One of the books piling up next to the bed in our RV was a free one I got as yet another perk workamping at Riverbend hot springs resort in New Mexico. Free books are great. They’re even better if you actually enjoy them.
Amarillo In August isn’t so much about the Author’s first book, as it is about the book signing tour he embarked on throughout the Southwest to offload the cases of books his publishers dumped in his lap, almost literally. But it does hint about Rattlesnake Lawyer just enough to tease any legal thriller buff. Smart marketing. Something Miller should have thought of before publishing his first book. A book that cost him his public defender job and nearly got him disbarred.
The book tour takes the author through many of the same towns we visited in New Mexico. Perhaps why I liked the book. It also addresses a few of the trials and tribulations of newly published authors. Perhaps we’ll reconsider writing that book about our own discoveries on this little cross-country sabbatical road trip of ours.
Amarillo In August makes for good RV reading. And while Miller may not care much for this analogy, it is a great bathroom book. It’s short chapters are concise, stand well on their own, and can be easily digested in between rest stops. Yet their is a thread that binds them, eventually leading the reader to discover whether or not the author on tour sells out his storage unit full of books.
Or, if your looking for an entertaining book to consume all at once for your next long haul – assuming you’re not driving – Amarillo in August is a quick read, full of wit. And wisdom about the paths we take in life. Like the authors own paths to becoming a starving screenwriter or successful defense lawyer.
While on tour with his Rattlesnake Lawyer book, the author introduces us to interesting characters like Harry Potter fans, the Mexican Geisha, and White Shaq on Crack. I think we might have actually met the latter in Truth or Consequences, NM. It also introduces the politics publishing, the tedious necessity of book signings, and paints a picture of the southwest painted from the open road.
We probably stopped at many of the same rest stops – where you don’t want to drink the water – as Miller did while he traversed Interstates 40 and 25. I could relate to what he thought of Roswell after returning years since he lived there. But we must have missed the quaint “old plaza” in Socorro. And I guess I’ll just never understand his fascination for Albequerque.
Jonathan C. Miller also wrote Crater County: A Legal Thriller of New Mexico. Did I mention my copy of Amarillo In August is signed by the author? I did now. It’s dedicated to Tony, but that’s OK. He must have been the nice old man who told me he left it for the next guest when I ran out to his truck with it as he drove off from Riverbend one morning.