The last three weeks I’ve been on a sewing binge and, for me, a sewing binge means audiobooks. What am I sewing? What am I listening to?
I’m primarily sewing things for an upcoming camping trip in the mountains. I made two sarapes, one for my husband and one for my youngest daughter. They are both made of fleece. I also made, out of fleece, a sleeping bag liner for myself. High mountain camping can be very cold, even in the middle of summer. Fleece fabric is lightweight yet warm enough to make the difference.
Audiobooks go so well with long hours of sewing. I put audios on my iPod for all sorts of mobile jobs like weekly housecleaning and laundry. With sewing, its a little bit different. There are times when I really need to focus on the task. At those times I push the pause button. When it comes to sewing the long seams, I push play. I love the combination of the sewing machine’s hum and the voice of a narrator reading a story just for me.
The first two weeks I read/listened to John Grisham’s latest novel, Sycamore Row. It was both comforting and fun listening to everyone speak in their beautiful Mississippi accents.The book has some of the same characters as in Grisham’s first big best seller, A Time to Kill. It’s also the same setting. I’ll tell you all about Sycamore Row in a week or so. (Right now I have to keep sewing.)
This last week I listened to two of Robert Parker’s “Old West” novels. Robert Parker is famous for his Spenser series and his Jesse Stone series. But, I like this little mini-series of four books centered around two characters that could only come out of the lawless Old West: Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch.
Everett Hitch, my favorite, is the narrator and commentator. He’s a West Point graduate who served in the army only five years. Since then, he’s roamed all around the west doing a variety of things. Lately, he’s been the “law” in small-town western tons.
We don’t know much about Virgil Cole’s earlier years. What we know now is that he is well known for his skill with the gun. But, Cole is more than that. He knows how to read people and situations and he can usually talk down an explosive situation.
In Appaloosa Hitch and Cole come together in a town named Appaloosa. They have been hired by the town council to keep things calm. The previous marshall was shot when he tried to arrest the hired hans of a powerful rancher.
Cole and Hitch successfully arrest the rancher. He has a jury trial, is convicted and sentenced to hang. The rancher hires gunmen to break him free. A long scary chase through Indian territory follows. There’s a big shoot-out, another escape, and another big shoot-out. In the middle of all this there is a woman that Cole falls for, although he really shouldn’t.
Resolution continues the saga of Cole and Hitch. This one, however, gave me a bit to think about. Resolution is a town with no law whatsoever. The community makes a living off a lumber mill, a mine, and the homesteaders. There are two saloons in town that compete for business. One of the saloon owners, Wolfson, also owns the general store and the hotel. He hires Everett Hitch to keep order in his rowdy saloon. Hitch does just that and is soon settling disputes among all of the town’s residents.
Hitch left Cole back in Appaloosa, but he soon joins Hitch. It’s a good, thing because Wolfson (the saloon owner) finds himself in a fight with the other saloon owner in town. Thanks to Hitch and Cole, Wolfson eliminates the competition. Now he decides he wants to take over the land of the homesteaders, the mine and the lumber mill. Soon Cole and Hitch have to decide who’s side they are on and what is the honorable thing to do. They get a little help from reading Russeau’s The Social Contract.
These two books were excellent company as I sewed. Titus Welliver was the reader and did a superb job with the speech patterns and the accents. The stories also made me think about the basics of living together and why laws are important. (Especially Resolution.) I highly recommend these books for lovers of Westerns and lovers of Historical Fiction. You’ll like going back to those old days.
Published by Putnam Adult in 2005 and 2008.