The Whole Town’s Talking

the whole towns talking

The Whole Town’s Talking

Fannie Flagg
Random House, 2016

From the dust jacket: “The one and only Fannie Flagg, bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, is at her superb best in this fun-loving, moving novel about what it means to be truly alive.
“Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. Original, profound, The Whole Town’s Talking, a novel in the tradition of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Flagg’s own Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways.
… “With her trademark humor, wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town’s Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.”

Fannie Flagg is a favorite author here at The Library and we read everything she writes. Ms Flagg didn’t disappoint this time – everything the publisher said about her being humorous, imaginative and a fabulous storyteller is all true. This novel is unlike her others in that it takes a grand overview of Elmwood Springs from its founding in 1889 until its ultimate demise in 2021. If you’re a reader of hers, then you’ll be familiar with the characters – Elner Shimfissle, Tot Whooten, and Norma Jenkins. They’re all there and more from her other books as well. (My favorite is Elner Shimfissle. What a character!!) It’s nice to see what happens to them after their books end.

Ms Flagg has an altogether original, some may say strange, outlook on life after death. I spent my time trying to imagine it – I can’t tell you imagine what exactly – I don’t want to give it away – but I really couldn’t and the very last surprise, saved until the last pages – will either make you laugh or shake your head in disbelief. I did both.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because it was funny, sad, and mind-blowing all at once!!

Reviewer:

bobbiesue-loc

BobbieSue

 

Lola Gets a Cat

lola gets a cat

Lola Gets a Cat

Anna McQuinn
Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Charlesbridge, 2017

From the dust jacket: “Lola really wants a cat. But Mommy says pets are a lot of work. Lola is eager to find out more.
“She reads all about cats at the library. She takes extra good care of her stuffed cat toys. When Lola finally gets to adopt a cat of her own, she knows just what to do.”

Awwwww – this book is very Awwwww worthy! If you’re a human and your kitten, er, child wants a cat, this is a book to read. It shows exactly how it should happen. Read, practice, adopt!!!

Lola is so adorable with all her cat paraphernalia in her room (she reminds me of mom and her cat stuff!). We ABSOLUTELY LOVE that Lola’s mom takes her to the LIBRARY to find out more information. Books are way better than Googling it! Then she puts in to practice what she’s read – never were stuffed kitties so well fed! Then it’s time and off to the shelter they go – another thing we ABSOLUTELY LOVE! – to find the right kitty. Kitty is finally brought home and learns how much Lola loves her.

Thinking of adopting one of us regal creatures to grace your home? Read this ‘how-to’ book first! You won’t regret it.

Rating 5 out of 5 paws because there is nothing we don’t like about this story and has everything to love in it!!

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Simon

 

A Cat Named Swan

a cat named swan.jpg

A Cat Named Swan

Holly Hobbie
Random House, 2017

From the back of the book: “When this abandoned kitten is adopted, his whole world is transformed….”

Sweet little kitten wakes up to find his mother and siblings gone – and of course the reader’s heart is breaking. Poor kitten wanders the city streets eating garbage to survive. By now the reader is wondering “Is there an upside to this story?” Well, I’m here to tell you, there is! One day the kitten is stuck in a tree and eventually rescued by Animal Control and taken to a (hopefully no-kill) shelter. He is soon adopted, named Swan, and learns to love and accept love by humans.

This story is more real, I think, than fantasy. It’s very stark in its depiction of the dangers that street cats and kittens face. It’s very truthful when it comes to shelters. A quote for your consideration: “But now there was food. Soon, when nothing harmed him or frightened him, he became less afraid. The new place was safe. Boredom was better than misery.” Did you pick up on that left-handed compliment? ‘Boredom better than misery.’ I’m sure shelters are boring for formerly outdoor kitties. I was never in a shelter, having been placed in a foster home immediately from the streets. And, even though the author is telling the story from the kittens’ POV, that phrase just struck me as odd in a children’s picture book. Maybe I’m just being overly picky; it just bothers me. The rest of the story is, of course, the happily ever after fairy tale. Swan is loved by all and learns to love his humans.

Although it is a lovely story, I’m not sure I would read it to my kittens. The first part is too real for the very youngest. And as the type is small-medium, and there’s a lot of words, beginning readers might have difficulty with it on their own. All-in-all, a well-written book with lovely illustrations; it’s just not for me.

Rating 3 out of 3 paws for being too raw for my tastes in the beginning.

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Simon

 

One Blood Ruby

one blood ruby

One Blood Ruby

Melissa Marr
Harper, an imprint HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017

From the dust jacket: “Now that Lilywhite Abernathy is the heir to the Hidden Lands, everything is about to change. The Queen of Blood and Rage wants Lily to help broker peace with the human world, but Lily knows that harmony won’t come easily. After decades of waging war on the humans, who cost the queen her firstborn daughter, the fae are struggling to accept Lily, a half-human monarch. And the humans, while no match against faery affinities, will hardly agree to the queen’s détente without resistance.
“Lily wants to be a fair ruler but fears having to abandon the life she’s known to do so. Now that she and Creed are more than just fellow Black Diamonds—operatives for the queen—her priorities have shifted. But her worries about assuming the throne are derailed when it becomes clear that someone—or some fae—is masterminding violent attacks to discourage peace.
“In this gripping follow-up to Melissa Marr’s Seven Black Diamonds, Lily and her friends are forced to reckon with the truth of their own parentage and to protect one of their own, no matter what—or who—comes between them.”

I was looking forward to reading the follow-up to Seven Black Diamonds and was (mostly) not disappointed. Melissa Marr is very skillful at crafting a believable world where humans and fae (faery) coexist. These two books aren’t on the same level as her Wicked Lovely series, which I hope to reread sometime this summer, but they are very well done. As a book for young adults there is some (mostly) non-graphic violence, allusions to sexual encounters and a curse word here and there – nothing that youth of today’s world would even think twice about.

At first I was a little lost since it had been several months since I read the first book but I caught up quickly and enjoyed the story. My only constructive criticism is the book ended too quickly. After the dramatic (and somewhat violent) climax, everybody said their last words and it was done. I have read so many books and watched lots TV shows/movies that ended with the surviving characters recovering in the hospital with all their well-wishers surrounding them that the book’s ending (which ends in a hospital room) was really rather cliché.

I feel the author should have taken another chapter to wind things down – not a long chapter, just more than a couple of pages. It’s always bothersome when an author wraps the story up too fast – you know how when humans get in their car too fast and either the belt of their coat or some other piece of clothing they’re wearing gets caught in the door and when they drive off it’s like a tail just-a-flappin’-in-the-wind. I don’t know if that’s a good metaphor or not but that’s what I feel like – like the author said, “I’m done!”, jumped in a car, raced off to start something else, and the I’m left there, just-a-flappin’-in-the-wind wondering what happened. The characters deserve more respect as do the readers.

Rating: 4 out of 5 paws because despite the severed ending, I still liked both books a lot.

peggysue-loc

PeggySue

 

Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite

mr fuzzbuster

Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite

Stacy McAnulty
Illustrated by Edward Hemingway
Two Lions, Amazon, 2017

From the dust jacket: “Mr. Fuzzbuster knows he’s Lily’s favorite. After all, the two of them have been together since she was in diapers and he fit in a teacup. They spent all their time together. But now four more animals also live in the house, and each think they’re Lily’s favorite. So it’s up to Mr. Fuzzbuster to show them once and for all whom she loves best….”

This book is so cute! I just love Mr. Fuzzbuster – not only is he all black, but he’s handsome and smart – just like me!! Of course he’s Lily’s favorite. I mean, who is a lizard, a dog, a bird and a fish compared to a sleek house panther!! Well, at least that’s what we think – but it turns out, Lily is quite fair in her love for her pets and she shows each of them how much they are loved. Wonderful illustrations – they’re simple yet very expressive. You can just see the pride in Fuzzbuster’s face – but also the disappointment, too. This is a sweet book we adding to our wish list.

Rating 5 out of 5 paws because we love it and we’re sure your kittens will love it, too!!

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Simon