The Last Azawufe by Rachel Helms
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
While out for a walk with Thorn, her horse, Leona comes across a strange liquid. When Leona is transported to the world of Polyenses after touching the mysterious liquid she finds life to be very different. Women are wearing tunics, men carry swords, and everyone seems to be a bit more proper. There’s one thing that’s incredibly different about Leona though – she has the ability to communicate telepathically with Thorn, and every other animal for that matter. She soon learns that only an Azawufe has the ability to do that. But what is an Azawufe and how did she become one?
I gave this Young Adult Fantasy novel 4 Stars because – I Really Liked It!! This first time author has spun an exciting tale with an unexpected twist at the end of the novel. I finished the book feeling satisfied as the story reached its resolution, but its ending also left the door opened for an equally satisfying sequel.
A heavy wind went careening across the Oklahoma plains. The wind carried the rain of the heavens, sweetly enticing in its freshness. It swept across the crops of corn and wheat until it came to a large farm. The howling current of air slowed down in the presence of trees, but only somewhat, and then came to rest on a young girl who was brushing her filly.
I have always liked reading books written by Oklahomans, and I am especially intrigued by stories about Oklahomans. This book offered me both. That, and my love for reading fantasy made this novel a book I had to read. And I’m glad I did too, because this book is exceptionally well written and hugely entertaining.
I am acquainted with this author, if only casually. My wife and I have bought fresh vegetables from her many times at the local farmers market. This connection to the author made the reading a little more fun for me as it gave me a measure of insight into the protagonist. I chortled to myself when Leona said, “we had a huge garden. It was filled with everything: watermelon, tomatoes, cantaloupe, cucumbers, corn, carrots, squash, peppers, and even more.”
I look forward to Rachel’s sequel.
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Nunsensations: The Nunsense Vegas Revue by Dan Goggin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Nuns are back!!! Performing at the Guymon Community Theatre on March 1st, 2nd, 8th & 9th at 7:30, then Sunday the 3rd & 10th at 2pm. Yes, the little sisters of Hoboken are back, and they’re better than ever too.
When a parishioner volunteers to donate $10,000 to the Mt. Saint Helen’s School if the Nuns will perform in Las Vegas, Mother Superior is hesitant to accept. However, after being convinced by the other sisters that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” Reverend Mother agrees. What follows is more nonsense, shtick, and feather-boas than any Nunsense show yet! Performing in “The Pump Room” at the Mystique Motor Lodge, the sisters experience “show-biz” like never before. You’ll meet Sin-City Sue, find out who’s Black and White with Her Money on Red, and try to win a new car with the “Holy Rollers” giant Wheel of Fortune. You’re sure to hit a jackpot with these crackpots.
I gave this show 5 Stars because – It Was Amazing! And pretty funny too.
The format of the show is familiar to anyone who has seen one or more of the five Nunsense shows before this one. The gags may be freshly written, but the act itself really hasn’t changed that much over these six shows. As usual, each nun has done an impressive job of portraying her character’s established quirky identity to a tee, and of course the entire cast remains quintessentially nunsense-ical. The jokes are all new, so you’re sure to enjoy the sisters’ antics regardless of the level of fandom you bring to the theater.
There’s no need to go all the way to Vegas to see a good vaudeville show with a little T & A. These little sisters of Hoboken have brought plenty of Talent and Attitude right here to Guymon, USA.
Death in a Tenured Position by Amanda Cross
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Who done it?
If you can manage to read past about chapter eight of this leisurely paced Kate Fansler crime novel, you will probably be able to guess the answer to the aforementioned question. About chapter eight is where the story picks up the pace too, for about a chapter and a half. The book has an unlucky 13 Chapters, not by accident I suspect, since there is also a prologue and an epilogue that are not numbered.
Did I like this book?
I can answer that question with about as much suspense as Death in a Tenured Position. “No.”
I read this novel as part of the Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma! reading group series Private Investigations: Hard-Boiled and Soft-Hearted Heroes. While I did not like the book (did I mention that?), I was fascinated to learn that the author’s own life experiences eerily mirrored those of the books victim, Janet Mandelbaum. I was floored when I found out that Carolyn Gold Heilbrun (pen name Amanda Cross) met her death in 2003 in the very same manner as that victim.
I did not like the book, cannot recommend it, but I am glad that I had read it as part of a learning experience.
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I noticed this marquee at a local office supply store advertising Kirby Vacuum Items, but apparently, they must not sell spelling dictionaries there.
But seeing the vacuum advertisement, misspelling and all, brought back some fond memories and some not-so-fond memories from back-in-the-day when I was a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. Oh, the stories I could tell you, the stories I can’t tell you, the stories I won’t tell you. The doors slammed in my face, the doors that were opened, and the doors I was thrown out of.
This reminded me of just how far I’ve come, how much I’ve accomplished, and from such a humble beginning too. My claim to fame, my greatest achievement; I used to be a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman, but not Kirby.
I’m an Electrolux man.
A truck driver couldn’t quite get stopped soon enough and took out the crossing-gate at my workplace the other day. Until a new crossing-arm is installed, the security guard decided to find a better way to stop the traffic. So, duh, he installed a better “STOP” sign.
With immense ingenuity and masterful use of duct-tape, this security guard delivered the driver his own version of the “Here’s Your Sign Award.” Who needs Bill Engvall?
Obviously the old sign was just too hard to understand.
The Oklahoma Panhandle by Sara Jane Richter
A complete pictorial history of the Oklahoma Panhandle, full of fun facts and “I didn’t know that” moments. Dr. Richter aptly states in one of the book’s many photo captions, “entertainment was, and sometimes still is, rather difficult to find. Obviously, Panhandlers can create their own fun.” So in the true Panhandle spirit, Sara Jane Richter has put together an informative and entertaining pictorial history of the “handle” of Oklahoma.
The Panhandle is Oklahoma’s best-kept secret and possesses a unique landscape, the highest point in Oklahoma. It bears a fascinating history and tenacious residents, from Folsom Man to contemporary cowboys. The Panhandle even once tried to become its own US territory. With photographs of the “Land That Time Forgot,” readers will discover tales of outlaws, college students, settlers, ranchers, native peoples, dust storms, immigrants, ghost towns, cattle, dinosaurs, lawmen, soldiers, and traders. The Panhandle has never been a mecca for settlement, but through the years, many heading for better days and other destinations have traveled across it. Mother Nature makes Panhandle residents work for their survival even today. She isn’t too free with her moisture but does like to hear the wind blow and see snow on the ground. “Panhandlers” pride themselves on their independence, resiliency, and friendliness. Once folks move in and get comfortable, they won’t be leaving soon.
Sara Jane Richter, PhD, has lived in the Oklahoma Panhandle and taught at Oklahoma Panhandle State University since 1985.
The Longest Suicide by Scott Puryear is a not so average book about pigs, packinghouses, cowboys and Hemingway. It’s part prosaic, part poetry, and all insanity.
“When one is almost insane and one is going to kill oneself within a few days – in between flashes of brilliance and genius and philosophy, there are also issues of what could have been and what should have been.” ~Scott Puryear
Once you have followed the degradation of D. DeWayne Meyer to his bitter end, you’ll have a pretty good idea what it must be like to lose your mind, and your life.
“I’ve never said many quotable things. Probably because I’m too average.” ~D. DeWayne Meyer