The Wives of Los Alamos

J recommended I read this book, by Tarashea Nesbitt, and I’m glad she did.

Most bdownloadooks have one or maybe two main characters and if the story is told in the first person the word “I” will be used a lot. This book takes a totally different tack on an experience had by many. It is written in the first person but always in terms of “we”.

The experience is the work of developing the atomic bomb at Los Almos as seen through the wives of the researchers at the facility. It feels a little bit like the women were gathered in a room, their responses to life before and during Los Alamos recorded on big sheets of paper, and then all incorporated into the story with the use of the global “we”.

Wives of Los Alamos does a wonderful job of reminding us that in every situation there is more than one story, more than one point of view, more than one set of experiences. I reminds us that we cannot lump a group of people together and assume all of them think the same way, feel the same way.

By the end of the first chapter, I was a little confused and wondered if the main character was schizophrenic, but by the end of the book the odd structure had affected me in positive ways.

Risky Undertaking

From time to time I get books, before they are published, for review. Like the title of this book, this practice can be a risky undertaking.

downloadRisky Undertaking is the eighth book in the Buryin’ Barry Mystery series by Mark de Castrique. The series follows Barry Clayton, a part time deputy, and full time undertaker. The title of the series and the odd positioning of the main character would lead one to believe that this might be a comic look at crime investigation. It’s not really though. Sure, Barry’s extended family do provide comic relief from time to time but, at least in Risky Undertaking, the subject matter is serious and the characters generally act professionally, there is blood, and the smell of gunpowder.

There’s something shallow about it though and maybe it’s because I haven’t read the other seven books in the series (I’m not likely to either). This story centers around a murder which stems from a conflict between a native casino and developers planning a second casino for a rival band. The issues are actually real enough, but I didn’t feel the cast of characters placed in the story carried the weight the issue deserved. It was like the story was dropped on top of the scenario.

If you are looking for a quick read in the “who done it” genre, this book may fit the bill, but I honestly can’t give it many stars. It is set to be released November 4 2014.

Inside: Alix Ohlin

I just finished reading Inside by Alix Ohlin. I needed a book to read and J had already downloaded this one from the library. I knew nothing about the book, and after finishing the first chapter, I was ready to be disappointed. Initially, the book seemed like it was a collection of short stories about marital disfunction revolving around a therapist theme.

13152420Rather than set it down, I soldiered on into the next chapters and found instead a wonderfully crafted story that did bloom into a full blown novel. Its a story of redemption, a story of growing up, a story that circles back onto itself.

Inside reminds us that the interactions we have today, do have ramifications in the future. It says something about true friendship, about the fact that we are connected to each other, sometimes i strange ways.

Ohlin has created an easy to read novel with deep themes and an artistic style which, in the end surprises.

Cementville

51J+kn-89yL._SL500_AA300_Cementville is a first novel for Paulette Livers. It draws its story from a town in grief and in turmoil. Set with the backdrop of the Vietnam war and its devastating effects on this working class town, the book plumbs the depths of the suffering of ordinary people just trying to get along, trying to live their lives.

The novel is  a portrait of a period in time. It begins with sorrow, and heartbreak, and while there is resolution to some of the situations presented, we are left wondering, just as we are everyday in real life. The book wonderfully portrays life in a close community with the support and the conflict that comes with it.

Its style gives the feeling of the place to the outsider since Liver doesn’t necessarily explain who people are, but rather, leaves the reader to learn from the conversations and interactions in much the same way as a new comer, to any close net community, would need to do. While this does make the novel artistically interesting, it can also be somewhat confusing, just like moving to a new town.

Cementville is a novel written to describe a dark time. Livers does an excellent job of bringing us into the interior life of her characters, allowing us to feel their struggles, their doubts, their fears.

Bike. Camp. Cook. our First Adventure in CrowdFunding

It was with great excitement that we received a package from Vermont this week. Just feeling it we knew it was a book, and getting new books here is nothing out of the ordinary, but this one was something new, something special.

A couple of months ago, one of my Twitter contacts promoted an effort by a young woman to fund a cycle tourist’s cookbook. She was using Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site, to fund her idea. Since we are long distance cycle tourists, and she did such a great job of her promotional video, we bought into the plan. It wasn’t really a huge risk, twenty five dollars for any kind of book, delivered to the door could be a good deal.

downloadOpening our package, we were amazed. Tara Alan’s Bike.Camp.Cook. was a wonderful surprise. Two hundred and seventy five pages of wonderful pictures, stories, hints, tips everyday wisdom, and of course, recipes. The book is more than just a recipe book though, its an inspiration to ride and explore. The descriptions of cooking out of a pannier bag are simple and straight forward, wrapped up with lots of practical advice.

I can’t find the book listed on Amazon, which is a pity, but, if you are interested in a copy you can order directly from the authour at http://www.bikecampcook..com.

In the meantime, we are enjoying the book and planning our next adventure, looking forward to the amazing meals we are going to have on the way.