It is August in Texas and a month I truly hate. The 100 degree days seem endless as is the running of the air conditioner and the air outside isn’t fit for man or beast. At least football is starting though I believe preseason is entirely too long in the day of the year around athlete. With all the mandatory voluntary minicamps in the off season, it seems to me that the preseason could easily be shortened to two games and then the for real games would start. But, sort of like true income tax relief, as long as the owners make money off the deal, it won’t happen.
As some of you may have read elsewhere I am the new Book Review Editor for the new website “Mouthfull of Bullets.” I will also be doing a column there titled “Target Shooting” in which I talk about the business of reviewing, and make no mistake it is a business, and a few other things. I am really looking forward to the opportunity which came about because author BJ Bourg asked me to be a part of it after reading so much of my work over the years. You can see the submission page and not much more right now at www.mouthfullofbullets.com and the first issue will be up in early September.
This new venture does not mean I am giving up my column in Senior News. Far from it as I am very pleased with how things are going there. Just a reminder—Senior News is a print only venture and is available in Texas on some newsstands located in grocery stores as well as by mail for $12.00 a year. In case you missed it, below is a copy of my July column.
Challenger Park: A Novel
Alfred A. Knopf
Austin author Stephen Harrigan has followed up his novel “The Tales of the Alamo” with an engrossing tale of a shuttle flight and the astronauts and support staff that make it all work. Set several years ago, before the destruction of the space shuttle Columbia, the novel chronicles a mission more than a year in training and execution. Lucy Kincheloe has been picked to fly on that mission and though she yearns to fly in space, she is mortal and beset by earthbound problems. Her young children need her, especially her asthmatic son, her marriage is crumbling, and she is attracted to Walt Womack, head of the training team and symbolizing everything her astronaut husband is not. On top of all that there is the mission, a mission that has tremendous danger and will force her to confront everything she knows and believes as it tests her ability to survive. The result is a complex and very enjoyable read where an author attempts an epic type tale and succeeds tremendously.
Eyes of the Storm: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: The Photographic Story
By The Dallas Morning News
Taylor Trade Publication
Following a short section of small essays about the two hurricanes and their impact by writers and editors of the paper, are the colorful and intense photographs that tell the tale and make this book so good. The focus is primarily on the people involved and depicts survivors, either in solo shots such as the identified woman on page 20 sitting stoic in the Superdome, or the mass group of survivors photographed on page 47 as they wait for a National Guard truck to rescue them. That photograph is in stark contrast to the proceeding page featuring the photograph so many of us have seen of flooded school buses which were never used. There are photographs that serve to haunt as well. One depicts an empty wheelchair washed up on the sand on a beach off US Highway 90 (page 53) or the obliterated apartment complex with some rubble still burning in Long Beach, MS on page 55. Throughout the excellent book, which closes with a brief summary of the background of each photographer, are the many photos that showcase the best of the human spirit.
More next time and as always feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com or here on my blog.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2006