Two Different Beach Reads: The Drop by Dennis Lehane and The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams

When I look at photographs of my parents, I can see how I inherited my eye color from one, my curly hair, the other. I’m convinced that my reading tastes are just as genetic. One of the fixtures in my father’s bathroom was a tub with a copy of a detective novel on its wide […]

Evil, Good and Woundedness: A Review of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I was eleven years old – perched at the edge of puberty – and supposed to be having the time of my life. At sleepaway camp the pleasures of summer beckoned: horses, archery, a lake. Yet I was miserable. Slightly homesick, yes, but even more obsessed with a question – Why do bad things happen […]

Little Free Library Interrupted

“Take a book, return a book.” That’s the only rule of the wildly successful grassroots operation responsible for Little Free Libraries popping up in neighborhoods everywhere, including yours.  A Little Free Library is nothing more than a weatherproof wooden box, about the size and shape of a dollhouse, mounted on a post near any street, […]

Historical Novelist Lynn Cullen, Part 2: The Craft of Art

In Part 1 of my interview with Lynn Cullen (see July 30th), I briefly discussed her break-out novel, Mrs. Poe.  But as Cullen says herself, “It takes years to figure out your craft and the industry. Those who want a short cut, well, it doesn’t happen.” Back when she was a young mother finishing her English […]

Historical Novelist Lynn Cullen, Part 1: Mrs. Poe, Frances Osgood, and the Author Herself

Received this post as an email? Click on the blue title to read in your browser. I hadn’t seen my friend Lynn Cullen since the launch of her historical novel Reign of Madness in 2011, though we’d been in touch via email. But this morning we were meeting for breakfast at Goldberg’s Deli in Toco […]

Freshly Baked Books: The Hurricane Sisters

Email: Please click on the blue title to read in your browser. Storms are brewing in The Hurricane Sisters, the latest book by Dorothea Benton Frank, and it’s not just a hurricane heading for Sullivan’s Island.  True to Frank’s past fourteen novels, this one, just published by William Morrow, is set in the South Carolina […]

A Quick Peek at a Favorite Author: Anne Lamott

Email: Please click on the blue title to read in your browser. When I started working at a small local independent bookstore 17 years ago (still there!), I soon learned that even though I considered myself fairly well-read, there were many, many authors yet to discover.  Part of my job is to suggest books to […]