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Comment: Good copy with moderate cover and page wear from being handled and read. Accessories or dust jacket may be missing. Could be an ex-library copy that will have all the stickers and or marking of the library. Some textual or margin notes possible, and or contain highlighting.
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Shaken and Stirred Paperback – June 14, 2011

9 customer reviews

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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.
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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: #2,323,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

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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 ElaineB on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Excellent! Poppy Koslowski goes home to North Carolina to pull the plug on her grandfather. Naturally, this is about way more than pulling the plug. It's her story of growing up in a typically dysfunctional Southern family. This has possibly the best opening sentence, paragraph, and page of anything I've read in I don't know how long. It's a sweet story of friendship, love, family and the things we say and don't say. Absolutely realistic depictions of those awkward moments when someone says something and the other hears it completely differently than it was intended--and years of hurt ensue. My only peeve was that the book flips back and forth in time with no markers other than a line break. Every time I came to one of those, I had to brace myself and wonder, OK, when are we going back to now? It's quickly established, but the effect remained. The story gets broken up such that you forget what pivotal moment you're in because she's suddenly back tracked to tell some back story.

There's a great moment when Poppy picks up a copy of Rubyfruit Jungle and doesn't know what it is. (It was in a pile of library books her mother had. lol) This does remind me of RJ--that kind of smart story about growing up Southern and gay. A risky comparison to make so overtly, but it worked and is deserved.

The online blurbs are misleading. That is not how the story begins. The blurb on the back cover is an example of a very well written blurb. You get enough of the story to want to read it, but nothing is given away.
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