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Local author spotlight

Interested in being featured in our Local Author Spotlight?

Each month, we’ll feature a local author in our newsletter and on our website. Featured books should have been published within the last two years and the author should be local to Clearview Library District. The Library will hold the author’s work to the same standards as those used for collection development. Please query Casey at if you would like to be featured. We will also add a donated copy of your book to the Library’s collection.

Thule: An Odyssey by Joe Plummer


Writing in the first person and bringing the reader along on an incredible journey, the author is a young, jaded newspaper reporter who stumbles across, solves and writes a nonfiction bestseller about a murder in the military that went undiscovered for twenty years. From cover to cover and throughout his enviable odyssey which culminates in fame and fortune, the protagonist, Evan Mindenhall, experiences and learns more about the vagaries of life than his sheltered, almost inconsequential, young existence would have otherwise afforded him.   

This fascinating, provocative, poignant adult novel touches numerous walks of life. The story is philosophical in nature, with all of the working-class and military characters seeming to jump right off the pages. Similar to life itself, Thule: An Odyssey contains humor, sadness and tragedy. The reader will be captivated by the author’s use of interesting historical references; subtle allusions to sexuality; and vivid descriptions of how nature’s wonders almost never cease to amaze us mere mortals. 

Intriguing and thought-provoking and at the same time illustrating the human condition by reaching into unexplored facets of life that until now have not been captured collectively in a single literary work, Thule: An Odyssey, with its colorful characters, plentiful twists and turns and its terrific surprise ending is a must-read that is destined to become a literary classic and should be a real treat for readers everywhere.

Check out Thule: An Odyssey here.

Purchase from Amazon here

About the Author

Born into a lower middle-class family, the author was raised in the Upper Midwest of the United States. In addition to his two hard-working parents – neither of which attended college – he was the middle child of three children, that is, he had an older brother and a younger sister. As it was so common during the 1940s and the 1950s, the author was raised in a tranquil environment in which his loving parents always tried to instill the traditional Midwestern values of thrift, honesty and a good work ethic in all of three of their children.

Being a gambler by nature (no doubt inherited from or at least influenced by his father who played poker and was a horseracing enthusiast), these traditional values seemed to elude the author. Following a mediocre academic performance and the absence of hardly any athletic prowess in high school, he tried his hand at a string of blue-collar types of jobs that were so plentiful in the Upper Midwest at the time. For many reasons, though, none of those jobs in what is now known as the “Rust Belt” panned out. 

By this time the turbulent and tumultuous 1960s had erupted, and the Vietnam police action was at its peak. Since at this juncture the author did not have either the discipline or desire to attend college and was neither working nor raising a family, it was inevitable that he would soon be drafted into the Army. To stave off this inevitability and avoid getting killed or maimed several thousand miles away across the Pacific as part of the American infantry, the author enlisted for a four-year hitch in the Air Force.

After serving his obligation to Uncle Sam, the author took a year off to find himself. At the end his hiatus, the author enrolled in college under the G.I. Bill and earned an undergraduate degree in the mid-1970s, with the thought of writing the Great American Novel always in the back of his mind. 

Following his college graduation, the author worked for the next eight years in several unfulfilling (and sometimes dangerous) jobs in different parts of the country. Now married for more than a decade and having two grade-school children to support, the author reached back into his formative Midwestern values and enrolled in graduate school and earned his master’s degree in public administration in the mid-1980s and, until his retirement in 2015, worked in government services, mainly in city planning, for thirty years.