successful building contractor, Gerdy has worked with young people enough to know that some of them find the other side of the law intriguing. The letters published in this book are from inmates who have learned all too well what happens with the cell door slams shut.
NEWS AND VIEWS
Last Thursday, we had our first drawing among blog followers for three free books — two to the winner, one to a runnerup. Owner Debbie Swan of Willows Bistro in Warrensburg, NY pulled the names out of a box, and they will be announced next week,
Thanks to the following authors whose books made up a list for the winners to choose from. Others also agreed to pay for a book and postage, and they’ll be included next time around.