Saturday, June 21, 2008

In the Face of Adversity, Review Books

As tough as the past week has been, there's a big ole bright glowing spot: new review books!! It doesn't take much to thrill the pants off me, does it? These gems have recently arrived from Bibliobuffet and settled on my review shelf, and I can't wait to dive in.

Another Dirt Sandwich, by Ray Friesen - A humor graphic novel with all the fixins: Swindling! Mustard! Cacti jokes! Birds wearing hats AND birds wearing spats! This book will have you laughing your head off on the very first page! (actually, that's the copyright information, try the second page). This book chronicles the rambling adventures of inept ostrich outlaw Tbyrd Fearlessness, and his sidekick Hopalong Cassowary in their search for fame, fortune, and lunch.

Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian, by Scott Douglass - For most of us, librarians are the quiet people behind the desk, who, apart from the occasional “shush,” vanish into the background. But in Quiet, Please, McSweeney’s contributor Scott Douglas puts the quirky caretakers of our literature front and center. With a keen eye for the absurd and a Kesey-esque cast of characters (witness the librarian who is sure Thomas Pynchon is Julia Roberts’s latest flame), Douglas takes us where few readers have gone before. Punctuated by his own highly subjective research into library history-from Andrew Carnegie’s Gilded Age to today’s Afghanistan-Douglas gives us a surprising (and sometimes hilarious) look at the lives which make up the social institution that is his library.

Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair, by Laurie Perry - If you've ever been dumped, duped, or three minutes from crazy, you'll love Crazy Aunt Purl. Side-splittingly funny and profoundly moving, Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair is the true-life misadventures of Laurie Perry, aka Crazy Aunt Purl, a slightly neurotic, displaced Southerner trying to create a new life after her husband leaves her to "get his creativity back." (Whatever the hell that means.) But will she get her groove back in a tiny rented apartment, with a mountain of boxes, visible panty lines, and a slight wine-and-Cheetos problem?

Mister Sandman, by Barbara Gowdy - One of the most audacious and talked-about novels of the season, "Mister Sandman" is set in Toronto in the mid-1950s and concerns the Canary family: their immoderate passions and eccentricities and their secret lives.

Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, by Jeremy Scahill - On September 16, 2007, machine gun fire erupted in Baghdad's Nisour Square leaving seventeen Iraqi civilians dead, among them women and children. The shooting spree, labeled Baghdad's Bloody Sunday, was neither the work of Iraqi insurgents nor U.S. soldiers. The shooters were private forces working for the secretive mercenary company, Blackwater Worldwide.
This is the explosive story of a company that rose a decade ago from Moyock, North Carolina, to become one of the most powerful players in the War on Terror. In his gripping bestseller, award-winning journalist Jeremy Scahill takes us from the bloodied streets of Iraq to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans to the chambers of power in Washington, to expose Blackwater as the frightening new face of the U.S. war machine.


  1. I really liked Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair. I've been reading Laurie's blog since she took her Paris trip (it's mentioned in the book). One of the things I really liked about the book is that it feels like reading her blog - it's the same voice - a sign of success for a blog turned book I think.

  2. So jealous! Especially of the librarian book...

  3. The Douglass book sounds right up my street. I have a very quirky librarian friend who will just love this. I must see if it's been published in the UK as yet.

  4. I started it last night, and so far I loooove it Sassy! Love love love! I laughed out loud several times and I'm just on chapter 4.

    LOL, thanks, Kaite! I'll keep you posted on the librarian book.

    I'll keep you posted, Ann. It does sound fun, eh?

  5. I'm seriously interesting in Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater. I'm afraid it will piss me off, but I really want to read it!! Can't wait to see your review!


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