February 2024

Book Reviews

Les Marcott | Scene4 Magazine | www.scene4.com

Les Marcott


There Is Always A Song by Katia Pillonel

Katia Pillonel, (aka Katiak), has been a world traveler, a dreamer of dreams (and maker of dream catchers), a journalist, a musician, and a dog trainer.  She is someone who has been transfixed and transformed by the power of American roots music.  That’s not necessarily unique, but what is so impressive is that Katiak hails from the French speaking part of Switzerland which is not exactly the hotbed of Americana.  She currently resides in Portugal.  Her memoir details the many American roots musicians that she has been influenced by.  The chapters usually revolve around a song written by artists such as Arlo Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt, Mary Gauthier, Greg Brown, Guy Clark, Bill Staines, Taylor Pie and many others.  Her enthusiasm is infectious especially when she writes of encountering these artists’ music for the first time.  And if you’re a dog lover it will be an added treat.  They fit in quite nicely with her stories.



The Ballad Of Karla Faye Tucker by Mark Beaver

In 1998, Karla Faye Tucker became an international sensation due to being the first woman slated for execution in Texas since Chipita Rodriguez in 1863.  Mark Beaver weaves personal memoir, Tucker’s tantalizing story, and soul searching about religion, life and death, and redemption into a riveting, gripping account of Tucker’s life…and death.  Karla Faye was doomed from the start.  She began rolling joints with her mom at age ten.  At fourteen, she became a prostitute and drug addict.  She ran with a rough crowd which eventually led to her being involved in two murders in Houston.  Beaver’s initial interest in her case came about due to his devout Southern Baptist father imploring him to write a letter to then Governor George W. Bush on his behalf in favor of her commutation.  Tucker had undergone a jail house conversion to Christianity which got the attention of big-name televangelists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.  But it was not to be.  Whether it was political expediency or not, Bush declined to stop the execution.  But Tucker’s case caused many to reexamine their views of the death penalty and after reading this book you would have to be soulless not to reexamine your own views.



Filthy Rich Politicians by Matt K. Lewis

Matt K. Lewis writes about the dirty rotten business called politics.  He describes himself as a center-right columnist.  His wife happens to be a Republican fundraiser.  But unlike Lewis, most of the politicians he writes about are not transparent about their personal finances, their fundraising apparatus and their cronyism/nepotism.  The McCain-Feingold bipartisan reform act of 2002 was supposed to address the very abuses that Lewis writes about, but it was so full of loopholes, you could drive a semi-truck through it.  Lewis excoriates both parties for their grift and graft.

He offers solutions for reforming the system and its hold on the body politic but with the revolving door of legislators and lobbyist I tend to be more pessimistic than Mr. Lewis.


Share This Page

View readers’ comments in Letters to the Editor

Les Marcott | Scene4 Magazine | www.scene4.com

Les Marcott is a songwriter, musician, performer and a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.  For more of his commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2024 Les Marcott
©2024 Publication Scene4 Magazine




February 2024

  Sections Cover · This Issue · inFocus · inView · inSight · Perspectives · Special Issues
  Columns Adler · Alenier · Alpaugh · Bettencourt · Jones · Luce · Marcott · Walsh 
  Information Masthead · Your Support · Prior Issues · Submissions · Archives · Books
  Connections Contact Us · Comments · Subscribe · Advertising · Privacy · Terms · Letters

|  Search Issue | Search Archives | Share Page |

Scene4 (ISSN 1932-3603), published monthly by Scene4 Magazine
of Arts and Culture. Copyright © 2000-2024 Aviar-Dka Ltd – Aviar Media Llc.

Thai Airways at Scene4 Magazine