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LET’S JUST SAY IT WASN’T PRETTYLET’S JUST SAY IT WASN’T PRETTY
By Diane Keaton

$26.00 Random House
www.Facebook.com/OfficialDianeKeaton

From Academy award winner and bestselling author Diane Keaton comes a compelling and entertaining memoir about beauty, aging and self-empowerment, LET’S JUST SAY IT WASN’T PRETTY.

Dianne Keaton is a one-of-a-kind woman, not only when it comes to the life and career choices she’s made but also to her personal style. Citing other independent women throughout this colorful book, Keaton explores the definition of beauty and the many forms it can take. Is beauty a static, one dimensional thing or is it to be found everywhere we look, ever changing and undefinable? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Keaton says it is and she goes on to explain exactly why that is and how easily we can embrace our own brand of beauty if we are willing to look beyond society’s conventional definitions of beauty and all that that entails.

As a woman, a mother and a cultural icon, Ms. Keaton has many lenses through which she views the world and yet she always comes back to square one: you are as beautiful as you feel. Throughout this marvelous book, she shares her memories of trying to combat the features she found particularly disturbing as a young woman, such as her bulbous nose, to which she affixed a bobby pin at night and the lustrous mane of blonde hair she imagined would be better than the brunette locks she sported. But as Ms. Keaton has grown older she’s also grown wiser, and she explains how she’s come to appreciate the goods she was born with. While holding the mirror of self-appreciation rather than self-deprecation in front of her face, she simultaneously encourages us to do the same because, as she explains, being all right with ourselves means being all right with the world.

From page one Keaton’s conversational and humorous writing style makes you feel you’re having a heart-to-heart with your best friend. In a culture obsessed with perfection and youth, Keaton shows us the world beyond these obsessions by offering us a rare glimpse into her personal life and providing us with insights about her fashion and lifestyle choices. A must read for Keaton’s innumerable fans as well as those who might be discovering her for the very first time  


PALMETTO POISONPALMETTO POISON A Carolina Slade Mystery
By C. Hope Clark

$15.95 Bell Bridge Books
www.chopeclark.com

Carolina Slade, the smart and savvy agriculture department investigator, is back and badder than ever in C. Hope Clark’s latest book, PALMETTO POISON.

Slade is happy for once in her life. After solving two harrowing cases for the agriculture department she has finally moved into the house she built for herself, her son and daughter on the banks of Lake Murray near Columbia, South Carolina and is hopeful that life will finally settle in for a long, peaceful stretch. But out of the blue, she finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of controversy, this time with the Governor himself.

Lamar Wheeler is a peanut farmer who has been accused of dealing drugs and his brother, Governor Dick Wheeler is non-too-pleased at this turn of events. But when Lamar’s teenage son is suddenly killed in a horrific car accident, the brothers decide to pin the drug charges on the dead boy, thinking that will be that. Enter Margaret Dubose, Slade’s boss and a close friend of the Wheeler family, who all but orders Slade to get to the bottom of things. But Special Agent Wayne Largo, Slade’s hot and hunky love interest has a bad feeling about this scenario and suggests she back off. Not only is he concerned for her safety but he’s already embroiled in a sticky wicket of his own involving his long-lost sister and his hot-tempered ex-wife Pamela, a DEA Agent with an axe to grind. It isn’t long before all hell breaks loose, putting Slade and her family squarely in the middle of the danger zone and it’s anybody’s guess who will be left standing when the smoke finally clears.

A fast paced and exciting romp through the low country of South Carolina, this is a book you won’t be able to put down for even a minute once you open the cover. Ms. Clark has outdone herself in this third installment of the Carolina Slade Mystery series, bringing nuance and depth to the characters we have already grown to love. If you haven’t read the first two installments of this fabulous trilogy, no matter; this book stands on its own two feet without any assistance at all. But if you are as hooked as I think you’ll be after reading PALMETTO POISON, you might want to pick up copies of LOWCOUNTRY BRIBE and TIDEWATER MURDER, the first and second installments in this addictive series, just for the fun of it.


GOOD ADVICE FROM BAD PEOPLEGOOD ADVICE FROM BAD PEOPLE Selected Wisdom From Murderers, Stock Swindlers and Lance Armstrong
By Zac Bissonnette

$15.00 Portfolio
www.zacbissonnette.net

From time to time, all of us go in search of advice from experts who claim to know more than we do. As a matter of fact, in 2008, Americans spent eleven billion dollars on self-help books, DVDs and CD’s. But what you see is not always what you get, as is evidenced in acclaimed author Zac Bissonnette’s latest book GOOD ADVICE FROM BAD PEOPLE.

From Rush Limbaugh’s advice on abstinence from drugs to televangelist Jim Baker’s advice on everything from sexual infidelity to money matters, as you flip through this collection of notable quotes, you will both shocked  and entertained. Donald trump regales us with advice about humility when he says: “You have to be confidant as you face the world each day, but you can’t be too cocky. Anyone who thinks he’s going to win them all is going to wind up a huge loser.” And then there’s the quote from O.J. Simpson, the man who was accused and acquitted of the double murder of his ex-wife and her friend: “The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuse, that’s the day you start to the top.” Paula Deen, whose career took a nose dive after she was accused of making racist comments had this to say: “Southern charm is real. It works…I want people to feel good about bein’ with me, and bein’ nice to them makes it happen.” And of course, we can’t forget Lance Armstrong who should have followed his own advice: “Winning is about heart…It’s got to be in the right place.”

Dozens of those who probably never should have opened their mouths in the first place but made millions doing just that are featured here in this well-researched and hilarious book. Some passages are jaw dropping and others just ironic in the extreme but whatever the case, you will not be disappointed in this fantastic collection of stories and quotes from some of society’s most misanthropic mentors.

 
THE LEMON ORCHARDTHE LEMON ORCHARD
By Luanne Rice

$16.00 Penguin
www.luannerice.com

Once in a while a story comes along that captivates your imagination and transports you to a place you’ve never been before. Such is the case with THE LEMON ORCHARD, the new novel by bestselling author Luanne Rice.

Julia is in mourning. It has been five years since her daughter and husband died and since then she’s been caught up in a whirlwind of emotions; her world turned upside down. Looking for a change of scene she leaves her home in Connecticut for the sea-and-citrus scented air of the Malibu ranch where her aunt and uncle grow lemons. There, with her dog Bonnie, she hopes to find some peace and a respite from the grief that has overtaken her life.

Roberto, a Mexican immigrant, manages the lemon grove and loves his work. Living in town in a small apartment behind his father’s house, he also grieves for a daughter who was lost during their brutal crossing from Mexico. Not knowing if she is dead or alive, he suspects the worst and this is a fact that haunts him constantly. When he and Julia meet, they are immediately drawn to one another and when each of them learns of the others tragic loss their bond is immediate. Kindred spirits from two different worlds, they find themselves caught up in their feelings for one another and when they embark on a search for Roberto’s missing daughter, all bets are off.

Beautifully written, Rice has a way of plucking at your heart strings with just the right notes. Impeccably well-drawn characters come alive on the page, making this a book that’s hard to put down. Another triumph for Ms. Rice and a must-read.

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 159 - November 2017
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