|Polo in his reading chair|
The next step was figuring out what we could do for themes. I enjoy a range of material from quirky fiction to educational nonfiction, and Polo's game for whatever. How to cover this mix? Let's go alphabetically, by the authors' last names! We like to listen to books (Polo struggles with reading, at least when I'm around), so we only review things we can access via compact discs (audiobook CDs) or electronically (downloadable audiobooks on my phone).
We started listening, reviewing, and posting together on the library website with "A" authors, and the whole process was very satisfying now that we were doing it together. Our posts made it through "E" authors before a website update brought adjustments to the backstage side of the process. Also, my workload seemed to intensify, so we decided it was time to bow-wow out of the website thing. (See what we did there? A little dogga humor!)
And now, feigning fantastic fanfare, Polo and I feature frisky fiction (and whatever) by authors whose last names begin with the letter F.
The Tumbling Turner Sisters
By Juliette Fay
A great story from just past the turn of the century – the last century, that is – complete with cultural references and history made story. An average family is pushed to the brink financially when the father badly injures his hand, and mother and daughters realize it’s up to them to become breadwinners… by creating a Vaudeville act and hitting the road! Ups and downs, twists and turns, as the Tumbling Turner Sisters learn to balance each other, both literally and figuratively. Nothing comes easy for them, but these women have bonds and resilience that carry them forward.
Polo’s considerations: “It would have been helpful if they'd had the companionship of a good dog. I would have helped, but I do not travel.”
The Confusion of Languages
By Siobhan Fallon
How important is cultural awareness when you join your military spouse on assignment to the Middle East? Is attendance at security briefings optional, and can you draw caricatures of the officer presenting this material while he’s speaking? What if you are assigned to acclimate a newly arrived wife, but she resists your help? Told in alternating voices of the experienced, careful Cassie and the upstart, impulsive Margaret, this is an intriguing story of what-ifs and what-now.
Polo’s deliberations: “Again, they could have used a good dog to keep them safe. Margaret needed a herding breed to keep her in check.”
The Mitford Murders – A Mystery
By Jessica Fellowes
You may have heard of Julian Fellowes, creator of the award-winning Downton Abbey television series. His niece, Jessica Fellowes, has collaborated with him to write companion pieces for Downton Abbey, and she has crafted this wonderful period mystery set in the early 1900s. Strong characters, evocative scenery and characters, and a tricky tale of murder make this a winning audiobook.
Polo’s opinion: “The best stories have dogs in them. This is a very good story, complete with a dog and a couple of young human children.”