Skip to main content

Things I Read in June (#7-9)


Disclaimer: Penguin Random House sent me the following trilogy to review. All opinions about these books are my own.

I am not one to turn down free books, even if they are a genre I might not typically read. That is where I found myself when Penguin reached out to ask if I would review the final book in the Kerning Family trilogy by Michael McGarrity. I replied saying I was willing to review the book in question but that I had not read the first two books. They offered to send me all three.

So last month I found myself diving into a Western series that I probably would not have given a second glance. Here are my thoughts.


First up in the trilogy is Hard Country. This book introduces us to the first of the Kerning cowboys who are attemping to build lives for themselves in the wild west, but they are only managing to scratch out a miserly living. In this book we are introduced to the first two generations of Kerney men. This book was fascinating in its look into cowboys and the early United States spanning the years of 1875-1918, but I had a hard time getting into this book as there was very little dialogue. The abruptness of the difficult things that happened during this book was a bit shocking, and left me with more questions than answers. Overall I wish there was more character development of this old, forgotten generation.


The second book, Backlands, introduces us to Matthew, a third generation Kerney cowboy. This book has more character development and I began to get a better understanding of who this family was. I don't know if this was intentional on the part of the author, but as the books developed and crossed decades, the language of the book became freer. Almost as if the late 1800s and early 1900s were too difficult for the people to waste breath telling their stories. This second book is more about the relationships that developed within the family and how the past continued to shape their decisions in the present. This was my favorite book of the series and made me anxious to read more.


And the final installment of the trilogy, The Last Ranch, introduces Kevin, the fourth generation Kerney. In this book we see relationships being mended between generations. Kevin Kerney brings us into a more recent time period and the relationships and language describing the relationships gets even looser. I closed out this trilogy right before July 4th and it made an impression on me as I thought about how much our country has changed over the last 240 years. Within the span of a few generations our lives are so different from our forefathers. It was also fascinating reading about these men who fought in so many different wars – Cuba, WWI, WWII and finally Vietnam. Those glimpses of war and love for country is not something I think about in my day-to-day life.

The author has a series of books about Kevin Kerney (written in the 90s). This trilogy felt like a prequel to that series and I have to be honest and say that I wasn't a fan that the final book wasn't neatly wrapped up. I probably won't continue with the series, but if you are a fan of westerns and want a long-standing series (longer than a trilogy) to read, I think you would enjoy these books. I enjoyed the historical parts and I think the author was well researched.

I gave all three books 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I enjoyed them and they are definitely books I would recommend to my dad and anyone else I know who loves westerns or historical fiction.

Here is a sampling of what I've been reading online lately:
10 Rules of Easy Entertaining via A Cup of Jo
How to Not Take Things Personally via Design for Mankind
The Internet is Making Us Dumb via Salon
The End of Reflection via The New York Times
In Praise of "Scruff Hospitality" via Mother Nature Network
The Problem for Obama via The Telegraph
From 80s Latchkey Kid to Helicopter Parent via CNN.com
Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule via inc.com
Thoughts on Being American via Fresh Off The Grid
Notes from the Child-Full Life via Outside Online

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Baby Update: 32 Weeks, What's It Like to Have Polyhydramnios

I have had some questions about how I am feeling so I thought I would share what it has been like for me to experience Polyhydramnios with this pregnancy. If you have missed my previous posts, I have too much amniotic fluid in my uterus which makes my belly really big and it also causes early contractions (and possibly labor) because my body thinks it is further along than it is. For me it meant a hospital stay at almost-30 weeks to stop contractions.

Yesterday I had my follow up with the high-risk OB. Their ultrasound measurements showed the fluid is currently 21cm (which is below the risk). The measurements are a bit of an art project with different people getting different numbers (last week I was still measuring 25cm). The doctor I saw said they will continue to measure and assess me on a weekly basis for now. According to him, once I make it to 34 weeks, they would not try to prevent birth if I went into labor. He also mentioned wanting to induce me at 38 weeks. We shall see... my…

Weekend Project: Sign Art

UPDATE 01/07/16
This project is by far my most viewed post thanks to Pinterest and also this blog post from Make Magazine in 2014. If you are interested in purchasing a PDF of the words from me, you may do so for $20. Contact me at cheree dot moore at gmail dot com to make the purchase. If you make your own sign, I would love to hear about and see your results!


For some time, I have been intrigued by the idea of transferring printed art to wood. Specifically the transfer of words (or typography). Sign art is all over the internet – be it blogs I follow or Pinterest – and I have had an itch to try my hand at it. 


Daniel and I had some scrap wood from pallets from our move to Alabama that was in good shape and I thought that this wood gave me the perfect opportunity to create a (cheap) sign for our living room.


It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to go on the sign and then it took even longer to research how I would do the transfer. Actually doing the project took even longer sin…

It's the Final Countdown

Three long years ago, we learned that Daniel was going to be relocated from working in Hollywood, Alabama to two hours north in Spring City, Tennessee. We knew it was coming, but it still turned our world upside down. We spent eight months living out of suitcases, in and out of hotels and vacation homes during the week, until finally settling into our current home on Signal Mountain.
We both felt strongly that we made the right choice in regard to the location of our new home, but we knew it would be a difficult journey – Daniel's new position promised long hours, with a 70-minute commute each way. We were told the job would last about a year, so we hoped and prayed for the best.
To say it's been a hard experience would be an understatement. Jack went through a phase where he didn't believe that Daniel lived at our house. Which was kind of true. For months on end, Daniel worked 6-7 days a week, and sometimes weeks at a time without a day off. The hours were lo…