Book Picks

I’m not a book reviewer. I do admire those who write them in that they have no trouble in dissecting and squeezing the essence of the book into more than a short blurb. I basically open up with words in two instances–when I’m writing my own stories or novels or when I’m talking with my husband. Some of those discussions we have often involve books as we both in a lot of instances are drawn to the same books.

But, today, I will comment on two books or three books. I finished two today and am listening to a third on audio.

I recently got to hear Crystal Wilkinson read from The Birds of Opulence. Her book won The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. And, it is rightly deserved.

My review on Amazon was as follows:  I was fortunate enough to hear a reading from the book by the author. I was captivated by the rich language and Appalachian culture. The writing was inspirational and a learning experience. The stories of the women from two families were raw and truthful, delivered by the author’s excellent prose.

I love the cover.

The Amazon link is as follows:

I love that I have a signed hardcover edition.

When I say it was a learning experience, it gave me insight into the Afro-American culture. I have been immersing myself into this culture quite a bit lately doing my own research into the writing of Sally, what will hopefully be my next novel. I recently read Mudbound, another excellent book. It was recommended to me on my visit to the National Underground Railway Freedom Center in Cincinnati.

Also, today, I finished the audio version of The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens. This book was totally different than the above two in that it was a murder mystery. This would not have been a book I picked up. It was this month’s reading club selection, and I’m going to rate it as one of the best ones. Even though we purchased the paperback edition from the library where our book club meets I managed to check out the audio version on Overdrive. I have to admit the voice either makes or breaks it for me as to whether I will listen to the audio version, and this male voice made it for me.

A couple of months ago my husband and I attended a lecture by Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk. I’m happy to have an autographed version of her book. Yet, I have also checked her book out on Overdrive, the audio version. Her lecture was so good that I hoped the audio version would be read by the author, and it is.

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