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Check It Out

Courier Article by Pam Locker
Sunday, April 10, 2005

Area Authors Offer Up a Bevy of Engaging Selections

Writing is not an easy task. It takes both inspiration and determination to transform one's ideas into written words. Even more effort is necessary to produce enough pages to construct an entire book. That's why I'm both impressed and receptive when I hear from local authors with new books. I've been hoarding recent titles by area residents, most of them self-published, on a shelf in my office until I had enough material for this column.

The Holy Tempel: the Extraordinary Ministry of Father Ted Tempel by Bill Jackson (AuthorHouse, 2004).

I've known Catholic priest Father Ted Tempel practically since I moved to Evansville thirty years ago. I consider myself among the thousands who count him as a personal friend.

Father Tempel is a very special person who radiates joy and concern and makes the least among us feel important and loved. This biography of a modern spiritual man, written by journalist and former "Evansville Press" editor and president Bill Jackson, is a welcome respite from the headline reports about bad priests.

To Love, Honor, and Obey by Joan Cox (iUniverse, 2004).

Joan Cox took the time to come to Oaklyn Branch Library to fill me in on the background of this historical novel based on her grandmother's life.

In 1889, Emma Miller, abandoned with her three young children by an abusive spouse, worked her way through nursing school and then became one of America's first women doctors. Joan has a flair for characterization that brings this inspiring story to life. She is working on a sequel.

If you're looking for a good, old-fashioned gothic romance, pick up Shades of Grey: a Gaslight Gothic Mystery by B. J. Conner (iUniverse, 2004). The same author wrote Cherry Street, which was set in Evansville. This one also has local ambience, although the exact setting is left unstated. B. J. is writing her fourth novel, Irish Legacy, involving Irish immigrants living in southern Indiana in the late nineteenth century.

In Utopia Revisited: a 21st Century Account of a Diplomatic Visit to the Island Nation of Utopia (iUniverse, 2004), Mater Dei teacher John McMullen posits a future world where the pursuit of pleasure and expediency triumph over morality. When a Vatican ambassador travels to Utopia in hopes of staying the execution of a fellow priest charged with treason, he engages in a spirited and dangerous discussion with a member of the island's ruling elite.

Torture the Artist (MacAdam/Cage, 2004) by young Henderson resident Joey Goebel operates from the premise that contemporary society, and especially its mass media, is meaningless and rather ridiculous. A wealthy mogul seeks to change this situation by cultivating young artists, and keeping them unhappy enough to produce great art.

This novel has undoubtedly received the widest recognition and distribution of these local works. It received a starred review in "Library Journal," and is featured on the official website of Chuck Palahniuk, author of "Fight Club" and other titles popular with disenchanted youth.

Tears Behind the Mask by Donna Certain (PublishAmerica, 2004).

I just happened on this biography when it came across my desk with other new books. Donna Certain lives somewhere in southern Indiana, having relocated from further south, and this is her harrowing account of the abuse she suffered at her mother's hands.

I have never read anything by Dave Pelzer, but have taken lots of requests from customers, and have a feeling that anyone who reads Pelzer would also be mesmerized by this raw testimonial.

Pam Locker is a librarian with the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library. The opinions expressed in this column are personal and do not reflect policies or official recommendations of EVPL.