Thursday, March 28, 2013

Over the Counter #156

What books caught my eye this week as they passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Well, I love memoirs and a pair of them deserved a second look this week - one cold and one hot.

First up was Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye: A Family Field Trip to the Arctic's Edge in Search of Adventure, Truth and Mini- Marshmallows by Zac Unger.

From the publisher, De Capo Press:

"Churchill, Manitoba is "The Polar Bear Capital of the World," and for one unforgettable "bear season," Zac Unger, his wife, and his three children moved from Oakland, California, to make it their temporary home. But they soon discovered that it's really the polar bears who are at home in Churchill, roaming past the coffee shop on the main drag, peering into garbage cans, languorously scratching their backs against fence posts and front doorways. Where kids in other towns receive admonitions about talking to strangers, Churchill schoolchildren get "Let's All Be Bear Aware" booklets to bring home.

Zac Unger takes readers on a spirited and often wildly funny journey to a place as unique as it is remote, a place where natives, tourists, scientists, conservationists, and the most ferocious predators on the planet converge. In the process he becomes embroiled in the controversy surrounding "polar bear science"-and finds out that some of what we've been led to believe about the bears' imminent extinction may not be quite the case. But mostly what he learns is about human behavior in extreme situations . . . and also why you should never even think of looking a polar bear in the eye. "

Next up was The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life by Lauretta Hannon.

From the publisher, Gotham Books:

"A poignant memoir of life on the wrong side of the tracks-which was a SIBA bestseller in hardcover-with a colorful cast of misfits, plenty of belly laughs, and lessons for finding joy in spite of hardship.

Move over, Sweet Potato Queens. Thanks to Lauretta Hannon, the Cracker Queens are finally having their say. From her wildly popular NPR segments to her colorful one-woman show, Hannon is showing the world a different kind of Southern girl-a strong, authentic, fearless, flawed, resourceful, and sometimes outrageous woman-the anti-Southern Belle.

The Cracker Queen takes readers from backwater Georgia to Savannah's most eccentric neighborhoods for a wild ride featuring a distinctly dysfunctional family and a lively crew of hellions, heroines, bad seeds, and renegades. Full of warmth, outrageous wit, and world-class storytelling, The Cracker Queen is a celebration of living out loud, finding humor in desperate situations, and loving life to death."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come to the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catchy your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)


bermudaonion said...

I've known a few Crackers in my day so I need to hunt down The Cracker Queen!

Luanne said...

I read a few bits and pieces Kathy - it will be a quick read! And there are Crackers up north too!