Heartlands Best Reads of 2017:#1 Lincoln in the Bardo (& a recap)

There are certain things you know you’re going to find when you sit down to read a George Saunders story.  It will be weird, funny, engaging, and surprisingly deep.  I expected no less from Lincoln in the Bardo, Saunders’ first novel and I was not disappointed. The book, which won the Man Booker Prize this year, […]

Strong, Resilient, Independent – the Characters of Virginia Reeves – part 3 of 3

Work Like Any Other, Virginia Reeves’s debut novel, has some very memorable characters that are worth getting to know.  In previous segments of this interview we have talked about resiliency in strange times and the meaning of Alabama.  If you’ve read the book, you’ll enjoy this segment because we get down deeper into the characters […]

Alabama – The Character – my interview with Virginia Reeves continues – part 2 of 3

Can place be the primary character in a book?  You can make the case for that in Virginia Reeves’s debut novel, Work Like Any Other.  In the previous segment of this interview, we discussed maintaining hope in strange times.  In this segment we talk two great states – Alabama and Montana. Tell me about Alabama because […]

Surviving Strange Days: My Interview with Virginia Reeves begins – part 1 of 3

One of my favorite books of this year has been Work Like Any Other, a debut novel by novelist Virginia Reeves.  My review can be found here.  The novel is a poignant tale of a man who is imprisoned for tapping into the new electrical lines crossing rural 1920s Alabama, an action that leads to an […]

Serving Time in Alabama: A Review of Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves

Breathe in rural Alabama circa 1925.  Take deep breaths, “great lungfuls of the scent-tinged air—grass and cornstalks and peanut plants, mulch and dung and mule hide” (159).  Feel the heat of July.  “This low sun turns every lick of water to steam, even the fresh-pumped drinks in our mess-issued bottles.  The sun bakes those metal […]