Under Our Masks: Honesty in Memoir Writing

Did you ever wish you’d spent more time talking to your parents or grandparents about their earlier life? I sure do. My mother, for example, was one of those women who stepped into a man’s shoes during WWII to fill needed jobs, including as an air traffic controller. If only she’d written a memoir. Gretchen […]

A Burnable Book of Prophecy and Treason

 Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger begins with a young woman shoving a book to the maudlyn Agnes, hidden in a copse in the Moorfields outside London gate. Only seconds later, Agnes witnesses the woman’s torture and murder by a man who keeps demanding, “Doovay leebro?” And the woman’s last words, “Though fawn escape the falcon’s […]

Beauty and the Monster: A Review of Rene Denfeld’s The Enchanted.

I like mysteries and I like fiction that explores controversial subjects. So the BBC Outlook interview with Rene Denfeld immediately captured my attention. Denfeld’s first fictional work is a mystery set on death row with the surprising title The Enchanted. The Enchanted tells the story of three very broken main characters. “The lady” is a […]

Hilary Mantel Re-invents the Historical Novel with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies

British writer Hilary Mantel has taken the literary world by storm by writing back to back award- winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, which have not only sold in huge numbers but have been developed into a highly touted PBS series and Broadway stage plays.  Although she has been made a Dame of the […]

Battle of the Books

Écoutez bien: In one corner is Picnic in Provence by Elizabeth Bard. This is a memoir-cookbook out April 7th of this year. It’s the sophomore book from Ms. Bard, a sequel to Lunch in Paris, which was stuffed with delicious and stories of l’amour far from home. Rumbling in the other corner, we have a […]

Q and A with Sue Montgomery, Author of Whisper in the Blood

Several years ago, I attended the 26th Annual Iowa Summer Writing Festival, the non-credit affiliate of the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop, whose graduates fill the ranks of the best and brightest in American letters.  Ours was a workshop class of 12 aspiring novelists which ran the gamut of genres – literary, historical, women’s fiction, and crime. I […]

Only the Lonely: Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores in a Vanishing World

I am a collector of bookstores.  When vacationing, I like to seek out a new or used bookstore in town, to support local business, to add to the growing collection of books by my bedside, and to discover what sets it apart from others. I can sometimes remember years later that I acquired a book at […]