Thursday, February 13, 2014

February Newspaper column

Brrrr! Crazy weather we have been having. My brother in North Carolina has had very cold weather and snow there. He likes to brag that he left the midwest so he wouldn't have to shovel snow. Well hope he didn't get caught without a shovel.

I have been a member of Friends of the Neosho Newton County Library for over a year, and finally started going to the meetings and meeting folks. What a nice bunch of people and they really do some good work to help the library meet the needs of the community for things that the library can't afford. A couple fund raisers are in the works. One being the nice book bags that are for sale in the library for only 3$. I will carry a few in my book store to sell for them, so stop in and buy a bag, even buy a book or two to put in it. Second being their book sale which has grown to twice a year now. It will be coming up soon and at such good prices so mark your calendar: March 13,14,and 15th, during library hours. I have applications if anyone is interested in joining or just making a donation.

I have read quite a variety of books this month, from a classic, to a thriller and finally a good fiction by an author that I reported on a couple months ago.

The Pearl
John Steinbeck
I have wanted to read this little book for some time, along with more of Steinbeck's books. It is a very simple book of love and greed. This simple fisherman and his family live a very meager existence on the fringe of society. His greatest hope is to find the one Pearl of the World. When he does find the pearl he starts dreaming of how he can better his family with new cloths and be able to send his son to school. The townspeople find out he has the pearl and take advantage of him, trying to steal it when he won't sell it cheap. In the end he is a fugitive and looses what is most important to him due to the greed it made him feel, so the pearl was worthless to him. A great classic that is timeless.

The Vision
Dean Koontz
This book found its way into my store recently and was published in 2012, with a nice new cover. At first I thought it was a new book, but as I started reading it I was remembering the events, so looked again and found it was originally written in 1977 and was one of his first books published and yes I had read it a long time ago. I re-read the book and couldn't remember “who done it” till the last chapter. I do have to admit Koontz was laying the plot out to make the husband appear to be the crazed psychopath. It did turn out to be someone close to her and they were after her next. A pretty good read but it didn't have his usual twist of humor that I like. It was a little on the dark side and I think he has definitely improved with age. He even admits in his afterward that is was written when he was young and stupid.

The Invisible Ones
Stef Penny
I reported on another book by this author recently, Tenderness of Wolves. I ended up ordering this second book by Penny and I have to say it was my best read in a long time. The setting is in the 50's in
England and is about a private detective, Ray waking up in a hospital bed after being poisoned and he is remembering what lead him there. He had been hired to find Rose, an estranged daughter of a Gypsy family, because he was half Gypsy so would understand their culture. The family that Rose was married into has a curse hanging over their head and possibly some sinister secrets so it is very difficult for Ray to gain their trust to find out what happened to Rose, who has been missing for 6 years. With many twists and turns as the story is told in the voice of Ray and of a young boy named JJ who is part of the Gypsy family. I like the way that Penny draws her characters together then sorts them out to reveal the truth in the end. I found this to be a very good read as I enjoy learning about how other cultures live.

Dorothy Cliff is the owner of Read Again Books