Books

Little Beasts, by Matthew McGevna 

Turnbull is a working-class town full of weary people who struggle to make ends meet. Evictions, alcoholism, and random violence are commonplace. In the heat of July 1983, when eight-year-olds James Illworth, Dallas Darwin, and Felix Cassidy leave their homes to play in the woods, they have to navigate between the potentially violent world of angry adults and even angrier teens. Little do they know that within a few short hours, one of them will lay dead, after a bit of playful bullying from older teens escalates to tragedy.

Loosely based on a real crime that took place on Long Island in 1979, Little Beasts is a panorama of a poor, mostly white neighborhood surrounded by the affluent communities of the East End. After the murder, the novel’s main characters must come to grips with the aftermath, face down the decisions they’ve made, and reestablish their faith in the possibility of a better world.

KJB, McGevna, Long Island, Murder, Novel, Literary


We Are All Crew, by Bill Landauer

Two fourteen-year-old runaways hell-bent on reaching California end up aboard the Tamzene, a mysterious riverboat that runs on alternative fuel. Piloted by the enigmatic Dr. Seabrook, the Tamzenetravels the waterways of a bizarre, fun-house image of the US. This is a satire that questions the sanity of our basic principles, as Gulliver’s Travels did for eighteenth-century England.

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The Love Book, by Nina Solomon

It all starts when four unsuspecting women on a singles’ bike trip through Normandy discover a mysterious red book about love. But did they discover it–or did the book bring them together? Magical words, spells, conjurations, and a little dose of synchronicity abound in The Love Book, an anti–rom com about the misadventures of four women who embark on a soul mate–seeking journey. Somehow The Love Book insinuates itself into their lives and has its way with them. But there is more than matchmaking afoot. The four women–Emily, Beatrice, Max, and Cathy–are each nudged, cajoled, inspired–perhaps “guided”–despite themselves, to discover love, fulfillment, and the true nature of what being a soul mate really means. While on the surface a lighthearted romp, the novel is a serious exploration of the difficulties women routinely encounter when their lives do not turn out the way society, their families, and they themselves may have planned.

NinaSolomon


Starve the Vulture: One Man’s Mythology, by Jason Carney

Jason Carney was four when his violent and abusive father moved out. He was five when he learned of faggots and niggers. Seven when his great grandparents’ love etched into his heart the vital tools he would need to survive. At age eight, he stole a poetry book from the school library, thinking he’d found his connection to God. In third grade, he moved three times, because of his mother’s second suicide attempt; was eight years old when he first visited her in the psych ward. Jason discovered drugs at age nine. At age eleven he hurt others the way his father hurt him. Fourteen when his mother moved him to California with his new stepfather. Sixteen when they moved back to Texas, because Jason did not fit in. Seventeen— he first attacked men in porn store sex-booths. Placed in a mental hospital at age eighteen, a gay man showed him how poetry could redefine his life. At twenty-four, he put a face on the dark shadows of his nightmare. At twenty-six he intervened in a gay bashing and saved a man’s life. Thirty-two when he appeared on an HBO television show performing his poetry. At thirty-seven, lost in grief and drugs, he held a dying man in his arms. Jason was thirty-nine when he finally looked back and realized the dying man had been his moment of grace.

StarveTheVulture


Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, by Barbara J. Taylor

takes place in Scranton , PA in the early part of the 20th century and is based on stories passed down by the author’s Welsh coal-mining family. The tragic and sudden death of 9-year-old Daisy on the day of her baptism shakes the Morgans — and the entire city — to the core. Not even their staunch Christian beliefs can help them. Eight year old Violet is blamed for the tragedy, while her mother Grace sinks deeper into depression, and Owen the father, a Welsh immigrant, returns to drink after years of sobriety.

This moving, sometimes hilarious , boldly uncompromising novel about the nature of loss, and the role of faith and religion in our lives, is the first of a trilogy about the Morgan family of Scranton, each book ending with a true-life event. Here, the renowned evangelist, former baseball star Billy Sunday announces he will stop in Scranton on his evangelical tour, and the town receives him by building an enormous tabernacle. But a freak March blizzard causes the whole congregation, 2,500 people, to be stranded with the preacher for three days. Everyone is saved (with varying degrees of success).
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Unmentionables, by Laurie Loewenstein

Our flagship publication takes place on the 1917 Chautauqua circuit, in rural Illinois, on the verge of US involvement in WWI. While the larger topics are race and women’s suffrage, the characters and their courageous stands against oppression and reactionary bigotry could not be more relevant today.

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Foamers, by Justin Kassab

This is the flagship novel in Kaylie Jones Books E-First line.

Terminally diagnosed with Huntington’s disease as a child, Kade coped by preparing for the Primal Age. Now in his twenties, a faulty vaccine has turned the population into bloodthirsty monsters called foamers. His group of survivors find themselves constantly caught between foamers and a warmongering paramilitary unit, forcing the group to redefine humanity in a world without law.

Foamers

One thought on “Books

  1. […] , and welcome Barbara J. Taylor to our writing dance party.  Barbara J. Taylor is the author of Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night.  I’ve had the joy of attending one of her readings and talking with her about her writing […]

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