shynds's blog

The Professional by W. C. Heinz - Book Review

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The Professional Cover Image
Call or email to see if a used copy is available.
ISBN: 9780306810589
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Da Capo Press - September 3rd, 2001

"The only good novel I've read about a fighter, and an excellent novel in its own right." Ernest Hemingway said that about local legend Heinz's excellent boxing novel. Highly recommended! ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

Hope Is the Thing With Feathers

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Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds Cover Image
ISBN: 9781585427222
Availability: Special Order
Published: TarcherPerigee - May 14th, 2009

A beautifully written elegy to recently vanished bird species. Cokinos not only describes why these birds became extinct, but gets the reader as close as possible to the last individual representative of each species. Heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful, this book is a gem of nature writing. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

Sports Guy

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Sports Guy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780306810053
Availability: Special Order
Published: Da Capo Press - December 28th, 2000

Pierce possesses a humanity that shines through when he writes about the people that play the sports. Whether he's taking the luster off the myth of Tiger Woods or lionizing the guy who holds pole vaulting clinics in his barn, his writing rings true and heartfelt. You should not miss the Sports Guy. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

Lamentations of the Father

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Lamentations of the Father: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312428358
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Picador USA - May 26th, 2009

This little essay by the peerless Frazier is very, very, VERY funny. His imitation of the Old Testament vernacular is dead-on. Even before I'd begat a son, I thought this was the funniest thing I had ever read. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

A Lesson Before Dying

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A Lesson Before Dying: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375702709
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - September 28th, 1997

Set in the cajun Deep South of the 1940's, Gaines's National Book Critics Circle award-winning novel is a poignant yet unsentimental treatment of dignity in the face of grave injustice. A slow-witted young black man is wrongly convicted of murder and the local black schoolteacher is convinced to spend time with him in the days leading up to his execution. His task is to "teach" him to meet his fate as a free-thinking man and not the animal he was portrayed as in the trial. What starts out as a futile and begrudgingly met obligation slowly transforms into an unusual bond between the two men. A lesson is indeed taught and learned. The reader, too, takes away a difficult and extraordinary lesson about humanity from this classic piece of American literature. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

Where Rivers Change Direction

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Where Rivers Change Direction Cover Image
ISBN: 9781573228251
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - August 1st, 2000

Whether you like nature essays, writing about the West, or literary memoirs, this collection of essays may well knock you out, which is precisely what it did to me.

Spragg grew up on the oldest dude ranch in Wyoming and to say that he writes eloquently about his coming of age is as vast an understatement as the Shoshone wilderness in which he learned to cowboy. There are essays about the ovenight elk hunt on which the young Spragg had to bind his mentor's grisly knife wound miles from civilizaiton, buying his first horse with his father, riding a sick horse nearly to death (and his resulting shame), and tracking a shot bear through the woods at night only to wonder who was tracking whom as the hours wore on. The last two essays, by a much older Spragg, are stunners. In one, he teaches the 8 year old son of a friend to shoot a rifle, which leads to a beautiful piece of writing entwining his musings about the origins of gun violence and his love for this little boy (whom he calls "The Viking".) The last piece, almost unbearably sad, is about his mother who is dying of emphysema, and how he and his brother care for her. Mark Spragg is a hugely talented writer whom I believe should be famous someday. If and when, his novel comes out, get out of my way. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


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