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Books on Sale: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Memoir, and More

Book Confessions of a Prairie Bitch -Nelly Olsen

RECOMMENDED: Remember Nellie Olsen, the horrible girl from the Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House on the Prairie” series? This is the memoir of the actress who played her, Alison Arngrim. Confessions of a Prairie Bitch is currently on sale for $1.99. The last time this book was on sale, I bought it and read it at RT 2013 in Kansas City. Y'all, this memoir is a terrific: a balance of funny behind-the-scenes television stories, accounts of child stardom, and wrenching but powerful stories of how Arngrim overcame childhood sexual abuse to be an ally of abused children and of the GLBT community.

For seven years, Alison Arngrim played a wretched, scheming, selfish, lying, manipulative brat on one of TV history's most beloved series. Though millions of Little House on the Prairie viewers hated Nellie Oleson and her evil antics, Arngrim grew to love her character—and the freedom and confidence Nellie inspired in her.

In Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, Arngrim describes growing up in Hollywood with her eccentric parents: Thor Arngrim, a talent manager to Liberace and others, whose appetite for publicity was insatiable, and legendary voice actress Norma MacMillan, who played both Gumby and Casper the Friendly Ghost. She recalls her most cherished and often wickedly funny moments behind the scenes of Little House: Michael Landon's “unsaintly” habit of not wearing underwear; how she and Melissa Gilbert (who played her TV nemesis, Laura Ingalls) became best friends and accidentally got drunk on rum cakes at 7-Eleven; and the only time she and Katherine MacGregor (who played Nellie's mom) appeared in public in costume, provoking a posse of elementary schoolgirls to attack them.

Arngrim relays all this and more with biting wit, but she also bravely recounts her life's challenges: her struggle to survive a history of traumatic abuse, depression, and paralyzing shyness; the “secret” her father kept from her for twenty years; and the devastating loss of her “Little House husband” and best friend, Steve Tracy, to AIDS, which inspired her second career in social and political activism.

Arngrim describes how Nellie Oleson taught her to be bold, daring, and determined, and how she is eternally grateful to have had the biggest little bitch on the prairie to show her the way.

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 Book CarniepunkCarniepunk is a collection of urban fantasy/steampunk stories from various bestselling authors, and it's $1.99. If you're in the mood for something new, different and imaginative, you'll probably like this.

 A star-studded urban fantasy anthology featuring bestselling authors Rachel Caine, Rob Thurman, Seanan McGuire, Jennifer Estep, and Kevin Hearne, whose stories explore the creepy, mysterious, and, yes, sometimes magical world of traveling carnivals.

The traveling carnival is a leftover of a bygone era, a curiosity lurking on the outskirts of town. It is a place of contradictions—the bright lights mask the peeling paint; a carnie in greasy overalls slinks away from the direction of the Barker’s seductive call. It is a place of illusion—is that woman’s beard real? How can she live locked in that watery box?

And while many are tricked by sleight of hand, there are hints of something truly magical going on. One must remain alert and learn quickly the unwritten rules of this dark show. To beat the carnival, one had better have either a whole lot of luck or a whole lot of guns—or maybe some magic of one’s own.

Featuring stories grotesque and comical, outrageous and action-packed, Carniepunk is the first anthology to channel the energy and attitude of urban fantasy into the bizarre world of creaking machinery, twisted myths, and vivid new magic.

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Book Under the Empyrean Sky

Under the Empyrean Sky is book 1 in the Heartland Trilogy by Chuck Wendig, and it's $1.99 right now. This book is published by Amazon's Skyscape Publishing, which means this is Young Adult (young adult dystopian, to be specific), and not available digitally at all retailers.

 Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It's the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow – and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables, trying to earn much-needed ace notes for their families.

But Cael's tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He's sick of the mayor's son besting Cael's crew in the scavenging game. And he's worried about losing Gwennie – his first mate and the love of his life – forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry – angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn't seem upset about any of it.

Cael's ready to make his own luck . . . even if it means bringing down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and changing life in the Heartland forever.

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 Book Three Parts DeadThree Parts Dead by Max Gladstone is $2.99 right now. This is paranormal urban fantasy with little if any romance, but readers loved the very, very strong female characters.

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.

When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs. 

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General Bitching...

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    CarrieS says:

    Oh crap, not I want to buy ALL of them!

  2. 2
    Vicki says:

    I really enjoyed Confessions of a Prairie Bitch. She has an engaging voice.

    The others look good – this is what happens to my budget!

  3. 3
    Todd says:

    I bought “Carniepunk” in hard copy – it’s a good collection and, at this price, well worth buying.

  4. 4
    Dread Pirate Rachel says:

    Oooh, Three Parts Dead looks really good. Unfortunately, I’m on a no-buy until I’ve whittled down my TBR a bit. It currently has around 500 titles on it, and I have to ask myself, “Does it really need 501?” Nope. No, it really doesn’t.

  5. 5
    Sandy James says:

    Little House was my favorite show growing up! I’m stoked to read Alison’s memoir!!

  6. 6
    Darlynne says:

    @Dread Pirate Rachel: It is that good. Your public library should have a copy.

  7. 7
    hawthorn says:

    Three Parts Dead is great, if anyone’s mulling it over it’s definitely worth $3!

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