Top Of My Head

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Tag: book review

Cold Sassy Tree

There are times when you read a book so touching that it stays with you long after you close the back cover. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns is one of those books. I checked the Cold Sassy Tree audiofile out of my local library. Listening to Tom Parker (aka Grover Gardner, who read Mark Twain’s autobiography) I was mesmerized.

Mr. Parker’s voice carries to to Cold Sassy in July, 1906.  The voice may be Mr. Parker’s, but the story belongs to 14 year old Will Tweedy.  As the story begins, Grandpa Blakeslee has arrived at Will’s house with some news.  Everyone is worried about Grandpa Blakeslee, as it has just been 3 weeks since his wife, Mattie Lou, died.  Since he won’t let his daughter’s take care of him and he won’t hire anyone, he has an idea.  Grandpa intends to marry Miss Love Simpson – his store’s milliner and a Yankee to boot!  Needless to say, this causes a ruckus that drives the story all the way to the end.

This book will make you laugh and cry.  If you listen to the audiobook, you’ll be at the edge of your seat.  Mr. Parker’s voice is perfect for a story that takes place in Georgia in 1906 and he lulls you along, believing that you know these people.  The story is well thought out and written by Olive Ann Burns.

It isn’t often that a book does this and I don’t say it lightly, but this book has renewed my faith in God and humanity.  It touched me that much.

Book Review: The Chilli Queen

Last Thursday, having found myself in Milwaukee with two hours to kill and no idea how to kill them, I went to a Barnes & Noble to find a book to read.  I had been listening to Sandra Dallas’s “Buster Midnight’s Cafe”, so I figured I would find another one of her books to read.  I found The Chili Queen: A Novel and I could not put it down.  The slim novel – only 304 pages – is packed with humor, love and, truth be told, a little horror.

I should probably mention right up front that I’m not really into westerns and I usually don’t read books that go back in time any farther than the 1920’s.  But, The Chili Queen draws you in and makes you want to know what happens next.  The best is how Sandra separates the story from one person to the next.  There’s enough twists and turns to keep you hopping.  I’m usually pretty good at detecting the twists before they happen, but one twist at the end had me catching my breath.

If you like your mystery surrounded by a little humor, The Chili Queen will not disappoint you.

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