December 5, 2007
The Diana Chronicles, Tina Brown
Ten years after her death Princess Diana remains a mystery. Was she "the people's princess," who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy?
Only Tina Brown, former Editor-in-chief of Tatler, England's glossiest gossip magazine, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker could possibly give us the truth. Tina knew Diana personally and has far reaching insight into the Royals and the Queen herself.
In The Diana Chronicles, you will meet a formidable female cast and understand as never before the society that shaped them; Diana's mother, her scheming grand mother, the stepmother she hated but finally came to terms with, and bad girl Fergie her sister in law who concealed wounds of her own. Most formidable of them all was her mother-in-law, the Queen, whose admiration Diana sought until the day she died. Add Camilla Parker Bowels, the ultimate "other woman," into this combustible mix and its no wonder that Diana broke out of her Royal cage into celebrity culture, where she found her own power and used it to devastating effect.
And, Sandhills Boy, The Winding Trail of a Texas Writer, Elmer Kelton
"I was a freckle faced country boy, green as a gourd, a sheep ready to be sheared."
Elmer Kelton writes of his boyhood in the sand hills of West Texas. The sons of Buck Kelton, a respected third generation cowboy and ranch foreman, were expected to follow in Buck's footsteps, but Elmer strayed. Never much of a horseman, nor adept at the cowboy's trade, he went off to college and then into journalism and novel writing a good career choice as it turned out. After forty or so of Elmer's books had been published, his peers in the Western Writers of America voted Kelton the "Best Western Writer of all Time."
Sandhills Boy is a warm, romantic, funny, and nostalgic memoir. Elmer writes of his youth in the ranch and oil patch country just east of the Pecos River, of his stint as an infantryman in France, Germany, and Czechoslovakia in World War II, and of his chance meeting in October 1945, in the Austrian Alps with Anni, the young woman who was to become his wife.
Above all, Kelton vividly recalls his querencia, his homeland in Texas, parched sand hill country that was the perfect place for a Depression-Era boy to grow up. There, remote from the battle of the big city, Kelton was content with "small and transient pleasures like the smell of greasewood after a rain, the distant call of a calf for its mother, even the mournful wail of a coyote on a moonlit night."
Kelton's shy humor and memorable anecdotes make Sandhills Boy a classic in western autobiography.
And Soul Catcher, Michael White
Angustus Cain faces a past he wants to forget, a present without prospect or fortune, and an uncertain future marred by the loss of his most prized possession: the horse that has been his working companion for years. He is also a man haunted by terrible skill, the ability to track people who don't want to be found.
Rosetta is a run away slave fueled by the passion and determination only a mother can feel. She bears the scars, inside and out, of a life lived in servitude to a cruel and unforgiving master. Her flight is her one-shot to freedom, and she would rather die than return to the life she left behind.
The fates of these two remarkable people will intertwine into a remarkable adventure, a journey of hardship and adventure that will take them - Virginia to Boston and back again - just before the Civil War.
Poignant and compelling, a story to be savored and remembered.
See you at Rylander!