Wednesday, June 4, 2014

3 (very) Mini-Reviews

I've read a number of books by local authors, and I just haven't gotten around to reviewing them.  Well, now I'm doing it.  But they are just quick ones.  Better short than not-at-all, yes?

1.  Dancing in my Nightgown, The Rhythms of Widowhood, by Betty Auchard.  Everybody knows how much I loved Betty's The Home for the Friendless.  Dancing was published in 2007 and chronicles Betty's life after her husband of nearly 50 years passed away.  At the time of the passing, Betty was only 69.  So, this book is much different from Home.  It's a series of reflections/essays on the life of widowhood.  And, I have to say, I liked it very much.  Betty can just flat-out write.  I've been married for nearly 43 years and am very fortunate (some might say REALLY lucky!) to still be married.  You don't have to be widowed in order to appreciate this book.  Here's what Jayne Meadows had to say about it:

"Dancing in my Nightgown is a truly enchanting, heartbreaking love story told with such honesty and humor that I ached for my beloved Steve Allen."

2.  Nick Taylor wrote several books as Nick Taylor.  He has also recently published his 1st book, The Set Up Man, under the pseudonym T.T. Monday.  As you might have guessed, it's about baseball - sort of. Johnny Adcock is a getting-up-there-in-years reliever who has seen better days.  But he's hanging on.  It's his non-baseball job that is thriving.  He moonlights as a private detective.  He mostly takes on cheating spouses and the like.  In this case, though, he gets tangled up in porn, murder, and Mexican drug cartels.  This is book 1 of the series.  I think we can expect to see more T.T. Monday/Johnny Adcock stories down the road.  Did I like this book?  I did.  Did I love it?  I didn't.  Will I read the next one?  Too early to tell.

3.  Ditch Kids, by Mike Degregorio.  We've already had Mike at VHOB a couple of times, including a launch party just a few weeks ago.  I feel like I've known Mike for years.  And I read Ditch Kids over 2 months ago.  But, just like with the 1st 2, I had not done my review yet.  Sorry, Mike.  Well, here it is.  Mike describes this book as semi-autobiographical.  It's about growing up off of Los Gatos-Almaden Road as a kid.  And, even though he gives a little background about his parents and how they came to be together and living in Los Gatos, the book mostly chronicles Mike's childhood in the '50's.  He gives us a lot of play-by-play of his experiences growing up.  I certainly don't know which parts are the semi- part of biographical, but it doesn't really matter.  It was entertaining to read about his exploits.  When he came to VHOB for his launch party, it was very cool to see a number of people who were the models for the kids he talked about in the book.  I enjoyed Ditch Kids and recommend it - especially to those who grew up, or currently live, in the Los Gatos area.

That's it, people.  I know these reviews are not in-depth, but I'm sure none of you will complain.  There are rumors circulating out there (wherever the heck "out there" is) that I tend to be a bit verbose.  Not this time (except for this paragraph)!

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