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Three Miles of Bad Road

No matter that the coast is a mosquito-infested swampland and the region a well-worn corridor for house-destroying hurricanes, newly-created communities along this strip of eastern North Carolina attract wealthy retirees from the northern states. They come with their large sailboats, Lincoln Towncars, and an insatiable desire for golf. But when they emerge from their gated communities they rub elbows, so to speak, with the people who have lived here for generations; many accustomed to working 12 hours a day for minimum wage and no benefits.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

The Schooling of Claybird Catts by Janis Owens

Coming of age plots haven't gone out of style -- the term has. There's got to be a better phrase: Grow up or shut up. Reality excursions. Maturity madness.

Valerie MacEwan
Culture

godZ and Me

Me and godZ -- fraternal twins of different mothers -- we have tried to curtail the anger within and, despite all odds against us, we feel we have made a positive impact.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

The Week You Weren't Here by Charles Blackstone

Critics must be fair in their evaluation of a book and they must explain their disappointment or their joy. They should, from time to time, recommend that others give a book a try -- that their analysis is not the final word.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

Paranoia by Joseph Finder

Reviewers should never reveal that critical plot pivot early in most suspense thrillers when the reader should stop and think about the protagonist's course of action. The 'give away point' you could call it.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

Lunch at the Picadilly by Clyde Edgerton

Clyde Edgerton, a combination of Mark Twain and Will Rogers, is the quintessential southern storyteller.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

Stalking the Divine: Contemplating Faith with the Poor Clares by Kristin Ohlson

Imagine a small group of cloistered nuns, right in the middle of Cleveland, who pray for the City, all day, all night. This is their calling. In 2003. Gives you chills, doesn't it? The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, cloistered in a monastery, they're praying for you.

Valerie MacEwan
Books

The House of the Scorpion and More: Summer Reading List for Ages 8-15

Now, six years later, things are quite different: George W. is our president, Laura Bush is the First Lady, and the Texas Book Festival has morphed into one of the premier literary events in the country.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

The Organ Donor by Matthew Warner

Warner takes his research and formulates a riveting story, a horror thriller fit for the most ardent fan of the genre. It's about harvesting organs and executing political prisoners according to a waiting (and cash carrying) recipient's need.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

Perfect I'm Not: Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches, and Baseball by David Wells with Chris Kreski

If this book is brutally honest, if Wells is 'baseball's most beloved badass', I'm beginning to understand the demise of the sport and the lag in ticket sales.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

Elizabeth Must Die by Jeremy NeeDLE

Have you ever felt so wrong -- so out of place that your own emotions are painful and hostile? Felt like a freak in your own skin?"

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

It's a jack-in-the-box -- remember to back out of the way when you turn the literary handle.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

Important Things That Don't Matter by David Amsden

The plot is pure pop culture -- coming of age, learning about sex, going through puberty, and defining family in whatever functional/dysfunctional terms fit.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The characters are believable, the fictional premise intriguing, and it has two major components to insure sales -- the Knights Templar and the search for the Holy Grail.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

What About The Kids? Raising Your Children Before, During, and After Divorce by Judith S. Wallerstei

Dr. Spock and others publish child care books. Well, this is a divorce care book.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

The New Southern Gentleman by Jim Booth

[It] takes the cultural confusion, the anachronism that is the New South and with tongue firmly in cheek, describes the region's dwindling pseudo-aristocratic heritage.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

The Long Silence of Mario Salviati by Etienne van Heerden

Carefully and meticulously, van Heerden chronicles the notion of apartheid and its effect the inhabitants of Yearsonend.

Valerie MacEwan
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Narrative Journeys

I see it as the globalization of the Southern experience.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

The Spirit of Family by Al and Tipper Gore

Many of the photos are reminiscent of the Work Projects Administration (WPA) Federal Arts Project from 1936-1942.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

Quiver by Stephanie Spinner

Stephanie Spinner's 'Quiver' is not just a good book for young readers, it's a stepping stone to Greek mythology.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews

Dr. Tatiana's eEx Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson

I'm appalled by the behavior of the young iguanas of today: I keep encountering groups of youths masturbating at me.

Valerie MacEwan
Reviews
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