Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Review #385

That title is silly, but I just picked a number randomly to distinguish it from previous book reviews.  Last night I finished The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove.  I read this book because it was the second one of Susan Gregg Gilmore.  I had read her first one, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, which is about the town I live in, Ringgold, Georgia (well, I have a note below on that one).  I liked the first one; also, I met Susan a couple of weeks ago and liked her, too.  She is now living in Chattanooga, again.  Finally, I wanted to support another writer, especially one who comes to my college or with whom I appear on a panel.

I liked the book very much; I read it in a day or so, really, which is a good sign.  She creates a believable world and believable characters.  This is not light stuff (which I am not a fan of); it's serious writing.  I have to say it didn't go in the direction I expected it to, but why read a book that doesn't surprise you?  "My" direction may have been inappropriate, anyway, to the characters.  I recommend the book, which is available of course on Amazon, etc. 

However, she prefers people buy it from independent booksellers, which I understand.  Amazon drives a hard bargain, as we have seen in the recent negotiations with the state of Tennessee.  I have to fall on the side of the state; I am not sure why online retailers should get a pass on state taxes, but on the other hand Tennessee's sales taxes are too high and I almost never go across the border to buy anything for that reason.

Susan's book also inspired me to get busy with my own next five or six novels.  I have more ideas and characters busting out of my head than I know what to do with.

As a side note, in Catoosa County there are only two post offices.  One is Ft. Oglethorpe, and the other is Ringgold.  If you do not live in the Ft. O city limits, you live in Ringgold, even if you don't live in the city limits of Ringgold.  So locals will often say, "do you live in Rango or in the county?"  This explains why most of the people who live in Ringgold were in no way affected by the tornado, although the little town itself looks like a bomb site.  We drove my son through it for the first time yesterday; actually it was the first time for my husband, too.  The high school is in much worse shape than we thought, which was hard for my son, I think.

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