Off the Shelf: Two books of life-testing experiences

“Talk Jock Twits” by Patrick Whitehurst

“Talk Jock Twits” by Patrick Whitehurst

Prescott Courier reporter Patrick Whitehurst's novella, "Talk Jock Twits," tells the story of a reporter on a small town liberal paper who becomes a columnist on KYAM, a right-wing talk radio station. His quirky and often hilarious column as Josh That earns him a growing celebrity. At one point a local police officer even lets him off from a ticket. His columns range from advice on parenting (don't ban Joe Camel) to political advice (the two-party system doesn't work - electing an alien for president would be better).

KYAM itself is a somewhat corrupt and inbred station, focused around the popular charismatic and Limbaugh-like Rob Stout, who turns out to have some kinky habits indeed. All seems on track for Josh to gain even more celebrity until the unexpected happens, causing a change in the station's politics and Josh learns just how fragile and out of control his new-found fame really is. Come hear Patrick read from his novella at the Peregrine Book Company on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 5:30 p.m. and pick up a signed copy of this delightful book.

A mystery is at the heart of Jay Treiber's novel, "Spirit Walk." What was it that happened 30 years ago, when he was 17, that college professor Kevin McNally has worked hard to erase from his memory? It is something that McNally never wants to face, and he has chosen to carry its load of guilt unexamined. Only when life and fate force him to confront this terrible memory does he journey back in time and slowly unravel the mystery for readers.

Along the way, we are treated to wonderfully memorable characters: Kevin's boyhood companion, O'odham Mondy; Amanda Monahan and her sister, Yolanda, old Conchillo and others. Place, too, is so vivid that it can almost be considered a character. The sights, smells and sound of the Sonoran landscape saturate every page. Modern elements of the border area are at play in this novel as well, with drugs, guns, kidnapping and even rape being a part in the drama, past and present.

Jay Treiber will read from and talk about his book at the Peregrine Book Company on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 2 p.m.

The Peregrine Book Company is located at 219A North Cortez St., in Prescott.