It Takes a Small Town…

Even though I grew up in a community of row houses in Philadelphia, there was a small town feel to our neighborhood as families looked out for other families.  There was even a small town feel to the farm area where we moved to in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, six miles from the center of town.  People […]

Freshly Baked Books: The Star of Istanbul

The Star of Istanbul, out this month, is the second book in a trilogy of thrillers by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler starring daring war correspondent Christopher Marlowe (Kit) Cobb. Cobb is a man who’d do anything to get to the bottom of a good and true story for the Chicago Post-Express. The first […]

A Brief History of the Novel – Part One

No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o’clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons. – Ishmael Reed What is a novel? Where did it come from? And for that matter, where will it go? Before we […]

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Saturday night the Readers Unbound gang celebrated its one-year anniversary with lots of good food and drink and chatter. (As an aside, the first anniversary is traditionally celebrated with gifts of paper.  And how appropriate that would have been for a group of writers. Instead, Chrinda brought us individual boxes of chocolate truffles all the way […]

Foxfire: Illuminating a Mountain Culture

Is there a  place on earth prettier than North Georgia in October? The day was the kind you wait for all year: a sky of blue fire, leaves  igniting into red and gold, and a temperature  perfect for hiking. We were headed to the Foxfire Museum. We stuck to the four lane, passing up the charming […]

Freshly Baked Books: The Light within the Darkness – Part Two

Yesterday I reviewed Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, my theme being my love for dark, conflicted fiction.  Today I’m going to explore another possibly bleak novel, Let Him Go by Larry Watson, published in September. Set in the 50s in the American West, Let Him Go concerns the journey of George and Margaret Blackledge from North Dakota, through the […]

Freshly Baked Books: Life Is Hard, and Then You Die – Part One

My book club will get a big laugh at the title of this review. They’re always razzing me about my taste for dark novels. And it’s true that I’m drawn to darkness and suffering, at least on the printed page. Two such books are Burial Rites, the debut novel by  Hannah Kent, published in September, and Let Him […]

Ivy Hall: A Literary Home

The ornaments of a home are the friends who frequent it. This Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, inscribed in sandstone above the fireplace in Ivy Hall’s foyer, has welcomed writers and book lovers ever since the Savannah College of Art and Design obtained the grand old mansion and turned it into a center for literature and […]