Three Dashes Bitters
Fiction , Interviews , Philosophy , Utrinque Paratus / September 29, 2017

Three Dashes Bitters Jack Simmons   On L2L: September 29, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book When Tim Schmidt returns to New Orleans to attend his sister’s debutante ball, he finds that nothing has changed during his three-year hiatus in the orderly sanctuary of Boston. He is still in love with Jane, a hard-drinking iconoclast, too well bred to join the ranks of the Generation X slackers, yet unable to accept the standards of her high society upbringing. Happily, it seems Jane might still harbor feelings for him. But over drinks at The Columns Hotel, things get messy, and Tim’s grand return to the city of his birth soon unravels—the very sort of thing that inspired Tim to leave NOLA in the first place. With only twenty-four hours to figure out what to do (which has never been Tim’s forte), this former philosophy student finds unsolicited advice from members of a new leisure class. There is Milton, Tim’s college roommate turned Marxist revolutionary, a Falstaffian gent bent on overthrowing the government. Two young Arizona “brothers from another mother.” A disillusioned German exchange student who has abandoned the study of physics for the French Quarter social…

If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It Isn’t Big Enough
Interviews , Nonfiction , Travel , Utrinque Paratus / September 22, 2017

If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It Isn’t Big Enough: A Solo Journey Around the World Kristine K. Stevens   On L2L: September 22, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book In honor of her 40th birthday, Kristine K. Stevens sold her house, quit her job, and traveled solo around the world. Carrying a backpack and the naïve belief that the trip was nothing more than a six-month-long vacation, she hit the road. As her journey moved on and off the beaten tourist path, she braved a monsoon in Zanzibar, a safari in Kenya, trekking in Nepal, kayaking in Thailand, caves in Laos, red plaid fish and lava in Hawaii, and grizzly bears in Alaska. Told with wonder, humor, and suspense, with historical facts woven into the tale, If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It Isn’t Big Enough captures the twisted, unpredictable nature of global travel. About the Author Kristine K. Stevens lives in Savannah with her husband Gene. She spends most of her time asking questions about life, keeping her husband on his toes, racking up travel miles, romancing her honeybees, and writing her second book, a memoir based in Iceland.

Landlocked
Interviews , Nonfiction , Poetry , Utrinque Paratus / September 15, 2017

Landlocked: Etymology of Whale-Fish and Grace Danèlle Lejeune   On L2L: September 15, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book What is the power of poetry? Where does poetry fit in our everyday lives? It must be important, since the United States has a poet laureate (though how many people know who the current one is?). Like the poet laureate whose role is “to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry” (Library of Congress, n.d., ¶1), Danèlle Lejeune’s début collection of poetry offers readers modern and moving topics within different forms of poetry. Part memoir, it is divided into three sections: “Becoming a Skinwalker Is a Curse,” “Every Breaking Wave,” and “Dead Reckoning.” Part I is, in many ways, hopeful: idyllic but realistic. Part II allows readers to experience life’s vicissitudes and the bobbing on waves that often come as we grow and mature. Part III explores the concept of being lost—and, while lost, perhaps also finding ourselves through life’s journey. Many of the poems touch upon the author’s background as a farmer, though they are not rustically “sticky sweet.” Rather, nature is depicted as its own character,…

From “N-Word” to Mr. Mayor

From “N-Word” to Mr. Mayor: Experiencing the American Dream Otis S. Johnson   On L2L: September 8, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book The biographical book From “N-Word” to Mr. Mayor: Experiencing the American Dream is Dr. Otis S. Johnson’s firsthand account of his compelling journey experiencing the American Dream during Jim Crow to the 21st century. Dr. Johnson was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1942. It was his intent to use his life’s journey as an example of how people, especially of his generation, had to struggle with being called the “N word” all of their lives, no matter how much they achieved in society. While he decided to be politically correct with the title—a title that, like the author, is complex and multilayered—the contents in the book reflect his life as a black person living in the United States of America. The book documents his journey through the Jim Crow era, the civil rights movement, affirmative action, becoming mayor of Savannah, and experiencing the positives and negatives of being black during President Barack Obama’s terms in office. About the Author Many know Otis Samuel Johnson, Ph.D., as the sixty-fourth mayor of Savannah. After serving…

Show Me a Kindness
Fiction , Health , History , Interviews , Savannah , Utrinque Paratus / September 1, 2017

Show Me a Kindness Nancy Brandon   On L2L: September 1, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book Show Me a Kindness is set during the Great Depression. While the book’s protagonist, Marthanne Hendrix, is originally from Savannah, Marthanne discovers that she has moved to rural Vidalia, with no memory of how she got there. Inexplicably, she can’t remember certain days, she finds unrecognizable clothes hanging in her closet, and some of her neighbors seem to call her Oma. Marthanne quickly realizes that she is haunted by memories of another life—and another self. With gossip running rampant in Vidalia, Marthanne and Oma confront their greatest fear: commitment to an asylum in Milledgeville. Only one new friend knows their secret—a domestic worker named Comfort, who herself is dealing with the stigma of being African American in the Jim Crow South. About the Author Nancy Brandon was perhaps destined to be a writer. Although she was born in Atlanta, after only a few days, she and her parents moved south to Hawkinsville, where her mother edited and wrote columns for the Hawkinsville Dispatch and News. Nancy worked as a paper girl to support her fledgling writing career, and…

Apollonia
Fiction , Interviews , Savannah , Utrinque Paratus / August 25, 2017

Apollonia Christopher Leppek   On L2L August 25, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book Apollonia is an action-adventure mystery set during the U.S. Civil War. It tells the journey of protagonist Jonathan Chase, a man from today’s time—the 21st century—who inexplicably finds himself in 1864 and in the midst of one of America’s “darkest hours.” Jonathan’s time travel is the result of his obsession with an old photograph of a woman from Savannah, named Apollonia Foley. In pursuing Apollonia into the past, Jonathan gets entangled in a Civil War conspiracy that he doesn’t quite understand, and at times he is unsure what side he and Apollonia are fighting for. About the Author Since before he could grow a mustache, Christopher Leppek has made his living as a writer. He is a professional journalist, long associated with Denver’s Intermountain Jewish News as a reporter and editor. His freelance work has appeared in the The New York Times, the Rocky Mountain News, the Navy Times, The Pueblo Chieftain, and many other publications. He is the author of the mystery novel The Surrogate Assassin, a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, and the co-author, with Emanuel Isler, of the horror novels…