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About Paul

Unique selections of books from our book buyer Paul Ingram. He compiles great lists of books on varying topics.

If you have any requests for recommendations, send Paul an email at paul@prairielights.com

  • Paul's Corner: The Best Crime Fiction of the Season

    The Big Drugstore Patrick Irelan

    For all you fans of crime fiction out there, this Christmas season brings us a new Michael Connelly novel which features both the depressed Harry Bosch and his brilliant half brother, defense attorney Micky Haller, also known as The Lincoln Lawyer for his unusual office hours. The new book is called The Crossing and it's thrilling.

    The ever popular Robert Crais' new novel, Promise, featuring his two detective pals Viet Nam vet, Elvis Cole, and his partner Joe Pike is also top notch. His many fans have come to expect only the best and he is one of the crime novelists who we regularly sell in hard cover.

    How many of you happen to know, either personally or by his excellent reputation, the wonderful, witty, Patrick Irelan? For years he's been writing mystery stories for the likes of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. He's written a wonderfully funny new novel called The Big Drugstore, set in the Quad Cities. It's essentially a Quad Cities Noir, told through the eyes of detective Mike Scofield in a marvelous tongue in cheek. Pat's writing is dead pan all the way and his characters would be played by great character actors, when the inevitable Major Motion Picture is released. Scofield works in a drug store watching for petty thieves and someone of course gets killed.  

    “’Let me see some identification,’ I said. She fished around in her purse, came up with a driver's license, and handed it over. Her name was Kathy Dove. She was twenty-one years old and lived at 528 Raven Street. I looked back at her and memorized her appearance. She was short, blond, and cute; but her most distinctive feature was the soft innocence of her face. The small birthmark on her right cheek added to this effect. If I hadn't seen her take the toothpaste, I wouldn't have thought her capable of it."  

    What Irelan gives us is a small town, Raymond Chandler. Believe me when I tell you what a great idea this is. If you don't believe me, you'll miss out on more fun than you can imagine.  

  • Paul's Corner: The White Road: Journey into an Obsession

    The White Road: Journey into an Obsession Edmund de Waal

    Edmund de Waal wrote a magical family history/art history/mystery search/stunning piece of prose, that came out in 2010 and became a sensational literary success. It was called "The Hare with Amber Eyes" and it dealt with a collection of small ivory carved bits of practical art of Japanese provenance hugely appealing to a man like de Waal.  De Waal was and is the world's greatest artist in and expert about the magical white clay we call porcelain. He loves small objects of exquisite beauty
        In his new book "The White Road: Journey into an Obsession", de Waal, with his lovely prose, has taken us with him on his journey to learn what there is to know about this beautiful substance and the fine pottery made from it.  The Chinese were for the longest time the only artists who knew its secrets, until the German potters of Dresden made a European art of it.  De Waal uses original sources when he can, which adds pleasure and authenticity to his narrative. This is no picture book, but a story of one man’s search for beauty.  Pick it up. The lovely white book.  The perfectly sculpted moments of time frozen by artists spellbound by their moment of participation in beauty’s emergence.

     

  • Paul's Corner: Pitch by Pitch

    Pitch by Pitch: My View of One Unforgettable Game Bob Gibson & Lonnie Wheeler

    Here's a little bit more about Pitch by Pitch, one of Paul's Holiday Gift Book Picks this year: 

    I love to read books about sports, providing I know the rules to the sport at hand.  I’ve been up late this week reading an extraordinary book by Bob Gibson, one of the greatest modern pitchers.  He was known for his speed (early career), craftiness(later career), frankness(in matters of race) and his heroism in post-season games.
        Pitch by Pitch describes a single world series game in which his St. Louis Cardinals played the Detroit Tigers in 1998 for the championship of the world.  He tells the reader how the first game progressed from the viewpoint of the pitcher, and talks about every pitch he threw.  This might sound like a bit much but a baseball mind like Gibson’s  makes everything it touches glow with excitement.  He also braids wonderful stories from his career through the innings of this game.  
        He adores the sport he was privileged to play for so many years and his talk of fellow players is consistently generous and amusing throughout this book.  The writing itself, with which he received help from Lonnie Wheeler, is excellent.  It would be hard to find a better, more deeply informative baseball book than this Hall-of-Famer’s slice of memoir.  
    Pitch by Pitch 26.99