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Blue-Eyed Devil continues the saga of gun-slinging saddle pals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch as they trade wisecracks and hot lead with back-shooting owlhoots and murderous Apaches in the town of Appaloosa. Cole and Hitch used to be the law in town, but now Appaloosa has a corrupt, ambitious, and deadly police chief named Amos Callico backed up by 12 rifle-toting cops of dubious background, and though Callico sees Cole and Hitch as impediments to his plans for extortion and high political office, his threats don't worry the boys much. Meanwhile, Cole kills the son of a prominent rancher in a fair fight, renegade Apaches plan an attack on the town, and a mysterious dandy arrives in town with a sinister agenda. Fortunately, Cole and Hitch are smart and resourceful, and there's trickery, gunplay, and throat-cutting until only a few folks are left standing. (Publishers Weekly)
I’m a reader. In part because I was raised a reader (thanks, Mom!). In part because I love learning. And in part because I enjoy spending the time alone. I feel very blessed with knowing how to read. Whole worlds are open to me, only because I can make sense of the symbols on a page. I’ve learned and been challenged in what I believe because I can read. So you know what really bugs me? When people choose not to read.
I don’t mean those that can’t read, whether from lack of opportunities to learn, lack of material to read, or learning disabilities. And I don’t mean those who are in a time of life where they can’t read what they want, like young mothers or students (though anyone can find a few minutes to read here and there…it took me 6 months to read Gone with the Wind in college, but I did it).
I mean those who were taught how to read, but haven’t taken advantage of it.We hear so much about the illiteracy rates in America and around the world - illiteracy based on poverty, conflict or disabilities - but no one talks about those who choose to ignore the gift once it is given them. To us, intentional illiteracy is a crime that ranks up there with book burning, desecrating the flag, parking lots with no spaces for mothers of small children...
Even the most diehard baseball fans don't know the true story of William "Blockade Billy" Blakely. He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first -- and only -- player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game's history. Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse. (synopsis from book jacket)
"Man, I did love this game. I'd have played for food money. It was the game... The sounds, the smells. Did you ever hold a ball or a glove to your face?...It was the crowd, rising to their feet when the ball was hit deep. Shoot, I'd play for nothing!" (Shoeless Joe Jackson)
And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces...It reminds us of all that once was good and could be again. (Terrance Mann)
That's what I wish for. Chance to squint at a sky so blue that it hurts your eyes just to look at it. To feel the tingling in your arm as you connect with the ball. To run the bases - stretch a double into a triple, and flop face-first into third, wrap your arms around the bag. (Doc Graham)
Here is the saga of a people who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear; how they lived; the animals they hunted; the great totems they revered. But mostly it is the story of Ayla, the girl they found and raised, who was not like them. To the Clan, her fair looks make her different--ugly. And she has odd ways: she laughs, she cries, she has the ability to speak. But even more, she struggles to be true to herself and, with her advanced intelligence, is curious about the world around her.Clan of the Cave Bear begins with Ayla's separation from her family during an earthquake and her rescue by the Clan. The rest is the story of her continual struggle to fit into a society that lives, communicates and even thinks differently from what she has known and from her instincts.