"Love Poems for Cannibals"
By Raymond Keen (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, $9.95)
Psychologist Keen writes in a biographical note that he was raised to believe in "human greatness and human virtue ...," but "I now realize that I may have been overly optimistic." In this volume of his poetry, many of the entries are impatient, critical and angry, as they deal with war and human frailties. His friend and poet Richard Fenwick writes, "These poems are the flowers that grow in a sidewalk's cracks ... love poems written for all us cannibals."
"Giant George: Life With the World's Biggest Dog"
By Dave Nasser with Lynne Barrett-Lee (Grand Central Life & Style, $13.99)
When Tucsonan Dave Nasser talked his wife, Christie, into moving from Southern California to his hometown, Tucson, the dealmaker was a dog. The dog, a Great Dane, turned out to be a Guinness record-holder for size: "tallest dog in the world ever." And a celebrity, appearing on the "Today" show and "The Oprah Show." This engaging account details the problems of living with such a huge animal, as well as the rewards of dog ownership.
By Bobby Wilson (Apache Publishing Co., $14.95)
In this absorbing autobiography, lawyer, private eye and Sahuarita resident Bobby Wilson recounts a story that gives meaning to the concept of "survivor." Starting out in California and winding up in Oklahoma, Wilson's earliest years were a confusion of moves with his single-parent mother, who, at the least, probably had bipolar disorder. When his mother and sister were discovered dead in a burned house, Wilson, who initially had no recollection of the fateful events, was accused of their murders and arson. He spent the next 10 years, supported by his loyal wife, clearing his name.
"Too Many Miracles"
By Ernest L. Schusky (Sunstone Press, $19.95)
The bishop in Hermosillo doesn't think miracles are very good publicity. For Father Hector, whose speciality is agronomy, sent to the tiny village of San Miguel to sort things out, they get in the way of good farming practices. For Pastor Johanson, a Minnesota sky diver turned evangelical, miracles equate to market-driven crop production. The feuding San Miguelites make things interesting. Retired anthropologist Schusky also has a good time getting it all down on paper.
"Young Lives in Gloucestershire UK"
By Kevin Waldorf (PublishAmerica, $19.95)
In these quiet stories, two teenage girls, both runners, manage to keep their friendship together despite a debilitating accident, and a young boy, whose life is turned upside down by the abrupt departure of his father, turns to crime and survives prison.
"The Three Talents of Timothy O'Dowd"
By Doug Huestis (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, $12)
Retired medical school professor Huestis begins this larky account of the adventures of a young Canadian schoolboy with a bet between God and the devil to the effect that a youngster given extraordinary talents will waste them. The time is 1939 in Montreal. Eventually the king and queen of England are involved as Huestis, originally a Canadian himself, details a schoolboy's experience dealing with some amazing gifts.
"Grandparenting a Child with Autism"
By Sylvia Miller Grubb with Stuart E. Grubb (Quill House Publishers, $14.95)
The subtitle for the Grubbs' book is "The Joy, Frustration, and Growth of Living With Autism." Grubb, whose bio states that she has retired from "careers in parish work," is a careful, dedicated grandparent, as is her husband. They accepted the challenge of their autistic grandson, Micah, who was diagnosed when he was 3 and is now in high school, and have undoubtedly been a factor in his successful maturing. Her useful chapters are organized around an incident, its resolution, a discussion of this and what can be done.
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"Murder at the Leopard, Book I, the Vesper Series"
By R.M. Vassari and Lucia Olivia Lampe (Vassari & Lampe LLC, $14.99 print; $4.99 Kindle)
In this well-researched picture of life in medieval Sicily, an enterprising schemer selects the new cantina, The Leopard, as the scene for two murders that are designed to improve his lifestyle considerably. Guilt quickly falls upon the Leopard's likable owner. His wife must prove him innocent. The season is Easter, and a subplot, a religious pilgrimage, brings together, after almost 40 years, four Crusader buddies who share a terrible secret.
Authors who live in Southern Arizona and would like their book included in this column should send a copy to: J.C. Martin, P.O. Box 65388, Tucson, AZ 85728-5388. Include the price and the name of someone who can provide additional information. After the titles appear in this column, they go to the Pima Community College West Campus Library. Most of the books are available locally at Mostly Books or Antigone's. Read past editions of Southern Arizona Authors at southernarizonaauthors.org