Reading Recommendations: Sing Them Home, a novel Stephanie Kallos
Everyone in Emlyn Springs, Nebraska, knows the story of Hope Jones, the physician's wife whose big dreams for their tiny town were lost a long with her in the tornado that tore through town in 1978. For Hope's three young children, the stability of life with their distant, preoccupied father and with Viney, their mother's spitfire best friend, is no match for their mother's absence. Larken, the eldest, is now an art history professor who seeks in food an answer to a less tangible hunger; Gaelan, the only son, is a telegenic weatherman who devotes his life to predicting the unpredictable and whose profession, and all too much more, depends on his sculpted frame and ready smile; and Bonnie the baby of the family is a self-proclaimed archivist who combs the roadsides and fields for clues to her mother's legacy, and permission, finally, to move on. When decades after their mother's disappearance, they are summoned home upon their father's sudden death, all are forced to revisit the childhood tragedy at the center of their lives.
Stephanie Kallos explores the consequences of protecting the ones we love, and conjures an extraordinary cast of characters teaming with quirks, strengths, blind spots, and secrets. A bit off the wall, yet hard to put aside.
And, The Holocaust By Bullets, A Priest's Journey to uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews, Father Patrick Desbois with a foreword by Paul A. Shapiro.
In this heart-wrenching book, Father Patrick Desbois tells the poignant story of his discovery of mass gravesites of Jews exterminated by Nazi mobile units in the Ukraine during World War II and his journey to honor the victims with proper burials and to bring their stories to life.
Father Desbois became interested in the Nazi shootings after hearing the reminiscences of his grandfather, a French POW held at the Rawa-Ruska forced-labor camp during the war. Since then, he has worked with determination to finally uncover the truth behind the deaths of 1.5 million Jews.
Using forensic evidence, eyewitness accounts, and new archival material, Father Desbois has created the first definitive account of one of history's forgotten chapters.
Quoting the Chicago Tribune, "This modest Roman Catholic priest from Paris, without using much more than his calm voice and Roman collar, has shattered the silence surrounding a largely untold chapter of the Holocaust when Nazis killed 1.5 million Jews in Ukraine from 1941 to 1944."
This is most certainly not a book one would read for entertainment but a significant time in my generation.
And, The Gun That Wasn't There, Russell S. Smith retired Texas police chief
Everyday people cross the Rio Grande River and enter into Texas and the United States illegally. Most of these men and women are hard working individuals in search of a job and a better way of life. But every so often one of these people is a criminal who preys on their unsuspecting victims: such was the case in the 1960's with Alfredo Amador Hernandez.
Hernandez was a bandit whose burglaries and armed robberies, and at least one attempted murder, brought fear and anger into different areas of Real, Uvalde, Val Verde and Terrell counties. Excerpts of his major crimes were written about within the pages of the Uvalde Leader News, Del Rio News-Herald, the Sanderson Times, Odessa American, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, San Angelo Standard Times, and the San Antonio Express-News, but there is so much more to this part of Texas history.
This story is also about the victim's, the people who lived in these counties and the difficulty of the terrain. It is about the law enforcement officers and their posses who pursued the man with their limited resources, and it is about Bill Cooksey, the former Terrell County Sheriff who first told this story to Hernandez.
Cooksey was a lawman who went to work one day and didn't take the revolver he usually placed in a holster along side his right hip. Instead he stuck a small semiautomatic pistol inside the waistband of his pants. It was a decision that nearly cost him his life.
-From the Prologue-
See you at Rylander!