Sunday, September 29, 2013
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
In today's computerized world, that may sound like a boring book of little interest to anybody, but Thelen really makes it work.
He notes in his brief preface: "The book is a historical anecdotal accounting of life on a typical Michigan dairy farm during the 1960's... told from the perspective of a grade-school-aged boy growing up in a rural setting".
The first of almost 30 short recollections describes an unusual situation, where his mother is going after a pesky squirrel - with a .22 caliber rifle.
When the squirrel flees, his mother, a crack-shot, follows, taking Thelen's older sister and baby along for the ride - in the family car. She was seven months pregnant at the time!
Thelen describes numerous typical day-to-day experiences of life on a midwestern dairy farm; his recollections are always quite interesting.
He focuses on a wide variety of memorable situations, involving rabbits, cows and other assorted critters. Thelen delves into challenging realities of dairy farm life in the 1960's and the importance of family and friends.
The anecdotes get funnier as the entertaining book goes on. The author offers many fond anecdotes of different and sometimes unexpected ways that he had fun.
He also notes the importance of performing necessary tedious tasks, such as milking cows twice daily.
His daughter, Kelsey D. Thelen, a schoolteacher in Holland MI, did the small interior illustrations of pop-eyed characters in their farm settings. They are quite basic, but fit well with the overall retrospective.
This is an entertaining, fascinating look at an important era of agriculture and farming from a unique perspective, when life was considerably less complicated.
Thelen, forever a farmer at heart, still lives in Westphalia. He is a professor in Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. His email address is email@example.com.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
William Kent Krueger, Cara Black and Libby Fischer Hellman will be
discussing their latest books and signing autographs Friday at 7:00
pm at Schuler's Books, 1982 West Grand River Ave. (Meridian Mall),
Tamarack County” by William Kent Krueger (Atria, $24.99) is the 13th book in his popular, best-selling series staring Cork O'Connor.
|Photo courtesy of Facebook|
The Minnesota sheriff-turned-private investigator gets involved in a puzzling case: he's trying to figure out what happened to the elderly wife of a retired local judge.
Evelyn Carter's car has turned up abandoned on a rural road during a blizzard, but she's nowhere to be found. Her husband, suffering from Dementia, is of little help. The search and rescue team, assisted by O'Connor, has few clues.
Meanwhile, it's the holiday season; Anne, O'Connor's younger daughter, has returned home, planning on leaving the religious order she recently joined. Stephen, O'Connor's teen-aged son, has discovered love, but complications arise.
When a large, friendly dog is discovered decapitated nearby, O'Connor begins to wonder if there may be a pattern. Further investigation provides an unusual link – they may be related to a murder case involving O'Connor that took place over 20 years ago.
When it becomes apparent that there's a deviant sociopath on the loose, O'Connor realizes one of his family members may be the next target.
Krueger is in fine form in this superb, highly atmospheric tale, deftly capturing a wide range of emotions and conflicts between assorted characters.
He smoothly utilizes American Indian mysticism and traditional lore as he weaves together a complex, yet believable, plot full of surprises.
If you haven't read any of William Kent Krueger's excellent mysteries, you're in for a real treat!