Monday, May 16, 2022

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Book Review

Book Reviews


By Finn Murphy
WW Norton and Co.
June 6, 2017
$ 26.95
256 pp

‘Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road’

Finn Murphy’s memoir is one of (most of) a life driving a truck, moving customers long distance. Called a “bedbugger,” he carefully packs belongings and loads them into his trailer, preparing them to safely reach their destination.

Having dropped out of college to embrace the allure of the trucking world — “tough work for tough men” — he since earned miles and years of experience and garnered a load of entertaining and amazing stories. He provides us with interesting behind-the-scenes information on what it’s like to be behind the wheel traversing the country in all kinds of weather, most often under extreme time constraints, fits of sleep and little food — all the while shepherding someone through a personal and emotional time. Equally interesting are his stories of coworkers, fellow truckers and the often affluent and unreasonable customers he deals with.

Well-read, perhaps a bit more refined than others in the field, Murphy is still tough as nails and a true professional with dedication and heart. He is a fantastic storyteller offering a glimpse into a unique profession that is absolutely an enjoyable, funny and even moving read. ♦ — Review by Fay Jones


CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

By Chloe Benjamin
Harper Perennial
Jan. 9, 2018
352 pp

‘The Immortalists’

In 1969, a set of siblings visit a mysterious fortune teller. One at a time, Varya, Daniel, Klara and Simon enter the presence of the witchy woman and hear the date of their death. Like the wings of the proverbial butterfly sparking a hurricane, the repercussions of this one afternoon generate diverse, surprising storms in each of their lives. Each sibling gets his or her own story, showing both defiance and acquiescence to their scripted future.

“The Immortalists” spawns myriad questions both concrete and philosophical. What is fate? What is family? What are the ties that bind actually made of? What does it mean to confront your own mortality? How can a handful of words have so much sway over a life?

The powers of myth, time and family drift through the narrative in lovely, clean language that makes this novel a delight to read. It is highly recommended for anyone with a penchant for rich family sagas, a touch of literary fantasy and a really satisfying story. ♦ — Review by Julie Goodrich

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