Friday, August 17
Meet the Author: James A. Autry
The Cold Warrior: When Flying Was Dangerous and Sex Was Safe
This is a fascinating story of a young fighter pilot's welcome into the cold war world of 1950s Europe where he confronts not only the dangers of supersonic flying but also a world of wild parties, uninhibited sex and, of course, love. At the same time, his beautiful wife encounters new sexual possibilities courtesy of French men, a middle eastern prince, and, of course, fighter pilots.
Author James A. Autry brilliantly describes all the harrowing adventures and frolicking escapades of these hell-bent men and women, making the best of living in a strange country, often flying untested equipment, and surviving on skill and instinct. The pace of the story constantly breaks the sound barrier, and it will play on all your emotions. Strap into your harness and enjoy the ride!
James A. Autry, a former Fortune 500 executive, is an author of fourteen books, a poet and a consultant whose work has had a significant influence on leadership thinking. His book, Love and Profit, The Art of Caring Leadership, a collection of essays and poetry published in six languages, won the prestigious Johnson, Smith & Knisely Award. In 1998 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Service to the Humanities from Iowa Humanities Board and Foundation. He fulfilled his military service as a jet fighter pilot in Europe during the cold war flying the F-86F and F-100D fighters with the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing in Chaumont, France. Later he rose to the rank of Major in the Iowa Air National Guard. Autry lives in Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife Sally Pederson, the former Lieutenant Governor of Iowa.
Sunday, August 19
Meet the Author: Erin Stevenson
Kelsea Anderson is a jilted bride with nothing left but a battered heart and a plane ticket to the Caribbean. The only part of her doomed wedding that she had any say in was the honeymoon. She paid for it, and there’s no reason she can’t come to the romantic resort alone, so Kelsea jumps on a plane the day after New Year’s to escape the icy St. Louis winter and come up with a Plan B for the rest of her life.
Landon St. Clair was left at the altar on New Year’s Day at St. Louis’ social event of the season. He wants nothing more than to lick his wounds in solitude and figure out a Plan B, and intends to keep his reservation at the St. Jardin Honeymoon Resort, even without a bride. With the owners’ reluctant approval, Landon takes on an assumed identity and cuts all ties to home for the week.
Lottery winners Rose and Ike Goldman, married for 53 years, never looked back when they left Brooklyn, NY for the Caribbean where they bought a honeymoon resort three years ago. Rose was something of a matchmaker in Brooklyn, and once she meets Kelsea and “Brandon,” she knows she has her work cut out for her. She has only a week to convince them that sometimes, Plan B is the best plan of all.
Take a quick getaway to St. Jardin! Plan B is your ticket to a tropical paradise filled with beautiful gardens, merriment, and romance.
Writing is like breathing to Erin Stevenson. Stories are running through her mind during most of her waking hours, and by the time she sits down at the computer, the words flow and time ceases to exist. Erin was raised in Illinois and has lived in many places in the U.S., including on both coasts, but is a Midwest girl at heart. She spent many years as an educator from pre-school through college levels, and currently works in training and internal communications for a major global corporation. When she’s not writing, Erin loves spending time with her children and grandchildren, and playing in the garden (which equates to mostly pulling weeds) at her central Iowa home. Her secret indulgence is plain M&Ms.
Tuesday, August 28
Mystery Book Club
Come join this group that has been meeting for over 20 years! New members always welcome; all you need is a love of mysteries and a burning desire to talk about them with a fun group of folks!
Selections this month: The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly and Perry Mason: The Case of the Horrified Heirs by Erle Stanley Gardner
Wednesday, August 29
Meet the Author: John Carenen
The Face on the Other Side
He’d promised Sheriff Payne that he wouldn’t take any more matters into his own hands. So, when on a leisurely morning drive, SEAL-trained Thomas O’Shea sees two girls attacking a boy on a sidewalk, he opts not to intervene. When the boy is later murdered in the local hospital, though, all promises are off. What seems at the start to be a simple case of gang activity turns out to be far more. Even O’Shea, who has seen more than his share of evil, could not have guessed what is about to transpire…
John Carenen, a native of Clinton, Iowa, has been a featured humor columnist in newspapers in North and South Carolina. A novel, Son-up, Son-down was published by the National Institute of Mental Health. His debut Thomas O’Shea thriller, Signs of Struggle (2012), was followed by A Far Gone Night (2014). And now, The Face on the Other Side continues the exploits of this darkly humorous protagonist and a uniquely Midwestern cast of quirky characters hanging out in the picturesque village of Rockbluff, Iowa. John recently retired from his years as an English professor at Newberry College in Newberry, S.C. A big fan of his family, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and the Boston Red Sox, he and his long-suffering wife live just north of Greenville, S.C.
Tuesday, September 4
Beaverdale Writers Group
Join this group of lively area writers started by local author Jerry Hooten in 2008. Jerry recently “retired” from the group, but it is now in the capable hands of Maggie Rivers and Mike Wilson. New writers are always welcome! This is not a critique group; discussion centers around the publishing process and marketing your work once it's published. Come learn some of the tricks of the trade and get started on your publishing journey, or share your experience with someone just starting out.
Monday, September 10
Meet the Author: Mike Lankford
Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo Da Vinci
In a book unlike anything ever written about the Renaissance genius, Mike Lankford explodes every cliché about Leonardo da Vinci and then reconstructs him based on a rich trove of available evidence — bringing to life for the modern reader the man who has been studied by scholars for centuries, yet has remained as mysterious as ever.
Seeking to envision da Vinci without the obscuring residue of historical varnish, the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of Renaissance Italy—usually missing in other biographies—are all here, transporting readers back to a world of war and plague and court intrigue, of viciously competitive famous artists, of murderous tyrants with exquisite tastes in art…
Lankford brilliantly captures da Vinci’s life as the compelling and dangerous adventure it seems to have actually been—fleeing from one sanctuary to the next, somehow surviving in war zones beside his friend Machiavelli, struggling to make art his way or no way at all… and often paying dearly for those decisions.
It is a thrilling and absorbing journey into the life of a ferociously dedicated loner, whose artwork in one way or another represents his noble rebellion, providing inspiration that is timeless.
Mike Lankford is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and the author of Life in Double Time: Confessions of an American Drummer, a memoir about his years as a white drummer in a black R&B band. The book was an Amazon editor’s pick, and was selected by eight major newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Austin Chronicle, as the best music book of the year.
Tuesday, September 11
Hunter’s Picks Book Club
The Hunter’s Picks Book Club takes its inspiration from Paul’s Book Club at Prairie Lights in Iowa City, which Hunter attended while in college. This book club will read primarily literary fiction. The quirk of this book group, like that of Paul’s, is that Hunter will be the one choosing all book club selections. Suggestions are welcome, but Hunter will have final say. He’s such a control freak that way.
Selection this month: My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
Thursday, September 13
Beaverdale Book Browsers Book Club
Beaverdale Books' original book club is once again open to new members!
This book club was at capacity for a while, but as people come and go there are openings for new readers looking for a book club. The club started when the store opened in 2006 and has been going strong ever since. What began as a group of strangers has been a testament to the power of books to bring people together. Selections are eclectic and the discussion is always interesting. Food and wine are always part of the fun as well. Anyone is welcome!
Selection this month: All Creatures Great and Small: The Warm and Joyful Memoirs of the Worlds Most Beloved Animal Doctor by James Herriot