20. December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Noelle · Tags:

The Maid's Version: A Novel by Daniel Woodrell, read by Noelle, on 12/17/2013

I’ve been a fan of Daniel Woodrell for a while, but I honestly wasn’t sure if this book would live up to all of the critical hype.  The subject matter in particular didn’t suck me in at first.  However, I eventually got quite caught up in Woodrell’s savory-rich storytelling style.  I also loved how he threw generous daggers of raw insight into the human condition all throughout the book, making the characters and their plights undeniably fascinating.

28. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tammy, Travel · Tags: , ,

50 Years of Making Memories: Silver Dollar City 1960-2010 by Jan Peterson, read by Tammy, on 03/10/2013

This is mainly a photo collection of the history of theme park, Silver Dollar City and Marvel Cave starting with the cave’s discovery. The photos also feature the theme park’s festivals, craftsman and visitors having fun in the park. It was a fun read for me, since I first went to Silver Dollar City as a sophomore in high school with my aunt and uncle, then when in college Branson was only an hour away so it was a great get-away spot for a day of fun with friends. So, the area holds lots of good memories for me.

 

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Informational Book, NonFiction, Tracy · Tags:

Play Me Something Quick and Devilish by Howard Wight Marshall, read by Tracy, on 02/21/2013

Since I live in Missouri and enjoy bluegrass and old-time music this book was very interesting. Also nice that it has a cd with samples of different styles of fiddling. I also found a cd on Spotify with Howard Marshall playing. Lots of photos. Missouri is full of talented fiddlers.

23. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Tammy · Tags: , , , ,

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai , read by Tammy, on 03/22/2012

The BorrowerLucy Hull, a young children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan from his homophobic parents.The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy’s help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother.  Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. Lucy is running away from as much or more than Ian.

There is a love of books and reading throughout this book which is quite enjoyable. How books can open new world’s to the reader and even rescue a person dealing with an overwhelming situation in their life is a wonderful message. Lucy’s relationships with Ian, her family and her friends will keep you interested but for a character who claims to be open-minded she is very preachy about her personal beliefs and why everyone else is wrong. I found the repetitive restatements of why Ian’s parents are in Lucy’s words  “completely wrong and prejudice” annoyingly ironic.

21. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , , , , ,

The Art of the Missouri Capitol: History in Canvas, Bronze, and Stone by Bob Priddy, Jeffrey Ball , read by Tammy, on 03/21/2012

The Art of the Missouri CapitolAfter fire destroyed Missouri’s capitol in 1911, voters approved a bond issue to construct a new statehouse. The tax to pay the bonds produced a one-million-dollar surplus, leaving a vast amount of money to decorate the new building. A special commission of art-minded Missourians employed some of the nation’s leading painters and sculptors to create powerful and often huge pieces of art to adorn Missouri’s most important new structure.

The Art of the Missouri Capitol presents the art in 270 images, many by Lloyd Grotjan, mostly of the building’s many compelling paintings, murals, and sculptures. Priddy, a journalist who has covered the Missouri legislature for more than three decades, and Ball, an art historian, use a wealth of historical materials to connect the grand design of the capitol decorations with accounts of sometimes temperamental artists and meddling politicians. The authors provide historical and artistic context to explain the many surprising, controversial choices the artists made, and they use Missouri history to explain the tales depicted in the artwork, revealing the events—and inaccuracies—that the paintings bring to life.

There were lots of stories and information that I have either forgotten from my school tour days or just never heard since the tour guides have to keep groups of kids interested and moving through the building. Did you know there is accidentally one too many stars on the representation of the Great Seal of Missouri on the capitol floor? There are supposed to be 24 to represent Missouri joining the union as the 24th state but the artist carved one too many. So, if you’ve ever stared at the seal and thought the stars were unbalanced or something was off about it… you are correct.

02. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Fiction, Kira · Tags:

Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carlson, read by Kira, on 02/26/2012

Not as good as “To Kill a Mockingbird”.  Reading the backcover blurb kinda ruined it for me, providing too much negative foreshadowing.  Also hard to identify with characters who turn away from the juicyness of learning and knowledge (let alone a chance at postmodernism).moonflower vine

20. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , , ,

Homegrown in the Ozarks: Mountain Meals and Memories by Rolland Love, read by Tammy, on 01/10/2012

Homegrown in the OzarksGood, basic homemade recipes that remind me of when I was a child and the dinners at my grandma’s and my great aunts’ homes. Also meals with my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jack who hunted all the time and I was never sure what critter the meat really came from. I decided early on it was better not to ask.

Also fun Ozark mountain trivia and folklore scattered throughout the book too. And don’t skip the recipe for skunk. Seriously.