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Shaken and Stirred Paperback – June 14, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bywater Books (June 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932859799
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932859799
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joan Opyr lives in Moscow, Idaho. Under the pen name Auntie Establishment, she writes a monthly humor column for Moscow’s Community News in which she takes on the most vital social issues of our day, from gay marriage (she’s for it) to wearing low-rise jeans (which she thinks ought to be a criminal offense punishable by up to five years working as a plumber). A graduate of North Carolina State University, Joan has a BA and an MA in English and is ABD for the PhD from The Ohio State University. Joan has taught composition and literature, worked as a technical writer, a library acquisitions supervisor, and a freelance book reviewer. Her most stressful job to date was a stint writing wedding and engagement announcements for The News & Observer, North Carolina’s largest daily newspaper; hell hath no fury like a Southern bride whose name has been spelled incorrectly.

More About the Author

Joan Opyr is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where she earned a BA and an MA in English. She has exactly one half of a PhD from The Ohio State University, where she studied Beowulf and other light classics. Someday, she may even get around to writing her dissertation. She reads Viking sagas for fun, is a huge fan of Terry Pratchett and J. R. R. Tolkien, and often wishes she were a forensic archaeologist because she has an insane fascination with Iron Age bog bodies.

Though Joan often writes about her adopted home of Idaho, she is a Tarheel through and through and hopes someday to return to the Old North State. In the meantime, she is a nursing student at Lewis-Clark State College because she believes that all writers should have a day job. Otherwise, how could they afford food and shelter?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This was a really fun book to read.
Amazon Customer
Opyr is adept at developing characters and creating scenes, blending them together like layers on a painting to give the story depth and detail.
Sage320
Most people will find something with which to relate in this novel.
dog8myhmwk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sage320 on August 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
Joan Opyr writes about family in the way that most people experience it and few have the nerve to discuss it. She describes the dynamics, love and frustrations, support and confrontations, warts and all, in an honest and open manner while demonstrating how important families can be and how aggravating. The thing that keeps Shaken and Stirred from being a brutally serious book is the tremendous humor that reverberates through the pages.

Opyr is adept at developing characters and creating scenes, blending them together like layers on a painting to give the story depth and detail. There are many moments when Opyr reveals herself as an astute observer of the human condition. Shaken and Stirred deals with serious situations such as the loss of a lover, living with an alcoholic, family infidelity and the death of a relative, but Opyr shows that sometimes they can also be very funny. The reality is that sometimes people laugh at funerals. Poppy understands each of her relatives and friends perfectly. There just is not anything she can do with or about them. At least she recognizes the absurdity of her situation. Laughter becomes a defense mechanism for both Poppy and the reader.

Joan Opyr used her own roots in North Carolina to create a story about a family of strong women, flawed if appealing men and children who are trying not to be associated with them. Southern mannerisms and attitudes abound, but in a genteel and sometimes preposterous presentation. There are issues for the reader to ponder and hardly a page will go by without eliciting a smile or a laugh out loud. This is an easy book to read and a lot of fun also.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bett Norris on July 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
The newest novel from Joan Opyr showcases a writing talent that should draw a wide audience. Family, dysfunction, humor, downright enjoyable. Opyr has a skill at revealing character and growth with a wry, laugh-instead-of-cry attitude that turns tragic into just another day in this family's life. This was a great pleasure to read. Getting some tremendous reviews. I loved this book.

Poppy Kowalski doesn't have time for a peaceful, quiet recovery from a hysterectomy. She has to fly across the country and deal with her entirely dysfunctional and hysterical family. Her alcoholic grandfather lies comatose in a hospital bed, and only Poppy can pull the plug. From pillar to post, from her grandfather's bedside to flashbacks from her youth, to ridiculous meetings with her mother and grandmother, from revisiting her first love to discovering a new one, Poppy has a full plate.

All is handled with tremendous skill, with humor, and with a genuine fondness for crazy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a really fun book to read. This author has such a way with presentation of characters that just about everybody can relate to somone in this book.
I was captured by the first paragraph and enjoyed this book so thoroughly that I found myself watching the dwindling pages left to read with a bit of sadness.
These characters are so memorable, I chuckled out loud on more than one occasion while reading this book, trust me you will too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dog8myhmwk on August 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
I finished Shaken and Stirred today. I really loved it. I laughed at times and felt very sad at others, and I saw people I "knew" in every chapter. Having visited the Raleigh area many times, I loved the local references. It is a very heartwarming story with the reader knowing what was in Poppy's heart before she acknowledged it. I found that enhanced my enjoyment of the story.

This book provides a very genuine look at the craziness that exists in most families (as I recall the time I went to a funeral and the man's nephew tried to pick me and a friend up with "Hey, want to grab a beer when this is over?"). Most people will find something with which to relate in this novel.
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By Kristy M. Wilfong on May 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a cute book the characters made me laugh and they where easily relatable. The only thing I have to say that's semi negative was I did not like all the hopping around from past to present. It was some times confusing, but overall a good book.
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