Two senior citizens find love and danger in the driftless area around Soldiers Grove and Viroqua in Paul Zimmer’s novel The Mysteries of Soldiers Grove. This is a quick read with some humor, some serious points about growing old, and a happy ending. Told in alternate chapters by Cyril and Louise who both live at the assisted living center in Soldiers Grove. Cyril is alone in the world. He had a hard childhood with drunken parents and sought comfort in reading biographies in the encyclopedia.
Take it from me - you just can't read Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan without getting hungry...and laughing out loud. In this, his latest book, bestselling author and successful comedian Jim Gaffigan gives us an absolutely hysterical view of how important food is to him. Much of Gaffigan's success, in both writing and comedy, is due to his ability to make fun of food culture and his own obsession with eating. No wonder his shows sell out theatres around the world.
Wisconsin author Lesley Kagen, who wrote the popular books Whistling in the Dark and Good Graces, has 2 new books with Milwaukee area settings. The first is a novella, The Undertaking of Tess, and the second is a novel, The Resurrection of Tess Blessing. The Undertaking of Tess is set in Milwaukee in August 1959.
Jan Karon continues her Mitford series, set in a fictional small North Carolina mountain town, with Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. This is classic Christian fiction by Jan Karon—heartwarming, character-driven, and hopeful. Retired Episcopal priest Tim Kavanagh returns to Mitford with his wife Cynthia after journeys to his Mississippi hometown and a trip to Ireland. There is an upheaval at his old parish, and Father Tim is asked to fill in for the current priest who is leaving.
In the debut novel North of the Tension Line by J. F. Riordan, Fiona Campbell is a writer currently living in Ephraim and formerly from Milwaukee and Chicago. This novel is leisurely-paced, character-driven, and humorous, and most loose ends are tied up neatly at the end. Fiona’s friend Elisabeth runs a gallery and has a dog named Rocco.
Horrorstor (there's actually an umlaut over the last "o") is a parody and ghost story that looks like a catalog from Orsk, a fictional big-box Ikea store knock-off selling faux Scandinavian furnishings with faux Scandinavian names. Main character Amy is a young woman with failed dreams who works at Orsk along with her gung-ho supervisor Basil, mature co-worker Ruth Anne, attractive co-worker Trinity, and wannabe filmmaker Matt.
This Is Where I Leave You is now a movie playing in theaters, but before it was a movie, it was a book by Jonathan Tropper. In the book, main character Judd Foxman’s father Mort has just died and his marriage to Jen has fallen apart after Judd caught her having sex with his boss. Now Judd finds out that his father wanted the family to sit shiva, a Jewish custom in which the family receives condolences at home. He joins his family at the family home in a New York suburb.
Summer is winding down and beach season is almost over. In a feeble attempt to hold on to those last days of summer I grabbed On the Rocks by Erin Duffy off of the new fiction shelves. The cover picture displays what looks like a tranquil afternoon spent on the beach, but this book was anything but tranquil. On the Rocks is a well written and highly amusing look at one woman's attempt to put her life back together after a very public breakup - via Facebook.
In the mood for some lighthearted poetry loaded with canine silliness? Classic Poetry for Dogs: Why Do I Chase Thee by Jessica Swaim will have you howling with laughter. This hilarious little book is a spoof on well-known poems from the point of view of canine authors like Elizabeth Basset Browning, William Shakespaw, Rover Frost, Edgar Allen Pug, and others. Some poems are a little bit naughty, but I suppose even sophisticated dogs enjoy down-to-earth humor.
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg is another one of her trademark heartwarming and humorous stories. The story starts in 2005 with main character Sookie, a 60-year-old woman, living in Alabama with her dentist husband. Except for having to deal with her demanding and flamboyant mother Lenore, she expects to be living a quiet life now that her four children are grown. Then Sookie finds out that she was adopted, and her birth mother was a young woman from the Jurdabralinski family of Pulaski, Wisconsin.