Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My pictures, My Words by Mac Kenney

This wonderful little picture book arrived recently for me to review and I must say I found it delightful.  Mac Kenney is a nature photographer and poet, but this is his first effort to combine those two interests.  He was born and raised in Colorado, so was able to experience the four seasons as only the Rocky Mountains and the wide-open plains can display them.

This slim volume contains 20 color photographs that run the gamut of human emotion and powerfully illustrate the beauty of the natural world.  The photos are suitable for framing or for giving as gifts.  The poetry reminds us of how brief and precious life is and how we need to take advantage of our brief time here and accept the love that's out there waiting for us if we would only open our hearts.

The contents of this book are indeed, as the back cover says, food for the soul.  So pick up a copy, and bon appetit.

Ghellow Road by T. H. Waters

Ghellow Road is billed as a "literary diary of a young girl's journey through the tangled labyrinth that is her life."  It most certainly is that, and much more.  T. H. Waters' story is a painful one, but her willingness to share it with people is quite admirable.

I don't want to give away too much of the story so as not to spoil it for those of you who would like to read it, and I do recommend that you do, but suffice it to say that Theresa Waters has more thrown at her in her early years than a lot of people have to deal with in a lifetime.  Her mother is mentally ill, and in and out of hospitals; her father desperately tries to hold the family together, but is eventually overwhelmed by the task; and she is shifted from one temporary home to another, passed among relatives and friends, all the while trying to maintain some semblence of normalcy with her school activities and friends.

This is a tragic story to read, but this lady actually lived it, and managed to triumph over the worst of circumstances.  It does indeed give you hope for the human race.  You keep turning the pages cheering for Theresa, wanting so badly for things to smooth out in her life, and I was amazed at her resilience.  In tone, the book reminded me of another coming of age story that has gotten a lot of press lately, "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls.  Sometimes life throws a LOT at you.  These women learned to persevere under incredible circumstances, and not be bitter and give back what they got, but to reflect love and be successful despite great obstacles.  There are life lessons to be learned here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Okra Picks

It's that time of year again.  Here's the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance's suggestions for good books to escape the summer heat.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ten Most Powerful Women Authors

Forbes magazine has showcased the Ten Most Powerful Women Authors.  They were selected because of their ability to influence us with their words and ideas.  They have won lots of awards and sold lots of books, so obviously they know how to tell (and more importantly, sell) a story.  I've heard some quibble about the names on the list.  See what you think. 
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