Another month has slipped away. I spent the first half of this month at home recovering from a nasty fall. Then busy helping our granddaughter, her husband and children get settled into their new home. They were lucky to find a beautiful secluded home that the bank had foreclosed two years ago. That made it affordable for our young family, though sad for the previous owners. It even included a sturdy big wooden swing set with slide in the back yard. Everyone in our family helped as much as they could.
We attended a lovely wedding in Grove City, PA. on September 24th. It always gives us hope for the future to see a wedding party of fine young people having so much fun while upholding the values so many of us believe in, and the newlyweds, not being afraid of true love, and making commitments to each other.
We went to see the movie, Sully. It was wonderful! We saw it the first day it was released and the entire packed audience sat in silence for a minute before everyone started to applaud. It was that good. I’ve only been to one other movie where that happened, and it was a Tom Hanks movie too, Forrest Gump.
Of course, I continue to read books. Raven Black by Ann Cleeves. Fiction, suspense/mystery. It was my first Cleeves book, though it will not be my last. It kept me guessing until the last page!
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny. Fiction, murder/mystery. It is Penny’s12th novel in the Armand Gamache series. This New York Times best selling author visited Bradford number of years ago, she was delightful and humble. I encourage you to check out her mystery series. But they are also stand alone stories and you don’t have to read them in order. I believe this one is her best yet. I usually can tell who dunnit when reading a mystery but this one kept me guessing until the end.
Black River and Devil’s Key by Elizabeth Graves. Fiction, supernatural thrillers. Both are Florida stories of black magic, conjuring and suspense. The characters are well developed with complicated plots that create unforgettable tales. As one reviewer said, “Not a book to curl up with late at night…not if you want to get any sleep.” Yet so worth reading!
Don Juan in Hankey, Pa. by Gale Martin. Fiction, comedy. This is a laugh out loud tale of the misadventures of the Hankey, Pa Opera Guild. The characters are delightfully believable as Martin takes us on fun romp behind the scenes in this charming intelligent novel. It is posted on Story Circle Book reviews at: http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/donjuan.shtml
My review of Dimestore: A Writer’s Life by Lee Smith was published in this quarter’s issue of Writer Advice. You can read it at www.writeradvice.com and then click Hooked On Books.
I drove to State College, PA. yesterday to record four book reviews for BookMark. My sister and her husband went with me. We met three cousins for lunch at Bonfattos, in Bellefonte. Great food and fun! Then we went to WPSU studio at 1:30 and I recorded these reviews: (Each of these novels has a Pennsylvania connection.)
Don Juan in Hankey, Pa. by Gale Martin
Hope You Guess My Name by Heather Harlan
Trace by Randy Valentine
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
*BookMark airs each week at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday and again at 9 p.m. on Sunday.
My book club, Book Friends, voted to read Louise Penny’s A Great Reckoning as our October book. We had a great discussion last week about our September book, Everything I Never Told You.
Till next time, keep reading my friends.
On this rainy August 31, the temperature is a bit cooler and fall is in the air. And the still-student grandchildren are back in school. We are anticipating hosting my husband’s family, (and after all these years my family, too), for the Labor day weekend. It is an annual thing and we always have a great time. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, then you know family time is what life is all about for me!
I had the privilege of attending the Wilkes Writers Workshop on August 5- 6th. I was on a panel, Pennsylvania Fiction: What it is and What it Does, with fellow writers Chris Campion, Heather Harlan and Barbara Taylor, moderated by David Poyer. My long-time friend and fellow writer, Susan, went with me. We had a wonderful time, and it was good to reconnect with old writing friends and make new ones at the workshop. The writing community at Wilkes U. is so invigorating!
Books I have enjoyed reading this month are:
Crave, Sojourn of a Hungry Soul, by Laurie Jean Cannady. She’s new to the Wilkes U. faculty. Her memoir is poignantly honest, packed full of details about growing up in the projects and escaping that life through education. I highly recommend this one to increase our understanding of a sub-culture that is an important part of our country.
Hope You Can Guess My Name, by Heather Harlan Debut thriller novel that soars from page one. You can read my review on Story Circle Book Reviews at http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/guessmyname.shtml
Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant, Undercover & Overwhelmed as a CIA Wife and Mother, by Lillian McCloy
The author is a natural story teller and shares her wonderful memoir, packed with details, poignant honesty and sharp wit. You can read my review on Story Circle Book Reviews at:
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Nonfiction. This was our book club’s book for this month. It dealt with the judicial system in the US, and prompted a long and stimulating discussion. Another book I recommend to promote increased understanding of poverty, race and a side of life in the U.S. that is not familiar to most Americans.
Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading by Maureen Corrigan. Memoir. I met her after she spoke at the Writer’s Workshop. She is down to Earth and witty …as well as, oh so knowledgeable about books! And she never forgot her blue collar roots.
I mentioned In Robin’s Nest in my July blog, it was posted on Story Circle after I had already posted my blog.You can read it at: http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/inrobinsnest.shtml
My review of Tipping Point by David Poyer was on air twice last week WPSU’s BookMark, you can listen to it at: http://radio.wpsu.org/programs/wpsus-bookmark
We have felt a real void this summer for good movies. We did see Jason Bourne, and it was an exciting action movie, though unmemorable. the good news is, according to the previews, there are some good ones coming in the next few months. We also watched God is Not Dead on Netflicks, and really loved it. Honestly, I did not expect it to be so good.
Until next month, keep reading and always take time to smell the roses!