Thursday, August 28, 2014

Book Beginning: The Witch-Hunt Narrative by Ross E. Cheit



THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING



MY BOOK BEGINNING



Just as this book was being completed, the scandal that has come to be associated with Penn State took a definitive turn. Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky, the football team's defensive coordinator for many years, was convicted of forty-five counts of sexual crimes against children.

-- from the author's Preface to The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children by Ross E. Cheit.

Child sexual abuse emerged into public discourse in the United States in the early 1980s. A public opinion poll in 1983 indicated that almost all parents were aware of the problem and had seen a story about it in the media.

-- from the author's Introduction: "The Infamous Child Sexual Abuse Cases of the 1980s."

Chiet is a professor at Brown University whose study of criminal sex abuse cases is the basis of his new book.  He examined high-profile day-care abuse cases from the 1980s and undertook empirical studies of criminal sentencing in sex abuse cases to determine whether child sex abuse is a pervasive problem or a "witch-hunt" blown out of proportion by eager prosecutors and sensation-seeking reporters.

I got this book because of my work with child abuse survivors and it looks fascinating. It has gotten a lot of media coverage:




For a summary of his argument, see Cheit's piece on The Huffington Post: Mythical Numbers and Satanic Ritual Abuse

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Report from the Interior



The following summer, you went back to the sleepaway camp in New Hampshire. The experiment in unstructured time had been no more than a partial success, that is, largely a failure, so once again you asked to go up north for July and August, and your parents, who were neither rich nor poor but well enough off to spring for the several hundred dollars it would cost to send you there, gave their consent.

Report from the Interior by Paul Auster.  This is a new memoir from the author of The New York Trilogy and, more recently, another memoir, Winter Journal.

I have mixed reactions to this new memoir from a Paul Auster. His observations and his life make for a good story, but the second-person narration (referring to himself as “you”) is off-putting and, eventually, exceedingly annoying. And just when I got so I could ignore the style enough to appreciate the substance, Auster turns from a biography of his childhood to describing, in great detail, the plots of movies he watched. It is possible to glean interesting bits from Report from the Interior, but it was an overall disappointment.

The Boston Glob reviewed Report from the Interior here; The Seattle PI's review is here


Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mailbox Monday: Make It Mighty Ugly



Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday! MM was created by Marcia, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring event. Mailbox Monday has now returned to its permanent home where you can link to your MM post.

I got one book last week, and I already started reading it:



Make It Mighty Ugly: Exercises & Advice for Getting Creative Even When It Ain't Pretty: A Handbook for Vanquishing Creative Demons by Kim Piper Werker. I saw this in the Sasquatch Books fall catalog and was immediately drawn to it. 

Make It Mighty Ugly is about overcoming "demons" like procrastination, self-doubt, and perfectionism to be more creative. I usually associate creativity with arts-and-crafts, DIY projects, and maybe fiction writing. But I plan to read Werker's book with and eye to my law practice because I think the same demons restrict creative thinking in the workplace.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Beginning: Cocktails for Book Lovers



THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING



MY BOOK BEGINNING



Growing up in England, I was obsessed with Virginia Woolf – her luminous prose, her melancholy brilliance – and the glamorous image of the Bloomsbury set, a famous group of London intellectuals and writers in the early 1900s.

Book Girl's Guide to Cocktails for Book Lovers by Tessa Smith McGovern, published by sourcebooks. I love books. I love cocktails. Perfect!

Cocktails for Book Lovers offers 50 recipes straight from the pages of, or at least suggested by, famous authors and their books. The recipes range from classics, like William Faulkner's favorite Mint Julep, to the imaginative, like a "Sherry Alexander" inspired by Thrity Umrigar.

And on top of all that, the publisher is hosting some fun giveaways:







Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Jam Today Too




The day after my dinner party featuring that unctuous oxtail stew, I was in the mood for something a little simpler and more modest in scope. That’s the time when I think about an omelet.

-- Jam Today Too: The Revolution Will Not be Catered by Tod Davies, published by Exterminating Angel Press.

This is the second book of food and cooking essays by Tod Davies, following, Jam Today: A Diary of Cooking With What You've Got. Reading Jam Today Too feels like sitting at the kitchen counter with a glass of wine, talking with your best friend while she cooks dinner for just the two of you. I must go back and read the first volume!




Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.






Monday, August 18, 2014

Mailbox Monday: Cocktails for Book Lovers


Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday! MM was created by Marcia, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring event. Mailbox Monday has now returned to its permanent home where you can link to your MM post.

One terrific book in my house last week:



Book Girl's Guide to Cocktails for Book Lovers by Tessa Smith McGovern, published by sourcebooks. This is as fun as it looks, with cocktail recipes straight from, or inspired by, authors and their books.

Cocktails for Book Lovers is on a blog tour this month. Look for other posts with this badge and join in the fun:



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Beginning: Jam Today Too



THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING



MY BOOK BEGINNING



I’m still cooking, and thinking about what I and my loved ones like to eat, still keeping a diary of what I got and what I do with it. 

-- From the author’s Foreword to Jam Today Too: The Revolution Will Not be Catered by Tod Davies, published by Exterminating Angel Press.

I never thought I would see the day that I would hate to cook. 

-- From chapter 1, "Food for Disasters."

This is the second book in Tod Davies' series of food and cooking essay collections, following, Jam Today: A Diary of Cooking With What You've Got.

Jam Today Too is a fantastic collection of essays on what to eat, why to eat it, and how to make it.  Davies deserves a spot right up there in the food writer Pantheon with MFK Fisher, Elizabeth David, and Jim Harrison.  In chatty style, Davies offers recipes along with anecdotes about when she made the dishes, including recreating childhood favorites, cooking for grieving friends, cooking in an RV after her house flooded, and cooking solo meals.  Reading Jam Today Too feels like sitting at the kitchen counter with a glass of wine, talking with your best friend while she cooks dinner for just the two of you.







Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teaser Tuesday Two-fer: Dead Float & Scene of the Climb



I heard a distant voice, then felt two strong hands pull me out of the water and up a steep bank. I remember wondering where the knife was going to go – into my chest or across my throat?

-- Dead Float by Warren C. Easley.

This is the second in an exciting new series from Poisoned Pen Press, featuring lawyer and amateur sleuth Cal Claxton. Claxton moved to Oregon from LA to set up a small practice in wine country. Here, a guided fishing trip down the Deschutes River Canyon leads to murder and Cal is up to his waders in it.



He held a finger to his lips to silence me and pushed me to my knees with his other hand. Carefully he drew his binoculars out and scanned the area where the bushes had been disturbed.

-- Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley, who has several upcoming book events scheduled around Oregon and in California.

This new series features freelance outdoor writer Meg Reed, who exaggerated her enthusiasm for outdoor adventures to get a job with Northwest Extreme magazine. When Meg sees a body falling past her as she climbs to the top of a 2000-foot peak, she knows she has more than blisters and sunburn to worry about.

Scene of the Climb even includes a short appendix at the back with travel and hiking ideas for a trip to the Columbia River Gorge.

The two together would make for a great summer weekend!


Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mailbox Monday


Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday! MM was created by Marcia, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring event. Mailbox Monday has now returned to its permanent home where you can link to your MM post.

Three entertaining and interesting books came into my house last week:



Portrait of a Woman in White by Susan Winkler, published by She Writes Press. When Nazis invade Paris in 1940, lovers are torn apart and a Matisse portrait goes missing.  Put this enthralling story of love, war, and art on your Must Read list!



The Court that Tamed the West: From the Gold Rush to the Tech Boom by Richard Cahan, Pia Hinckle, and Jessica Royer Ocken, published by Heyday Books.  This is the history of the American West seen through the lens of the US District Court for the Northern District of California. It is legal history written for a general audience -- looks great!



By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from the New York Times Book Review, Edited and with an Introduction by Pamela Paul, Foreword by Scott Turow. The title says it all. Can. Not. Wait.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Beginnings: Scene of the Climb & Dead Float


THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING



MY BOOK BEGINNING



My fingernails dug into the soggy dirt as my body lurched closer to the sheer cliff face.

-- Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley.

This "Pacific Northwest Mystery" is the first in a new series featuring freelance outdoor writer Meg Reed. Meg exaggerated her enthusiasm for outdoor adventures to land a job with Northwest Extreme magazine. Now, when Meg sees a body falling past her as she drags herself up a 2000-foot peak, she has to survive her adventure and solve a murder mystery.

Stick this one in your backpack for a great weekend read. There is even a short appendix at the back with travel and hiking ideas for a trip to the Columbia River Gorge.  Dyer-Seeley has several upcoming book events, including one this Monday, scheduled around Oregon and in California.



If I've learned one thing in this life, it’s that trouble has a way of finding you, no matter where you go or what you do to avoid it.

-- Dead Float by Warren C. Easley.

This new mystery series features lawyer and amateur sleuth, Cal Claxton. The first book, Matter of Doubt  introduced Cal as a former LA prosecutor starting a small practice in Oregon wine country. In this second book, Cal finds himself tangled in a murder mystery while guiding a fishing trip down the Deschutes River Canyon.

This looks like a great summer read and an exciting new series from Poisoned Pen Press.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Author Interview: Lisa Lenard-Cook


Lisa Lenard-Cook’s first novel Dissonance won prizes and acclaim when it was first published in 2003. This fall, the Santa Fe Writers Project will reissue Dissonance, making this terrific novel available again.



Lisa took time from her writing and book tour to answer questions for Rose City Reader:

How did you come to write Dissonance?

I’ve found that any fiction I write requires three seemingly unrelated seeds. The first seed for Dissonance was planted when my daughter Kaitlin Kushner, then (1995) in middle school, brought home a library book, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, about children’s art at the concentration camp TerezĂ­n. Now, when I was young, I read an autobiography by my friend Leslie Klein’s mother, Gerda Weissman Klein, All But My Life, about her experiences in Europe during WWII. I never intended to write a book about the Holocaust. But that first seed was reawakened.

That Christmas, we went to my in-laws in Los Alamos, where my mother-in-law mentioned the apocryphal story about physicists measuring the velocity of those who jumped off a high bridge. It got me thinking about the Manhattan Project, about physics, about the atomic bomb, & & &. A second seed.
I happened to be reading a great deal of music theory at the time, although I no longer remember why. (Although I love music, I’m a piano lesson dropout.) One morning, I read about the mechanism of the piano, and a line came into my head: “The piano is unique among instruments for its double stroke.” While I didn’t know who was speaking, I did know I’d better take notes. From that first line, the first draft of Dissonance was written over a two-month period in the summer of 1995. It was finished coincidentally (or, perhaps, not coincidentally) on the 50th anniversary of the bomb at Hiroshima.

What did you learn from writing your book – either about the subject of the book or the writing process – that most surprised you?

The most important thing I learned—something I stress in my writing classes, and when I edit and coach—is the value of putting a book away for a while after one writes it. It allowed me to revise not only this book (five years after I first wrote it) but many others, as an editor rather than as its author. A first draft is just that—a first draft. Novels that touch readers do so because the author has reworked them over and over again.

Who are your three (or four or five) favorite authors?

Katherine Anne Porter, Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields, Margaret Laurence, Alice Munro--and many, many more.

What kind of books do you like to read? What are you reading now?

Literary fiction and smart mysteries with female detectives (Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Marcia Muller). Right now, I’m reading Hilma Wolitzer’s The Interestings and rereading Andre Dubus III’s House of Sand and Fog. Also, home design books.

What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given as an author?

Revise, revise, revise.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

The gift of being able to consider life’s quandaries from a fictive perspective.

What do you do to promote your books? Do you use social networking sites or other internet resources?

I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and have author pages at Goodreads and Amazon. I blog on my website.

Do you have any events coming up to promote Dissonance?

Book launch: Bookworks, Albuquerque on September 7, at 3 pm;
Discussion/reading: Garcia Street Books, Santa Fe on September 14, at 2 pm;
Talk on the seeds of DissonanceAlbuquerque Chapter of Hadassah on September 16, at noon;
Talk on book’s reissue: Southwest Writers, Albuquerque on September 16, at 7 pm;
Discussion/reading: Bookwoman, Austin on October 7, at 7 pm; and
Santa Fe Writers Project fall launch party: Silver Spring, MD on October 25

THANKS LISA! DISSONANCE IS AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER FROM POWELL'S, AMAZON, OR YOUR LOCAL, INDEPENDENT BOOK SELLER.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: "Therefore, Choose Life. . ."



The happiness that every bridegroom experiences at his first family wedding supper was diminished in my case by a sense of loss. I could not suppress the thought that none, not one, of my unforgettable, beloved family had survived to see my wedding, which would change my lonely life for the better in the most fundamental way.

-- "Therefore, Choose Life. . ." by Moisey Wolf, edited and translated by Judson Rosengrant, published by OSU Press with the support of the Oregon Jewish Museum.

Dr. Moisey Wolf spent his Jewish childhood in Poland, escaped the Holocaust, served in the Soviet Army during World War II, had a distinguished career as a psychiatrist in post-Stalinist Soviet Russia, came to America in 1992, and spent the last 15 years of his life in Portland, Oregon.  His autobiography, still in manuscript form when he died in 2007, is the story of a remarkable life lived in extraordinary times.



Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.


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