Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Short Takes 4/25/17

15 Ways to Be a Literary Advocate
Book Riot put together some wonderful suggestions for how to support books, reading, and libraries.

Dennis Palumbo on Between the Lines Barry Kibrick of NPS talks with Dennis Palumbo, renowned psychologist and Oscar nominated screen writer, about his new book Phantom Limb, fourth in his mystery series set in Pittsburgh featuring Daniel Rinaldi. I have read, loved, and reviewed all four.

Wednesday, May 31-Sunday, June 4, 2017
"Armchair Book Expo is an online conference that runs in conjunction with Book Expo in New York City. There are a large number of people around the world that are not able to join in the literary celebrations of Book Expo, so Armchair Book Expo brings the celebration to you by allowing networking among other book bloggers, authors, and publishers as well as special coverage of the event, all from the comfort of your very own armchair."

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Eveningland: StoriesEveningland: Stories by Michael Knight
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For ten years, since retirement, we've traveled to the Gulf in February to escape the worst of Michigan's winter at first staying in various motels and eventually renting condos in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama.

My love of reading had fallen by the wayside as I struggled with my kidney failure and the burden of dialysis four times a day. Even on vacation, I found it difficult to concentrate.

As a member, not necessarily in good standing, of Net Galley I am able to read and review books before publication. I'm not high enough in the hierarchy for publishers to want to share their treasures although I have loved the books I've been granted.

Right before we left Orange Beach to come home, I got an e-mail that offered a book of short stories by Michael Knight called Eveningland. The setting was Mobile and the Gulf. I was able to get a copy and started reading.

THE FIRST LINE: "None of this is true. All of this is true."

THE STORY: There are six stories and a novella that may or may not include a satisfactory ending for some readers. The reader is often left to ponder what might happen in the future. One with a real twist is "Smash and Grab". By the time I got to "Landfall", I was so invested in the characters that I was truly concerned on their behalf.

WHAT I THOUGHT: Short stories are not something I tend to choose to read; however, I am almost always won over and that was the case here.

The writing is beautiful and the description of areas around Mobile evocative. I actually prefer untidy endings. They stay with you longer.

Title: Eveningland
Author: MIchael Knight
Genre: Short Stories
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
No. of Pages: 304
Copyright: March 7, 2017
ISBN-10: 0802125972

Disclaimer: An advanced reading copy (ARC) of this book was provided to me by Atlantic Monthly Press and Net Galley for an honest review.

Michael Knight is the author of the novels The Typist and Divining Rod, the short story collections Goodnight, Nobody and Dogfight and Other Stories, and the book of novellas The Holiday Season. Knight teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee and lives in Knoxville with his family. Learn more at MichaelKnightFiction.com. (from Amazon)

Short Takes 4/6/17

Today's mail brought me a review copy of The Bronx Kill by Philip Cioffari, an author with whom I am not familiar. "The complexity and durability of friendship stand at the heart of . . . an extraordinary novel that earned high advance praise from Kirkus Reviews."

Blogger/Librarian Marlyn Beebe posted a link to Facebook that I just had to share. Check out 100 Must-Read Books with Plot Twists. I've actually read 20 of these titles and they are all as advertised!

Excerpts from SinC Links:

The mystery world mourns the death of Colin Dexter, creator of Inspector Morse and the inspiration behind “Lewis” and “Endeavour.” HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING

The Play That Goes Wrong” upends the mystery whodunit. This knockabout mystery farce from London trades on the perverse comfort of watching things go smash in a safe, contained environment. ONE OF THE PRODUCERS IS A COLLEGE CLASSMATE.

NY Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris is launching a new fantasy series set in a fractured America. The first book in the trilogy, TEXOMA, will debut in 2018. JUST READ MY FIRST (AND LAST) AURORA TEAGARDEN.

Early in March, SinC released the 2016 Monitoring Report, the annual report which highlights media coverage of books by female crime novelists. It has been at the cornerstone of the Sisters in Crime mission for 30 years. I MONITOR DEADLY PLEASURES FOR THIS PROJECT.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


"Katie Henry is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and a member of the New York University class of 2012, majoring in Dramatic Writing. Her plays have won the Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Teen Playwriting contest, Speed Limit 25, and Young Playwrights Inc.'s National Playwriting Contest, and have been performed at the Cherry Lane Theatre, Berkeley High School, Palo Alto High School, and Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre."

Back when she was a high school student in the San Francisco Bay area, another student tried to pass off a copy of Katie's play as her own. A friend of mine sent me a copy of the newspaper article. I got in touch with Katie and got permission to do a staged reading of PERFECT SCORE. (We actually did a second staged reading a few years later.)

I've been following Katie's career ever since and couldn't be more excited for her.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


All the Little Liars (Aurora Teagarden, #9)
All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris

If you have read and loved earlier Aurora Teegardin mysteries, you don't need me to tell you to add ALL THE LITTLE LIARS to your 'to read' list.

Saturday, February 25, 2017


On Turpentine LaneOn Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 1999 I stumbled upon The Inn at Lake Devine and chose it to be featured at a Reader's Advisory Workshop where I was speaking. Elinor Lipman turned out to be a 'life author' for me. Her stories are what I call literate chic-lit but they are more than that.

Here's what I wrote in an earlier review on my blog:

She is the Jane Austen of her time. Language, dialogue and sentences are precise and exactly right. And you will want to be friends with all her characters. She deals with what could be uncomfortable topics that are part of our lives in a way that makes them palatable.

THE FIRST LINE: "If I hadn't been naive and recklessly trusting, would I ever have purchased number 10 Turpentine Lane, a chronic headache masquerading as a charming bungalow?"

THE STORY: Faith Frankel has returned to her hometown at the age of thirty-two to work for her private school writing thank you notes to wealthy donors. In the meantime, her fiance has abandoned her and is finding himself on a cross country walk. He's too busy to get in touch with her but posts pictures of himself with the women he is meeting on his trek. Luckily Faith has support from her office mate Nick Franconi. (Can you see where this is going?)

WHAT I THOUGHT: This screwball romantic comedy is funny, poignant, and a little outrageous. If you want a lovely, well-written escape from today's politics, you can't go wrong with Elinor Lipman. Highly recommended.

Title: On Turpentine Lane
Author: Elinor Lipman
Genre: Chic-Lit
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
No. of Pages: 320
Copyright: February 14, 2017
ISBN-10: 054480824X
ISBN-13: 978-0544808249

Disclaimer: An advanced reading copy (ARC) of this book was provided to me by Houghton Mifflin and Net Galley for an honest review.

ELINOR LIPMAN is the author of ten novels, including The View from Penthouse B and The Inn at Lake Devine; one essay collection, I Can’t Complain; and Tweet Land of Liberty: Irreverent Rhymes from the Political Circus. She lives in Massachusetts and New York City. (from Amazon.com)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Book Challenges

Look for a challenge for 2017? This site has listed a number of choices for your reading for this coming year. Check it out at MY READING CHALLENGES.