| By Gale Staff |
April showers bring May flowers; that said, we’ve got a bountiful selection of books to delight your readers! Boozy adventures in assisted living. The debauchery and dedication of baseball’s spring training. Flea market finds that bring more than bargains. And an inspiring memoir of an Appalachian upbringing with strong-willed women. Take a look and get ready for more … beach reading is just around the corner!
The Big Finish, by Brooke Fossey
Life at Centennial Assisted Living is pretty darn good. At a minimum, Duffy knows it sure beats the town’s nursing home. Now, after 88 years of making questionable choices, he’s happy for his roommate Carl who keeps him on the straight and narrow. Enter Josie, Carl’s granddaughter, who climbs through their window with all kinds of boozy baggage. Soon Duffy is soon “all in” – hitchhiking, barhopping, and more – living large and loving big.
“Fossey manages to depict the struggles of the elderly, whose concerns aren’t often examined in fiction, in a way that’s both respectful and entertaining.”
“A funny, witty caper filled with charm and unexpected friendship.”
– Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
The Cactus League, by Emily Nemens
There are few things more hopeful than baseball’s spring training, when the never-ending season is still young. The Cactus League, from Emily Nemens, editor of The Paris Review,explores the lives and relationships of assorted players, coaches, announcers, writers, and diamond-loving women gathered in the Arizona desert for the sport’s annual pilgrimage. An explosive, character-driven odyssey of the world of baseball.
“[She] provides her readers with what amounts to a miniature, self-enclosed world that is funny and poignant and lovingly observed.”
– The New York Times
“Like the best sports writing, this bighearted, finely observed novel is about far more than the game.”
Heart of Junk, by
Lindy Bobo, toddler pageant princess, is missing and every dealer at The Heart of America Antique Mall – peddlers of postcards perfume bottles, and an abundance of kitsch – is suspect. As Wichita is gripped in panic, the eminent arrival of the hosts of famed antiques show Pickin’ Fortunes are headed to town, causing additional distress. A successful show could pull the mall from the brink of bankruptcy, but Lindy’s unsolved disappearance is casting a long shadow.
“[A] rambunctious, oddly touching debut …This one’s a quirky treat for fans of flyover state humor.”
– Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Hilarious and poignant, inviting belly laughs and thoughtful, genuinely moving introspection on how what we collect comes to define us.”
– Booklist (starred review)
Hill Women, by
Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains in one of the poorest counties in the country, Cassie was raised by some formidable females. Her granny was a child bride; her mother the first in the family to graduate high school, then college. Along with Aunt Ruth, the hardest-working tobacco farmer in the county, their strength inspired Cassie to earn two Ivy League degrees. And while her studies gave her endless opportunities, she followed her heart and returned home to provide free legal services to rural Kentucky women.
“Destined to be compared to Hillbilly Elegy and Educated.”
– BookPage (starred review)
“[A] passionate memoir, one that honors Appalachia’s residents, especially its women.”
– Publishers Weekly