Book review: Pair of authors will visit Steamboat this summer
“Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local and Helped Save an American Town” by Beth Macy
The Bassett Furniture Company was once the world’s largest manufacturer of wood furniture. Located in Bassett, Virginia, an unincorporated town that existed to house the company, its employees and the extended Bassett family, the history of the place and the people involved makes fascinating reading, due in no small part to Beth Macy’s engaging insight and style.
So what makes the true story about a furniture company land on the New York Times Bestsellers’ list?
To quote author Beth Macy, “I call this book, Mad Men in the Mountains with Moonshine instead of Martinis. I really didn’t want this to be a dry, boring business book.” It certainly is anything but.
One of the most colorful characters in Bassett family history is John D. Bassett III. He took it upon himself, using grit and cunning, to fight back against the Asian competition which at the time, was forcing American manufacturers to ship production overseas in order to stay competitive.
Beth Macy has won numerous awards for her “extraordinary reporting and narrative skills.” She will be in Steamboat Springs at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 14 to share the story behind “Factory Man” and to sign copies of her book at the Bud Werner Memorial Library.
“Red Lightning” by Laura Pritchett
Laura Pritchett is one of Colorado’s finest writers. Her new novel, “Red Lightning,” is set in a small town, referred to as Nowhere, Colorado.
Tess Cross returns home after 10 years of living a hardscrabble sort of life, running drugs and transporting illegal immigrants once they cross the border. The act of returning home — beat up, exhausted, broke — means that Tess must face the sister who she has not communicated with since she left, her dying mother and the daughter whom she abandoned as a newborn.
Tess is afraid, not only of these uncertain, tangled family relationships that she must make sense of, but of the law. Her last assignment as a levantona was not successful and raises anxious questions for Tess about the individuals who may not have made it and in fact may not be alive as the largest wildfire in Colorado history is blazing.
As in her previous novel, “Stars Go Blue,” Pritchett’s lyrical and sparse prose draw the reader into this compelling novel of redemption and self-discovery.
Meet Laura Pritchett in person for a very special event at the Bud Werner Memorial Library at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6. She will discuss her new novel “Red Lightning” and sign copies.
Chris Painter is director of Bud Werner Memorial Library. These books are available at Bud Werner Memorial Library and Off the Beaten Path bookstore in Steamboat Springs.
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