Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Buster Midnight’s Cafe by Sandra Dallas-  Effa Commander is an elderly lady who has lived in Butte Montana her entire life. Her gang of childhood friends included Mary Anna Kovaks who grew up to be a movie star and Buster McKnight who became a famous boxer. Buster’s career ended when he went to jail for killing a man who was abusive to Mary Anna. Effa Commander is the only person left who knows the real story-  no matter what you may have read before-  so she is writing to set the record straight. The story covers their whole lives. 

This book is very good and has lots of details that make you believe that the writer experienced those particular places and times.

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett-  This is part of his YA series with young witch Tiffany Aching and the Nac Mac Feegle. She is 16 now and growing into being the witch for her area. She’s finding that it is mostly doing the jobs that no one else wants like clipping old ladies’ tonails. Then the Baron dies and her old friend Roland is suddenly in charge. He’s planning on marrying a simpering girl that Tiffany can’t stand and there is a supernatural witch hunter on Tiffany’s trail. All of a sudden she wishes she can go back to the boring jobs.

I love this author. You don’t have to have read the rest of the series to read this one. I think I missed book three. This is book four but I followed the story fine. The best part of this book for me was when all the senior witches come together for the wedding. Terry Pratchett’s witches are my ideal of what I want to be like when I grow up. A gathering of them makes me happy.

Nemesis by Lindsey Davis-  This is another favorite series of mine. Marcus Didius Falco is an informer (private detective) in ancient Rome. This is book 20. They each can stand alone but if you want to start at the beginning the first one is The Silver Pigs. These books make Rome come to life as a place where people lived and worked. These are mysteries which I generally don’t like but the humor and great characters in these make me love them.  

The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire by Matt Taibbi – This was written in 2005/2006 about how Americans abandon the political mainstream and fall into idealogical subgroups. He covers four groups. He is an embedded reporter in Iraq. He covers corruption in Congress. He goes undercovers as a member of the 9/11 Truth Movement and as a member of a pentacostal megachurch in Texas.

Usually I’m not crazy about books like these where outsiders go in and make fun of things they don’t truly understand. But he is honest about starting to understand how people can get caught up in things like a church retreat to get rid of your demons.

“By the end of the weekend I realized how quaint was the mere suggestion that Christians of this type should learn to ‘be rational’ or ‘set aside your religion’ about such things as the Iraq war or other policy matters……
….Because none of that politics stuff matters anyway, once you’ve gotten this far.  All that matters is being full of the Lord and empty of demons. And since everything that is not of God is demonic, asking these people to be objective about anything else is just absurd. There is no “anything else.” All alternative points of view are nonstarters. There is this ‘our thing,’ a sort of Cosa Nostra of the soul, and then there are the fires of Hell. And that’s all.”

Yep. It is frustrating to me when people don’t get that. There is no rational discussion. Argument means you are a vessel of Satan. 

The sections about the church and the 9/11 Truthers Movement was interesting to me but the military and congressional sections didn’t interest me.

Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews – This is the latest in the Meg Langslow mystery series. Usually I like these books but this one didn’t do it for me. Meg is a blacksmith who does decorative work like gates and items for medieval fairs. In this book she is 38 weeks pregnant with twins and stuck in the house. The house must be gigantic because they are hosting the drama students of her husband’s college because the heat is out. There are also computer people in the basement that she didn’t even know about. People keep coming and going and then a nasty professor is murdered in the library. There isn’t anyone there who doesn’t have a motive. The action drags because no one in the story leaves the property or really does anything. Besides, how many murders does one person get to have happen around her before she should start to feel like she has some seriously bad karma?