Posts Tagged ‘Cowboys’

Best ‘New to Us’ Books in 2014: Melissa O’s Picks

December 26, 2014

I read a wide variety of books of all different genres. Ask me for a suggestion and I most likely have read something that would appeal to you. Here are five books I stumbled upon this year. Some have been out there a long time, others are more recent arrivals, but they are all worth checking out and passing along for more to enjoy!

The Devil's BonesThe Devil’s Bones by Jefferson Bass
Bill Brockton is a forensic anthropologist who founded the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee. There he and his team study of the science of decomposition. He also finds himself drawn into the danger and drama of the murders they are trying to solve. It starts out simply enough, a woman’s charred body in a burned out car. How did she die? Then he receives a package of strange cremated remains. Suddenly he is fighting for his life and trying to solve a crime so hideous you won’t want to believe it. Another reason to love this book is that the author, Jefferson Bass, is actually a pseudonym for Bill Bass, the real-life famous forensic anthropologist and founder of the Body Farm, and cowriter Jon Jefferson. How cool is that!

Pioneer WomanPioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels – a love story by Ree Drummond
I had never read her blog, watched her cooking show, or picked up one of her cookbooks when I stumbled on this autobiography by Ree Drummond. As someone who spent some time feeling lost and unsure about the future, I could relate to her feelings as she struggled with where her next steps should take her. She never thought that future would mean staying in rural Oklahoma. And she certainly didn’t think it would involve a cowboy! I became lost in the words, flowery and syrupy as they sometimes are, as she “accidently” found herself on a cattle ranch and having adventures she never could have pictured in her future. A great read about taking a chance on love and setting out on the path less traveled.

Dangerous PassageDangerous Passage by Lisa Harris
This is a new inspirational series introducing widowed police detective Avery North and medical examiner Jackson Bryant. Harris nicely intertwines a love story into a thrilling murder mystery. Young Asian women are being murdered and the only link between them seems to be a small tattoo of a magnolia blossom. The investigation seems to simply uncover more mysteries and cover ups. Can they solve the case before more women go missing, and will Avery be ready to open her heart to love again?


Stand Up That MountainStand Up That Mountain by Jay Erskine Leutze
If you love the outdoors, this book is for you. If you love gut wrenching legal battles, this book is for you. If you love to root for the little guy, well you get the picture. Jay has escaped his life as an attorney and retreated to the North Carolina Mountains. Living quietly as a naturalist and fisherman, he loves the Appalachian Trail. He learns from a family of “mountain people” that a mining company plans to dynamite Belview Mountain, which sits right beside the Trail. They have evidence of their less than ethical behavior and the fight is on. As an avid mountain hiker and lover of nature, this book captured me, especially since it is in our own backyard! It is hard to believe that we almost lost one of the great treasures of our state. Jay Erskine Leutze recounts his story of the ground breaking legal fight to save this tiny Appalachian community in a book that is as engaging as any fiction tale.

SubmergedSubmerged by Dani Pettrey
The old saying “you can never go home again” seemed to hold true for Bailey Craig. Yet home is exactly where she found herself, for better or worse. She left Yancey, Alaska in disgrace, now can she find forgiveness? Bailey returned to bury her beloved aunt her died in a plane crash. Was it an accident or was it murder? Cole McKenna has put his past with Bailey behind him, until she shows up in town again. Soon she is fighting for her own life. Can Cole accept that Bailey has changed and help her solve the murder before she becomes another victim? Dani Pettrey is a new author and anyone who loves Dee Henderson’s novels should check her out. This new inspirational suspense series is fantastic and I can’t wait to continue the journey with her characters.

Panhandle by Brett Cogburn

February 28, 2013

I love a good Western, but they are not always easy to find.  Many of them tend to be rather formulaic and the ending of the story is apparent from a long way out.  Every once in a while I find one that breaks from that mold and when I do I savor it like fine wine (or a shot of rotgut).  Brett Cogburn’s  Panhandle is one of the best Westerns I’ve read recently.  On one level it’s a great story in its own right, but I also found it to be a social commentary on how people deal with cultural changes.

Panhandle is about three young cowboys who have been living the free and easy life for which cowboys are known.  No house, few possessions, and very little money doesn’t sound like such a good deal to most people.   But to a real cowboy, the opportunity to be outside on a good horse in open country is worth every penny they don’t earn.  Our three cowboys start the story by stealing horses from a band of Indians on a reservation, not the most noble of endeavors, but one that’s not viewed as a terrible crime during the period.  This was the best idea they had to make a little money during the off season, so they went for it. Remember, many cowboys weren’t hired year round and mainly worked the roundups and ensuing cattle drives. 

The trio proceeds to live the lifestyle that cowboys are so famous for living, engaging in several adventures.  Unfortunately for them, the age of the wild cowboy is quickly coming to an end and they are going to be forced to deal with the changes.  Who knew barbed wire and sheep could change things so quickly? 

Of course, any Western worth its salt will have a romance in the story.  Enter the most beautiful girl in the region, who quickly becomes a problem between Billy and Tennessee as they both pursue her.  I can’t reveal how this will end, but rest assured it makes great reading!!  If you like Westerns, but are a little tired of the same old, same old, give Panhandle a try, I hope you’ll like it.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.

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