I just gave our dog a much needed bath. It is a warm rainy spring day. So many things to do this time of the year, but I’m not complaining. After such a loong winter, how could I? The grass is like a thick green velvet carpet, the brilliant colors of daffodils and tulips have popped up from under the dark cold soil, the bare trees are starting to bud, still year after year I get excited when I see this proof of the promise of spring. Yes, even though it also brings muddy walks for our little white dog and the need for extra baths.
For those of you who missed Laurie Lownenstein’s visit to our area last month, you missed a real gem. It was a delight getting to know her, listening to her read from her work, and talk about her writing process. Her novel, Unmentionables is an excellent historical fiction novel about WW1, women’s rights and the Chautauqua Circuit of speakers in small town America.
I have read so many good books recently, where to start? My favorite was Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. An historical novel of French civilians struggle to survive WW2. I have loved many of her novels, though I believe this is her best yet. If you are one of the many readers who loved Anthony Doerr’s All the Light You Cannot See, this would be a great companion book to read. (Congratulations to Mr. Doerr on his Pulitzer Prize, IF Hannah’s book had been published a year earlier, he would have had much stiffer competition.)
I read The Love Book by Nina Solomon. It was refreshingly contemporary, witty and poignant. If you are looking for a fun thought-provoking read…this is the book for you!
I read Susan Wittig Albert’s new novel, Bitterweet. It is a free standing novel in the China Bayles series of Crime novels. I don’t usually read this genre but this was a page turner and very well written. Susan Wittig Albert started Story Circle Network eighteen years ago. I had no idea she was also such a prolific writer. Amazing lady! Story Circle promotes women writers from mostly small presses. The ones who are too often overlooked.
I read The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld for my Book Club, it starts a bit slow but becomes an unforgettable story that’s hard to put down.
Stella Rose is a stunning debut novel by Tammy Flanders Hetrick. It is about relationships: in life, in death, family, friends, work and romance–and not always in that order. I was hooked on the first page and and glued to it till the end of the book. I received an Advance Reader Copy and reviewed it for Story Circle. Click this link to read the review: http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/stellarose.shtml
On April 30 I drove to State College and recorded two book reviews for BookMark @ WPSU, an affiliate of NPR. The first was As The Wolf Loves Winter by David Poyer. It is one of his Hemlock County series, republished in 2014. Suspense, rich,
dramatic imagery and the intense vortex of action made this an unforgettable story that is extremely relevant these days with all the Marcellus Shale activity throughout Pennsylvania. Here is the link to read or listen: http://radio.wpsu.org/post/bookmark-wolf-loves-winter-david-poyer
The second BookMark review was The Day the Whistle Blew by Marilyn Nesbit Wood. She writes honestly and compellingly about mines
and miners, coal camp kids, miner’s wives, company tohttp://radio.wpsu.org/programs/wpsus-bookmarkwns, letting go, and
acceptance. This one will air later this year.
I will be at the beautiful Public Library in Olean, N.Y. on Saturday, May 9 at 2 p.m. I hope some of you will be able to attend. I will read from my books, discuss writing, take questions and discussions, as well as lead interactive writing activities.
We went to a premier showing of the documentary, I’ll Be Me, the story of Glen Campbell’s last tour and his struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. His wife and two of their adult children introduced the film and took questions after. It was an emotional evening. I encourage everyone to see this powerful and relevant documentary when it becomes more widely available.
Until next time, keep reading, my friends!