Bill is a bookseller on our main floor. He comes to us from Borders.
"The Angels' share" is that portion of a barrel of bourbon that evaporates during the aging process. Distillers believe that the Angels trade protection from fire for their share. William McFee is the would-be third generation distiller of Old Sam Bourbon, if his father would re-open the distillery that was shuttered during prohibition. Until then, William is an erstwhile reporter in the small town of Twisted Tree, Kentucky. When William reports about a drifter that has recently been buried in the potter's field near the distillery, and the miracles he seems to have performed, droves of pilgrims come to the field. The publicity that results threatens to expose the past of William's father, and puts his family in danger. I found this tale of faith, redemption, and family relationships in the 1930's to be creative and compelling.
When manager Sarah asked me if I wanted to read Fred Chappell's A Shadow All of Light, I asked her, "Fred Chappell the poet?" She said yes, but explained that this time he had written a fantasy novel. Chappell has created a 17th century-ish, Italian-ish world where a country boy named Falco recounts his apprenticeship to the master shadow thief Maestro Astolfo, and there are many reasons why a person would want to steal, sell, buy, or otherwise deal in shadows. The novel is excellent, and I particularly liked its episodic nature--the story is advanced through a series of stand alone vignettes. From now on I'll ask, "Fred Chappell the fantasy writer?", when I hear his name ... and I'll keep a closer eye on my shadow. - Bill
Surprisingly, this book written by a self-proclaimed liberal is the best book I've read recently about the history of the Second Amendment. Whitney makes a well-balanced argument that the founders intended the amendment to protect not only the right to bear arms for state militias, but for the individuals in each state who would serve in those militias. He understands that during colonial times, the right to keep and bear arms individually was a common law right, one that the founders felt needed no specific wording in the Constitution. This book is a laudable attempt to find some common ground between pro- and anti-gun factions.