April 19, 2009 On the shelves

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey.

Steve Harvey — the host of the nationally syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show, comedienne and actor — can’t count the number of impressive women he’s met over the years. He has met women who can run a small business, keep a household with three kids in tiptop shape and chair a church group all at the same time. Yet, when it comes to relationships, they can’t figure out what makes men tick. Why? According, to Steve, it’s because they’re asking other women for advice when no one but another man can tell them how to find and keep a man.

In “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” Steve lets women inside the mindset of a man and sheds light on concepts and questions such as:

• The 90-Day Rule: Ford requires it of its employees. Should you require it of your man?

• How to spot a mama’s boy and what, if anything, you can do about it.

• When to introduce the kids. And what to read into the first interaction between your date and your kids.

• The five questions every woman should ask a man to determine how serious he is.

• And much more

Sometimes funny, sometimes direct, but always truthful, Steve Harvey has written a book you must read if you want to understand how men think when it comes to relationships.

Don’t Make Me Choose Between You and My Shoes by Dixie Cash.

New York City is miles from Salt Lick, Texas, in more ways than one, but Debbie Sue Overstreet and Edwina Perkins-Martin are rarin’ to go. The best friends/beauty shop owners/private-eye partners have been offered an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Association of Private Investigators convention in the Big Apple. Debbie Sue sees the invitation as validation, but Edwina has one goal: to get her feet into a pair of super-glam designer shoes, not easily had back home. Yee-haw!!

As a sign of things to come, the two Texas tornadoes don’t even get out of the state without causing pandemonium at the Dallas airport. And once they land in the Big City, they meet Celina, a small-town librarian who’s broke and bereft from getting robbed, and Cher, an amiable “working girl” with a heart of gold. Taking Celina and Cher under their wings, the private eyes head right for trouble as Edwina nearly starts a riot in the hotel bar.

But the Big Apple hasn’t seen nothin’ yet! While helping shy Celina hook up with a hunky young police detective, the Domestic Equalizers bumble their way into a murder investigation that could end up leaving Debbie Sue deceased and Edwina stone-cold in her new Jimmy Choos!

This title is the fourth in the author’s beauty shop owners/private investigators series. Dixie’s good ol’ gals on the chase for trouble always deliver big laughs in the process, and her name is the pseudonym for two sisters who write the series together. As they put it, one sister writes beautiful prose and steamy sex, and the other one comes along and junks it up with trash. It’s a process that seems to be working for them. Readers enjoy!

Columbine by Dave Cullen.

On April 20, 1999, two boys left an indelible stamp on the American psyche. Their goal was simple: to blow up their school, Oklahoma City-style, and to leave “a lasting impression on the world.” Their bombs failed, but the ensuing shooting defined a new era of school violence — irrevocably branding every subsequent shooting “another Columbine.”

When we think of Columbine, we think of the Trench Coat Mafia; we think of Cassie Bernall, the girl we thought professed her faith before she was shot; and we think of the boy pulling himself out of a school window with the whole world was watching him. Now, in a riveting piece of journalism nearly 10 years in the making, comes the story none of us knew. In this revelatory book, Dave Cullen has delivered a profile of teenage killers that goes to heart of psychopathology. He lays bare the callous brutality of mastermind Eric Harris and the quavering, suicidal Dylan Klebold, who went to the prom three days earlier and obsessed about love in his journal.

The result is an astonishing account of two good students with lots of friends but who were secretly stockpiling a basement cache of weapons, recording their raging hatred and manipulating every adult who got in their way. They left signs everywhere, described by Cullen with a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists and the boys’ tapes and diaries, he give gives the first complete account of the Columbine tragedy.

In the tradition of “Helter Skelter” and “In Cold Blood,” Columbine is destined to be a classic. A close-up portrait of violence, a community rendered helpless and police blunders and cover-ups, it is a compelling and utterly human portrait of two killers — an unforgettable cautionary tale for our time.