Pontoon

>“Evelyn was an insomniac so when they say she died in her sleep, you have to question that.”

And so, Evelyn, heroine of the story, dies peacefully in the first sentence of Pontoon. But death doesn’t keep her from turning life in Lake Wobegon upside down. Evelyn may have appeared to be an 82 year old who went to quilt circle and church. But once her husband died, Evelyn really came into her own. She traveled with her secret lover Raoul, questioned her beliefs, and cultivated her independence. Evelyn’s unconventional last wishes (no burial, no hymns, no service) set the whole town on its ear.
It’s trademark Lake Wobegon humor–absurd, a little dark, but deeply compassionate toward human nature.

The Rockabilly Legends

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The rockabilly legends : they called it rockabilly long before they called it Rock and Roll / Jerry Naylor and Steve Halliday.

Whether you are a fan of rockabilly music or just want to learn what put the fire in rock and roll, this book is a wonderful collection of stories and pictures about the beginning of foot-stomping rock.

This book covers, for the most part, the careers of six rockabilly giants: Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison. Not only do we get the story of each man’s rise to fame, we also are enlightened with the personal stories of thier families and friends.

And as if the wonderful layout and pictures in the book were not enough, there is an accompanying DVD Documentary on Rockabilly in the back of the book.

A must read for the casual music lover and the aficionado.

Meg to the Rescue

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With the rush of the holidays, sickness, and power outages, I’ve been reading on the light side. There’s nothing like Meg Cabot to make you laugh out loud when life is a bit challenging. Her latest is Big Boned, the new installment in the Heather Wells Mystery series. Heather is a has-been pop star who finds a job as an assistant director at a residence hall and works towards going to college. The only problem is that people keep dying in her dorm. Oh, and those extra pounds she’s put on. These are fun, light-hearted mystery and romance.

Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History

> Part history, part suspense, part adventure and travel, Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History by Patrick Hunt is a concise, well-written, and engrossing read. The archeological discoveries that it covers include the ruins of Pompeii and Troy, the Rosetta Stone, the Olduvai Gorge, Machu Picchu, the Tomb of 10,000 Warriors, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Thera, possible location of the lost city of Atlantis. The wonders found at these sites all changed the way we understand history, and most of the sites themselves are still being excavated and studied. But that’s only part of the story — the greatest suspense of these archeological treasures was the intrigue and adventure surrounding their re-discovery after being hidden for centuries. With tales worthy of Indiana Jones and James Bond, this book is great fun for armchair archeologists.

Never Enough Austen

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The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James is a fictional story of Jane Austen’s one great love. We all know that Austen never married and her letters that we have do not show any record of a serious attachment. James works within the actual information we do have and creates a tale of love that was hidden from us all.

The criticism has often been levelled at our dearest author. How could she possibly presume to write of love and romance when she had none in her own life? James creates the story that we wish for Jane Austen and one of which I think Austen would have approved. She shows her behaving with perfect decorum and dignity, but we also see the passions of her heart.
P.S. If you love Austen, you must join us for the Jane Austen Festival in January. Go to our main page for more details.

Yakusa Moon by Shoko Tendo

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Yakusa Moon: memoirs of a gangster’s daughter by Shoko Tendo is an autobiography of a Japanese teen’s journey into the yanki world of youth gangs. It’s a violent culture of flashy cars, drugs and crime. Kids from mainstream and yakusa (organized crime) family backgrounds join together as yanki–dropping out of school, doing drugs and partying as a way of life. Their only loyalties are to each other, though there are constant violent power struggles between gangs.
Tendo is oddly detached as she describes frequent beatings from her father and her many lovers, her meth addiction and recovery. Sometimes I wondered how such a slight girl survived so much violence. Tendo’s full body tattoos of the famous courtesan Jigoku Dayu are symbolic of her own fierceness.
An interesting glimpse of an underground culture, but not for the squeamish.