News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

The Quarantine List

More reading and listening to enrich the quarantine experience…

Sisters artist Norma Holmes loved “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore,” a novel by Robin Sloan.

“The cover glows in the dark!” Holmes says. “The opening sentence has me smiling. Sloan paints a picture in words, a visual that puts me right beside the main character, Clay Jannon. He is standing on top of a ladder, stretching upward to reach a very old leather-covered volume. Clay is a night clerk in Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore in San Francisco.

“I’m finding it difficult to put the book down. I’m limiting my chapters, spreading the descriptive entertainment-excitement over a few days as Sloan takes me on a journey, using today’s technology to unravel the mystery of an ancient book cult.

“Think I’ll read it again slowly, just to savor the writing.”

Nugget Editor in Chief Jim Cornelius has already made his call for Novel of the Year for 2020: “Pride of Eden” by Taylor Brown.

“It doesn’t take a virus to make me want to hole up with this book,” Cornelius says. “Taylor Brown is a badass. He’s as good as they come. I devoured his ‘River of Kings’ in great bloody chunks, and I’ve done the same with his new

one.”

Here’s the caper:

Retired racehorse jockey and Vietnam veteran Anse Caulfield rescues exotic big cats, elephants, and other creatures for Little Eden, a wildlife sanctuary near the abandoned ruins of a failed development on the Georgia coast. But when Anse’s prized lion escapes, he becomes obsessed with replacing her even if the means of rescue aren’t exactly legal.

Anse is joined by Malaya, a former soldier who hunted rhino and elephant poachers in Africa; Lope, whose training in falconry taught him to pilot surveillance drones; and Tyler, a veterinarian who has found a place in Anse’s obsessive world.

From the rhino wars of Africa to the battle for the Baghdad Zoo, from the edges of the Okefenokee Swamp to a remote private island off the Georgia coast, Anse and his team battle an underworld of smugglers, gamblers, breeders, trophy hunters, and others who exploit exotic game.

“If you’re a podcast listener and love history as I do, check out Black Barrel Media’s Legends of the Old West and Infamous America podcasts (https://black

barrelmedia.com). They’re very well-researched and skillfully and dramatically told stories of outlaws, witch trials, feuds and the wild and weird characters that made America.”

 

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