Book Talk. My Favorites and my Recommendations

Written By: Jackie Weger - Mar• 03•19

Word-of-Mouth is the best advert a writer can have. Yet, as a Reader, I’m not considering the author, just the story.

Sharing with you I once had a three-year stretch of time in which all I did was lounge in a hammock under a thatch roof in a tiny mountain jungle village and feast on books. I had duffel bags of them.  My day started at dawn. I lit the fire on my native stove of rocks and sand to perk coffee. Once that was going, with machete in hand against lurking beasts,  I harvested fruits for breakfast, usually bananas and mandarinas, and in season, mangoes. Breakfast over, I put a huge pot on the embers filled with pato de res. Translates to cow foot, but really it was marrow-rich leg bones which made the best tasting soup. Took hours to boil it out. Next I took my companion dog to the river for a swim, stopped by the counter at the tienda for an ice-cold bottle of Coca Cola (25c),  fifty cents of chicken parts and a fresh yucca root to add to the soup. The remainder of the morning and afternoon, I devoted to reading while my dog lay beneath my hammock gnawing happily on a cooled pato de res.  Lucky me.

Here are my all-time favorites that I never traded at the Boat Club where books in every language were always in demand by sailing enthusiasts.

Cross Creek by Majorie Kinnan Rawlings. This book is one to savor. It’s old. It’s a classic. Cross Creek is in Alachua County, Florida. Pure Florida Cracker Country.  Crackers are the early cattle folks who settled the area. I have an affinity with Cross Creek and Majorie. I’ve been twice to the tiny cottage she lived in when she wrote Cross Creek and The Yearling. I picked ripe oranges off the ground in the back yard and sat on the two-step wooden stoop to soak up the aura that seems to surround the property. I sat in the same ladder-back chair Marjorie sat in to write her books on an old Remington Rand portable typewriter. She later moved to St. Augustine, Florida [as did I] and bought an old hotel which is now the site of a Believe It or Not attraction. When I hold Cross Creek in my hands I can smell the keen tang of orange peelings and feel the dust of the tiny road in front of the house. You can find a copy used on Amazon, along with Rawling’s classic The Yearling, a young adult tale you’ll want to read to your five-year old once the toddler has out grown The Cat in the Hat.  If you haven’t read these books, buy a set for yourself and another as a gift. There’s no harm in sharing a used book that just happens to be great read.


For animal and nature enthusiasts put Farley Mowat‘s books on your buy list. Most are non-fiction and jaw-dropping. The reality shows featuring Alaska, Canada and the Louisiana Swamps have generated interest in trapping and wildlife as we know it today.  Farley Mowat’s books take us back to beginnings. Often coming up against the Hudson Bay fur buying company chartered in 1670. I once spent a New Year’s in Montreal where I attended midnight mass at the Notra-Dame Basilica, a stunningly beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture.  The next morning I visited The Hudson Bay Flagship building  on Sainte Catherine Street West, which now now houses shops of all descriptions. Walking through the vast spaces, I felt the ghosts of old. Those fur trappers who trekked all of Northern Canada and our own Northwest were often the first white men indigenous natives met. There’s magic in those tales.  Start your addiction to Mowat with  Never Cry Wolf,  followed by People of the DeerAlone among the howling wolf packs, Mowat expected to find the bloodthirsty beasts of popular conception. Instead, he discovered an animal species with a remarkable capacity for loyalty, virtue, and playfulness. Readers from nine to ninety will enjoy Mowat’s true tales. On Amazon. Also ebook and Audible.


Moving on to more contemporary works. Who doesn’t like a romantic ghost story? Allow me to introduce you to Mia Fox, an eNovel Author member who has written a two-book series featuring Nate, Ella’s husband who after a tragic event is now a ghost, yet he can’t leave Ella’s side.  In Believe, their passion for one another endures even as Ella tries to heal from the grief of his death.  Ella’s struggle begins anew when another man, Nathan, enters her life.  In Trust, both man and ghost strive to save Ella during her reckless journey into a wilderness. Nate suffers the angst of saying good-bye to the woman who  has held his heart in thrall as both man and ghost, while Nathan fears crossing the boundary of doctor-to-patient while guiding Ella to love and trust once again. Both books are packed with passion and drama. The writing is superb. The denouement perfect and wonderfully satisfying. Believe Print Edition on Amazon. ebook. Trust Print edition on Amazon. ebook.

Mysteries, thrillers and police procedurals have long been my favorite reading. I’m recommending three that will keep you enthralled and then some. First up: Ready or Not by A B Plum, a psychological thriller that moves as fast and sly as a tsunami to threaten Karen Sullivan’s life at every turn.  The plot turns on family secrets that Karen never wants revealed.  ebook on Amazon. Not for the faint of heart. Lock your doors before you start this book.  Next, I recommend: Scream For the Camera, a new release by Colleen Connally. A Facebook Live Killer  cold-bloodedly kills vibrant, beautiful young women in front of the whole world.  The murders throw Mason Conrad and and Ettie Harwell  together, plunging them into a Dark World and a darker cyber web. Fans of cyber horror will not be able to put this book down. Print edition on Amazon. ebook, read FREE with Kindle Unlimited.  Here’s my favorite police procedural: Big Sick Heart, a Detectives Seagate and Minor Mystery.  I love Karen Seagate, the most flawed. sarcastic and toxic detective you’ll ever meet. Thus far Markel as created eight books in the series. Every one earning five stars from the premier indie reviewer Big Al. Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

Big Sick Heart
Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon


Now, I sort of have my own little Ghost story, The House on Persimmon Road. But it really should’ve been titled The Ghost Who Wouldn’t be. Readers say: “Delightfully Delectable Read! Quirky, funny, and real.” ~ “Zany people live in this book.”  That’s prolly because a zany author wrote it.  Print edition perfect gift for Mothers, sisters, aunts and cousins. ebook. On all Amazon venues.

@JackieWeger 2019. Comments Welcome. If you’ve read a great book recently, do share in the comments. We authors love word-of-mouth books, too.

[“Book Talk. #eNovAaW Sharing with you My favorite Classic reads and contemporary books too. Look ’em over. You may have missed a few.”]

Oh. I almost forgot. We have a March Madness promotion happening right now. Go look over the books and enter the Giveaway. Our sponsor eBookBetty has some great gifts on offer. Click on the Leprechaun to go there.

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  1. Linda Lee says:

    Another amazing post, Jackie. You’ve lived a fascinating and diverse life!

    Thanks for all the book recommendations. Let me say, Mia has two of the loveliest covers I’ve ever seen…and the series sounds heartwarming–definitely my “cup of tea.” Pinned & shared.

  2. Your slice of Heaven sounds perfect, Jackie. I’m sure it was hard, too, but man, the peace!

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Jacquie: Actually, life for me there was not hard. It’s as if you have a permanent camp site–everything in its place. Yes, peaceful. I did have to learn to take things in stride. The first time the millions of marching ants came through, scared me witless. My tiny recama [sleeping room] was in their path and the ants swarmed in every inch of it. My neighbor heard me yelling and walked along side the ants. Laughed at me. He said by dusk, the ants would be gone to their next nest. True. I scoured my recama with a flashlight. Not a single ant. Just geckos, skinks and fruit bats who lived ‘with’ me. My companion dog didn’t stir, stayed on his blanket. Still, I stayed up until midnight with candles alight in every corner. The vilest ants were not the marching ants or fire ants, but leaf cutter ants. Those things are huge with powerful jaws. Once bitten, I learned to never step on their paths.

  3. Mike Markel says:

    Great post, Jackie, and thanks for the kind words about my book. I want to second your idea of searching out older books that have stayed with you. I keep re-reading Catcher in the Rye, and it’s always amazing to me how much the book changes as I . . . acquire more maturity. Thanks for the post, Jackie.

  4. P. C. Zick says:

    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is an inspiration for me. I just went back to Cross Creek and actually kayaked the creek between Lockloosa and Orange Lakes. Gave me the nudge I needed to get back into writing about the Florida I love.

  5. Hi Jackie, What a fascinating blog post! I would love to hear more about the years you spent in the jungle. Where were you?

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Roberta, I spent most of my time in a tiny village called el Cacao on the side of a mountain in Panama. I also spent time on a small island off the coast. It has two names. Isle of Flowers and Toboga. It was mucho barrato [cheap] to bus into Costa Rica, so I now and again made the trip to Golfito, a small village with a fabulous yacht club that served the best breakfast for $5 American. We took a water Taxi to spend the day on a beach. You could get a room for $10 a night, but I like A/C, so stayed in an upmarket hotel. $30 night. Surfers from around the world flocked to Golfito.

  6. Great books and prizes too!

  7. jerrihines340 says:


    Great post. I would like to say a few words here to readers out there. This is a great opportunity to great some wonderful reads. You won’t be disappointed in any of these books. Like Jackie said, a good book stays with you.

    Thanks, Jackie, for the mention of Scream for the Camera. I had one reader tell me it scared her from going on the internet. (Murder mixed with the Dark Web)

    Have a great day!

  8. What a wonderful post! Thank you, Jackie.

  9. Great post! Oh Jackie, you should write a memoir. I love it when you recount your old traveling days. All the books mentioned here look and sound amazing but I got to say, I’m enthused by Mike Markel’s new cover. Makes you want to dig right in. Bravo, Mike!!

  10. Barbara Ann Plum says:

    Jackie, one message I take from your post: take the good (reading in that hammock) with the not-so-good (those ants). Thanks for your shout-out on READY OR NOT. I do appreciate the ‘word of mouth.’ Regarding older books: VALLEY OF DECISION by Marcia Davenport still amazes me with its depth, compassion, and historical accuracy about the steel industry and World War II. My copy is dog-eared. The heroine, Mary, is one of my favorite literary characters.

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