Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Raising Children for Fun & Profit (copy)

There are many ways to recommend a book. If I read something great I tell everybody. If a patron exalts the virtues of a certain book, I suggest read-a-likes. If someone is mulling around the library, I ask what they normally read and find the latest in that genre. For hubby, I search out new mysteries that earn star reviews. Then there are those books I only recommend to my friends using a hushed voice.

I used to have an older patron that came in every Monday morning with one goal. She wanted a “good” book for the week. It was one book and one book only, therefore I had one shot to make her happy. The following Monday she would come back with a critique that led us to more books by the same author or something totally different. I felt safe handing her cozy mysteries, Christian fiction and current bestsellers.

One day I was in my office on the phone when she entered. My lovely and highly capable assistant took her request and headed to the paperbacks. Still on the phone they returned to the counter, checked out the book and she went out the door before I could say, yay or nay. I turned to my assistant and asked, “What did you give her?”

“Oh, Nora Roberts,” she said very pleased with herself. (Nora Roberts is a romance writer who makes Danielle Steel, another romance writer, blush.)

When Monday rolled around, I eagerly awaited her return. She came in, slammed the book on the counter and said with a visible flinch, “Too Much Sex!” Smiling, she headed back to her old haunts to find another book. Then she walked back to the counter and began to hem-haw around, possibly waiting on my assistant, for 15 minutes; finally, she came out with it. “Do you have any more by that author?”

The book I am currently reading, The Sweet Potato Queens’ Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit by Tupelo native Jill Conner Browne, is filled with debauchery, specifically foul language, sexual tales and crude jokes. Not a book I would place in my mother’s hands.

Number seven in the eight book franchise, this one is funnier than most; although, the original, SPQ’s Book of Love, (1999) is the best. The humor is throughout the pages even penetrating the title as Browne tells readers, “yes…children are reared, corn is raised” and she (rolling her eyes) knows the difference. Psst—girlfriends, you have to read this!

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