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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The State of Now-Small Town

(Formerly The 140 Conference)
The Fox Theatre
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 11/15/2012
The Presenters of The State of Now-Small Town
A group shot from the stage
The media on the mezzanine

Friday, November 16, 2012

Merry Ex-Mas

Merry Ex-Mas
Sheila Roberts
© Lydia Lowe  11/13/2012

     I received an advance copy of this book in the mail and I'll have to say that after reading the dust jacket notes about what this book was about, I wasn't all that interested in reading it.  Women and their ex's during the holidays?   I read the book anyway, and I am so glad that I did.

     The book draws you into the town of Icicle Falls where we meet Cass Wilkes, owner of the Gingerbread Haus, who is an extraordinary baker.  There's Ella O'Brien, who owns Gilded Lily's which is a clothing store, and then there's Charlene (Charley) Albach, the owner of Zelda's, a fine dining establishment.  We also meet their ex's: Mason Wilkes, Jack O'Brien and Richard Albach.

     Set against the backdrop of Cass's daughter, Dani's upcoming wedding, and the beginning of the holiday season, all hearts converge on Icicle Falls.  I won't give away what happens, but the themes of understanding, reconciliation and betrayal all make an appearance.  But there is so much more.   You'll have to read the book to find out about the lives and loves of Icicle Falls.

     I enjoyed this book so very much.  I just wanted to move to Icicle Falls and hang out with the characters in the book.  The women in the book seemed like good friends that I was catching up with while I read the book.  This book was easy to read, moved along at a steady pace and kept my attention throughout.   Definitely a must read!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Anthony Gomes

Bishop Street Bar
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe 11/05/2012

Anthony Gomes . . .We hope this won't be Anthony Gomes final concert in Salina.  This show didn't have very good attendance due to a last minute venue change, the size of the venue and now the booker has moved out of town.  Hopefully someone will step forward to make sure Anthony Gomes continues to play to his vast audience in the Salina area.  Those who didn't make it out for the show due to the venue change and the size of the venue, you missed a fantastic show.  Does Anthony Gomes deliver any other kind?!

Monday, November 12, 2012

All The Time In The World

Monday Night Book Discussions
(written by E. L. Doctorow)
Salina Public Library
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe 11/13/2012

All The Time In The World . . . a book of short stories.  I am not a fan of the short story.  Short stories are like snapshots, fun to look at, but there's not much going on.  I like a little more meat to what I read.  I want well developed characters and situations to play out.  I want to invest myself in the writing as I read it.  Short stories just don't fill any of these needs.

The first several stories were fine.  Not bad, although I found them to be hard to believe and really hard to care about.  Then I came upon the story, "Liner Notes: The Songs of Billy Bathgate".  I didn't like Billy Bathgate when I was forced to read it in high school and I can't imagine why the author had to continue it with a short story.  I wished I'd skipped it.  I didn't, however.  All I thought about while I read that tripe was that I wish someone would just put a bullet in Billy Bathgate's head and get this over with.  Needless to say, I couldn't continue with the book after that story.  Life is to short to waste time on bad literature.  I didn't see the movie version, but looked it up on the Internet.  It sounds like it would have been really good.  Since Doctorow distanced himself from the film, it must have been outstanding.

I did glance toward the back of the book, just picking out a page or two here or there and happened upon a story that looked promising, "The Writer in the Family".  I read that and can honestly say that one was pretty good, not good enough for me to continue reading the book, but at least there was one redeeming story in the book.

If you have "all the time in the world" and absolutely nothing better to do with your time, and your thinking of taking a nap, this would be the perfect book for you.