Connect with us


Good Reads for December

stanleys bbq tyler tx eguide magazine

By Gini Rainey

What the Dead Know – by Laura Lippman

Written by Lippman, a newspaper reporter with over 20 years of experience under her belt, What the Dead Know tells the story of the disappearance of the Bethany sisters who disappeared from a Baltimore during the Easter weekend in 1975.  deadWhile it took me a good while to get immersed in this book, the character development and background feed about the 30 year old cold case kept me reading.

This book’s premise, logic and mystery are well developed, with the conclusion explaining some of the earlier discrepancies that seemed to pop out of nowhere.  And, while the book abounds with many mysteries, as the reader progresses through the story, possible explanations abound, and perhaps even the actual conclusion will start pressing into the forefront.

While this is a very good novel that I would recommend to anyone interested in mysteries, particularly those that involve missing children and family dynamics, there are some aspects that made me question the context of those very aspects.

Without revealing too much about this book, after all – it is a mystery!, there are some things that just leave you scratching your head!  For instance, the far-fetched explanation of the police officer’s income and his over-whelming attachment to the mother, or, while there is an explanation of why the mother ends up in Mexico, the reason she remains is a mystery.

However, none of the discrepancies will hinder the enjoyment of a well written novel, nor the interesting combination of personalities and locations that combine to make this a good read during the winter months.

4 of 5

Copyright 2009 – William Morrow Paperbacks


The Lives We Bury – by Allen Eskens

When cousins get together, especially mine, we talk about a lot of things that we are doing.  At a recent get-together, one cousin posed the question “What three books have you read recently?”  Believe it or not, the titles just started flying – so fast, in fact, that we had trouble keeping up with the flow so we could write them all down.  The Lives We Bury was one of those lifetitles and by the way one cousin was talking, I knew this would be one book I would read very soon.

Allen Eskens, an award-winning and USA Today-best-selling author and criminal-defense attorney from Minnesota, gives us quite a story about Joe Talbert, a college student who has been given a seemingly simple writing assignment for an English class: Go interview and write a brief biography of a stranger.  What follows is hardly a simple story.  As Joe begins to dig deeper into the life story of Carl Iverson, a Viet Nam War veteran who is dying of pancreatic cancer, Joe learns that he is also a convicted rapist and murderer who has been medically paroled to a nursing home to spend his last days.

This is such a well written book with well-developed characters and such a descriptive sense of writing that the reader will feel a part of every scene.  This is a well-balanced story with a main character that chose repeatedly to care for others while sacrificing his own needs.

This is definitely a book that draws the reader in and keeps him hooked all the way through.  Don’t even think about doing anything else, if you can help it.  Erskine will grab you at the beginning and won’t turn you loose until the very end.

5 of 5

Copyright 2014 – Seventh Street Books

ben wheeler


UT Tyler Seeking Participants for 3rd Year of ‘Born to Read’ Program


Program promotes early language and literacy in young children

The University of Texas at Tyler announced today that it is seeking participants for the third year of the “Born to Read” literacy program, which promotes early childhood literacy in East Texas.

“The purpose of this program is to encourage children’s early language and literacy skills, while also helping parents understand their critical role as their child’s first and most valuable teacher,” said Dr. Kouider Mokhtari, UT Tyler Anderson-Vukelja-Wright Endowed Professor of Literacy Education.

“We provide parents with training and an initial tool kit of books and resources that   help and encourage them to raise children as readers,” said Dr. M. Sathyamoorthy, UT Tyler professor of mechanical engineering, who has coordinated support for the program from the Tyler Sunrise Rotary Club.

The Born to Read program is designed for expectant mothers, parents and legal guardians of children up to 3 years old. The program is free to the first 25 participants who register by Monday, Sept. 30. Participants will be involved in the program through June 30, 2020.

To register or for more information, contact Azalia Perez, or 903.566.7016.

Other program sponsors include Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and UT Tyler K-16 Literacy Center.

A member of the prestigious UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler focuses on student success and innovative research in the more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered. With more than 10,000 students, UT Tyler has facilities in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.


ben wheeler

Continue Reading


Book Lovers Events: Hot Summer Signings & More

ben wheeler

From book signings to Meet & Greet’s, Tyler  offers every Book Lover a lot of fun things to do. Check out these events:

For more events, check out ‘s entire

xpresso_printing tyler tx

Continue Reading


Reading the Kids Back to School

By Gini Rainey

“Mischief and Mayhem: Part I of the Faerlands Chronicles”

by S. D. Nicholson

I think you know me by now to know that magical kingdoms and fantasy are not the usual genre of reading that I reach for.  So, when I was approached by the author’s publicist to read and review this book, I wasn’t even aware it fell into this area.  With that being said, I must admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed and been intrigued by the characters and tiny world that Mr. Nicholson has created in his first book.  Without a doubt, the main character, the tiny fae Ophelia, is every bit a heroine as are her six-foot tall counterparts.

I have no doubt in my mind that while the faes and faers of Nicholson’s book are In a struggle to preserve and maintain peace in their homeland, it is also analogous to the struggles we humans face on a daily basis while trying to attain a peaceful coexistence with the other inhabitants of this big blue marble.

The not so terribly hidden messages in Nicholson’s book came through loud and clear to me:  that if we spend quiet time by ourselves, we will be able to find and explore fully what our capabilities are, and additionally, fight for what we hold near and dear.  This is an outstanding read.  Not only will it capture your imagination, but it will also have you start thinking about what undeveloped talents and truths you might not have discovered about yourself.

I read the teaser at the end of the book and am anxious to read Part 2 of the Faerlands Chronicles!

5 of 5 – Copyright 2019 – Köhler Books

“Big Little Lies”

by Liane Moriarty

This book from which the HBO series starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman was adapted, is a pretty slow starter.  Working backwards from an event, the first third of this book was busy building strong characters, exposing bullies (adult-sized and pint-sized), failed and new relationships, and various points of view about the culmination of events.  As usual, Ms. Moriarty isn’t afraid to cooly broach hot topics: blended families, sexual assault, violence against women and children, all carefully tempered with unexpected humor and human emotions.

Set in a rather cliquish, upper-end Australian beach community, the human interests begin to develop by retrospect following a murder at the exclusive private school.  Liane develops some pretty interesting characters using her very successful skills and creating some of the most flawed people this side of Sidney.

Definitely worth the read for anyone with school-aged children as it brings together three moms whose only commonality is their kindergarten-aged children. While pointing out each of the character’s flaws, Moriarty gently has a couple of fingers pointing at the helicopter-parenting skills of modern-day moms that perhaps are creating our current crop of young adults who are clueless.

Without a doubt, this is yet another in a long stream of controversial topics that Liane Moriarty isn’t afraid of writing about and the plot twist at the end will keep you reading till the final page.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2014 – Berkley

Continue Reading

Connect With Us!


More To Do!