Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Woods - Historical Fiction by Ronald Lee Geigle

I'll defer the plot summary to the blurb on Amazon, it is well done. What I will give is my impressions. I don't know anything about logging, nor do I know much about the rough and tumble that was organized and organizing labor before World War II, nor do I have any deep feelings about total financial loss and rebirth that struck the country during and after the Great Depression. But, while reading Ron Geigle's book, I do.

Geigle captures life in a logging "show", describing the logging processes, living conditions and, especially, bringing the diverse people into sharp relief. Through his writing I understood the immense difficulties and dangers of the logging industry as well as the motivations, interests, and day to day activities of the people who did that work.

Not only the loggers but the labor organizers, the logging owners, the "money-men", and everyone else involved in the area at the time are vividly captured. Geigle's writing is crisp, clean, and well-paced. He deftly moves you from logging site, to the tiny logging town, to the seats of money and power in Seattle and Everett. He is equally adept at the boardroom scenes and the labor fights.

This book is highly recommended for anyone who likes a good story with strong, well-developed characters and a plot full of tension and emotion.  

Author Bio

Ronald Lee Geigle grew up in the Pacific Northwest.  He was born in Monroe, Washington, and attended Meadowdale Senior High School.  After graduating from the University of Washington, he headed for Washington, DC, where he has spent the past 30+ years as a speechwriter, congressional aide, and public relations consultant. He worked for Washington State Senator Warren Magnuson and US Representative Norm Dicks, and founded the public relations firm Polidais.

"You learn a lot about people over that many years," says Geigle. "And you learn a lot about politics. It is always a surprise to me, despite all these years in DC, what those two forces do to one another—and not necessarily in a good way."

Geigle makes politics a central part of his novel, The Woods, which tells a coming-of-age story set during a period of labor unrest in the Pacific Northwest during the late 1930s. As the nation emerges from the Great Depression, both haves and have-nots struggle for financial survival and, more importantly, to achieve their dreams in the face of adversity, danger, and political ambition.

Geigle won fiction writing awards from the National Press Club in Washington, DC, in 1997 and 1998 for two chapters from his novel.


·        Twitter: @rongeigle
·        Goodreads author page 

·        Amazon

Friday, July 4, 2014

Feature and Follow - Picture Books

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

One of my favorite picture books, when I was a wee lad, was The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. Everyone, of course, loved Dr. Seuss - Hop on Pop, The Cat in the Hat, The Thinks You Can Think, Green Eggs and Ham. My kids got steady doses of Clifford, Spot, and the Berenstain Bears.