Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Reading Challenge 2014: Gravel on the Side of the Road by Kris Radish #SRC2014

This summer, members of the Vise Library are participating in a Summer Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

The eleventh book on our schedule is Gravel on the Side of the Road by author Kris Radish.

About the book:

A woman who worries about carrying a .38 special in her purse, nearly drowns in a desert canyon, flies into the war in Bosnia, dances with the FBI, tells Geraldo he shouldn't put guests in hotel rooms with rats and spends time with murderers, has more than a few stories to tell. Gravel on the Side of the Road-True Stories From a Broad Who Has Been There is a daring and revealing adventure itself. Beloved novelist Kris Radish returns to her non-fiction beginnings with her first book of autobiographical essays. Her writing career has spanned four decades and has included award-winning newspaper work, magazine features, a national syndicated column, eleven books and enough stories and adventures to fill up many more. Radish s talent for telling it like it is, sharing the wit and wisdom of a life lived mostly on her own terms and her keen sense of humor are highlighted in these stories some of them previously published, all of them offering a glimpse into worlds many never dare to enter. Kris is definitely a broad who has been there.

I am not normally a fan of anthologies or a collection of stories.  I guess I just always enjoy full books that tell one story.  With that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed Kris Radish's (she is also a journalist) book.  None of the stories are more than ten pages long, but you sure do get a great story out of them.  Some of them are hilarious, some paint beautiful pictures and some of them show you that your life might not be too hard and will break your heart.  Kris tells stories from her everyday life that are hilarious.  She also tells stories of the stories that she covered from being a journalist.  For instance, there is a story in this book about her going to war zone for a story.  Three women end up coming aboard and they do not speak English.  However, she is able to relate to them as a mother.  They somehow find common ground and build a connection over that plane ride.  She shares pictures of her son with them.  Kris always wonders about them and she makes you wonder about them.  Did they survive?  If they did, what are they doing now?  If they didn't, how are their kids?  All sorts of questions are raised.  
She tells tales of heartbreak from kids being killed.   I think my favorite story in this book was funny and scary at the same time.  It is titled "The Day They Sliced Me Open."  It is about the day that she gave birth to her son Andrew.  This story was hilarious because of some of the things that were going through her mind (why she'll never use a male doctor again, talking about running off with a nurse because she never wants to touch a man again or the discussion of which way her c-section scar will be cut).  This short story also shows all the things that go through your mind when you have a baby (at least I think so, since I've never had one before).  She wonders if the doctor got enough sleep the night before, are they going to harm her son when they cut her open?, or if his medical degree is legit or not.  I laughed out loud a couple of times but also saw the scary side of the beforehand of motherhood and worrying about being a mother.  In this book, Kris makes you wonder how you would handle situations and really makes you put things into perspective.  Like I said before, I am not usually a fan of short stories, but I enjoyed these.  I think since the stories were short and made you think or were funny, it made me eager to get to the next story.  They didn't drag on and were very enjoyable.  This book may have opened up a whole new genre for me!  Thanks Kris for making me laugh and almost cry at the same time!

About the author:
Kris Radish is the author of nine novels and two works of nonfiction. A former award-winning journalist, magazine writer, nationally syndicated columnist, waitress, worm picker, and university lecturer to name just a few of her past lives Radish is also co-owner of a wine lounge, the Wine Madonna, in downtown St. Petersburg Florida where she hosts books clubs and special literary events with groups from across the globe.

Connect with the author:
·         Facebook:
·         Website:
·         Goodreads:

If you want to find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge click the image above!

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