Book #46 was Welding With Children by Tim Gatreaux. It's our December book for book club. A collection of short stories by a Louisiana writer, it has some real gems. I read (and reported on) his second collection of stories, Same Place, Same Things, earlier this year.
The title story is about a grandfather who comes to the realization that he is going to have to take responsibility for his grandchildren, born out of wedlock to his four daughters. It is touching without being gooshy. He realizes that the work he failed to do with his own daughters is part of the reason he is stuck babysitting with all these kids now.
He knows Louisiana--how can he not with a name like Gatreaux--and what he writes probably seems over the top to folks from the Yankee north, but some of the characters are very like real people I know. There is one scene of old people sitting around a kitchen table playing bourree that could be taken right out of my aunt's house, if you substitute dominoes for bourree.
Anyhow, he's worth a read. And apparently he is far more conservative than many writers, because on some of the review sites I read he is vilified--not for his writing, which the critic admitted was good, but for his political beliefs. The reviewer went so far as to say, "Read him, by all means. But check the book out of the library, so that not another dollar will accrue to the pig." Well, well.