Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Teaser Tuesday: Rash: A Memoir by Lisa Kusel



I turned on my side and stared out past the bamboo balcony to the jungly mass of sculpture-still palms beyond. I had to face the fact that there'd be no more ocean breezes to lighten the air; no more glass windows to keep out the bugs; no more air-conditioning. 
Rash: A Memoir by Lisa Kusel. Living in Bali was not the tropical paradise it sounded like when Lisa and her husband first thought of an ex-pat adventure with their toddler daughter.



Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Mailbox Monday: Blackthorn and Yeshiva Girl

Two really interesting new novels came my way last week.



Blackthorn by Judy Nedry. Described as a "gothic thriller," this moody mystery set in a crumbling old resort in the Pacific Northwest has everything going for it.



Yeshiva Girl by Rachel Mankowitz. This is a timely story of a teacher accused of sexual impropriety with a student. What makes this book stand out is that the story is told by the man's 15 year old daughter -- and she believes the accusations.

What books came into your house last week?


Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Book Beginning: Mortality: With Pronoun Shifts by Don Colburn

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS
THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING


Isn't it enough
that this one, say, has been around
longer than Jesus or Buddha
and that one's older than Pliny the Elder
or Roquefort cheese and most if not all
dirt?

-- from "Bristlecone Pines," the first poem in Mortality with Pronoun Shifts: Poems by Don Colburn.

PORTLAND BOOK EVENT: Don will be reading from Mortality: With Pronoun Shifts at Broadway Books on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at 7:00 pm.





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.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, 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





TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


MY FRIDAY 56

The locals have laid down bets
on when the thick lake ice will break up
and here already the creaking and cracking
make way for slow dark water.

-- from "Along Mink Brook, Early Spring," the last poem in the collection, because this nice little chapbook does not go all the way to 56 pages.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Teaser Tuesday: Raw Material: Working Wool in the West by Stephany Wilkes



"I want people to think about where the fiber came from and what went into the whole production of it. It is grown here and I have my hands on through most of the processes."

-- Raw Material: Working Wool in the West by Stephany Wilkes. Wilkes's search for "local yarn" lead her to sheep shearing school and a growing community of eco-friendly wool producers.

Learn more about Stephany and her work here at We Love Sheep.



Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Mailbox Monday: The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning

What books came into your house last week? I got something new from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.



The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning.

This historical novel is the story of Jewish refugees in Shanghai in WWII. It goes back and forth between the friendship between a local girl and a Jewish refugee in WWII Shanghai, and 2016, when a granddaughter returns to dig up family secrets.


Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Author Interview: Patrick M. Garry


Patrick M. Garry is a law professor and author of eight novels as well as many nonfiction books, both for academic and general audiences.

His novel, In the Shadow of War, is the story of a teenager recovering from the death of his brother, and a small community dealing with the Vietnam War.


Patrick recently talked with Rose City Reader about his book and his writing:

How did you come to write In the Shadow of War?

I wanted to write a novel about hope, and about how hope can finally arise even when the person seems completely resistant and antagonistic to it.

The story takes place in 1970, in an almost-ghost town in western Minnesota. What drew you to this setting for your novel?

I grew up in a small town not far from where my immigrant ancestors first settled in America. They settled in a little spot on the prairie not unlike Corcoran in the novel. I grew up hearing stories of all the events and lives that took place in that little village, long before it became, like Corcoran, a place of empty streets and abandoned houses. But my own grandfather never lost hope that his beloved boyhood home would one day revive.

What is your professional background? How did it lead you to writing books?

I’m a lawyer and law professor, so I’m quite accustomed to writing. And back during my college and law school days, I worked as a reporter – a job that really taught me how to write. I’ve loved writing fiction since my student days in the English department. And once I worked up the courage and determination to actually start my first novel, I haven’t stopped writing.

You are known for your writing on law, politics, and culture. What is it like to switch to fiction?

Fiction is a lot more difficult. It requires constant focus and creativity. With nonfiction, you can coast along on a well-constructed outline even when you’re going through low-energy phases.

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

What surprised me was how I came to love the characters. Somewhere along the line, they moved from my mind to my heart.

Did you know right away, or have an idea, how you were going to end the story? Or did it come to you as you were in the process of writing?

The ending was unexpected. I wanted to write a book about hope, but I didn’t want it to be an unrealistic portrayal of everyone getting exactly what they wanted and living happily ever after. As the book neared its end, I realized that it just had to have a tragic ending. Something about how the characters had interacted seemed to point the novel to the ending as it now stands. But I also think that the tragic ending, in the very end, shows just how powerful and lasting hope can be.

You’ve written many books, fiction and nonfiction. Do you have a favorite?

My nonfiction books have larger audiences and probably more of a lasting impact, but I personally love the novels the best. And of all my novels, this one is my favorite, because of the relation it has to my own family history.

Who are your favorite authors? Is your own writing influenced by the authors you read?

Some of my favorite authors include William Kennedy, Marilynne Robinson, Kent Haruf, John Irving, Alice McDermott, Richard Russo, and Eudora Welty. When I read a writer I really love, I try to learn from that author. I try to incorporate aspects of that writer’s style. But in the end, I find that no matter how much I may want to replicate another author’s style, the more I’m just stuck with my own.

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

I’m reading several novels by Graham Greene. I like the way he weaves religious faith into his novels.

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

Don’t be afraid of finishing a book and putting it out there for the world to see. If you’re waiting for perfect, your wait will never end.

Do you have any upcoming author events?

I’m taking the summer off to stay with my elderly father.

What’s next? Are you working on your next book?

I’m working on a novel about a disgraced lawyer who finally gets his big case.


THANKS, PATRICK!

IN THE SHADOW OF WAR IS AVAILABLE ONLINE, OR ASK YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER TO ORDER IT. 



Thursday, April 11, 2019

Book Beginning: Rash: A Memoir by Lisa Kusel

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS
THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



One night, my husband, Victor, turned to me in bed and said, "Sweetie, I think I need to do something different."

Rash: A Memoir by Lisa Kusel. What could go wrong when you, your husband, and your toddler go to live in a tropical paradise? A lot.



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.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, 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




TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


MY FRIDAY 56

That night, in the middle of a tropical downpour, the three of up were running back to Bali Putra from dinner when suddenly a motorbike swerved right up onto the sidewalk in front of us.
"Pak Victor!"


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Teaser Tuesday: In the Shadow of War by Patrick M. Garry



And so it was just Suzanne and me, and sixty acres of beans and weeds ahead of us.
"I never would have imagined that places like this existed," Suzanne said, when we took our first break under a big oak tree.

-- In the Shadow of War by Patrick M. Garry. In the summer of 1970, a group of Vietnam war wives move to an almost deserted Midwest town to help renovate an old ballroom. The the town is thrust into the center of political controversy when a disgraced war vet arrives bearing a secret about one of the husbands.


Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Mailbox Monday: Memoir & Poetry

I got two books with moody covers for these moody grey days. What books came into your house last week?



Rash: A Memoir by Lisa Kusel. There are ex-pat memoirs like A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun. This is one of the other kind.



Mortality with Pronoun Shifts: Poems by Don Colburn. Winner of the 2018 Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest.







Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Book Beginning: The Robineau Look

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS
THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING













It was dark when the train pulled into Bay Minette. I leaned close to the window and peered out into the night, trying to see what the town was like, but it was too dark to see much.

-- The Robineau Look by Kathleen Moore Knight. I've been reading more vintage mysteries thanks to Bev at My Reader's Block and her annual Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge.

This one is pretty random. It's a 1955 stand alone story set at a family reunion in Alabama bayou country. I picked it up at a library sale because I liked the "Crime Club" book guide. According to the symbol inside the cover on this one, it falls into the "Damsel in Distress" category.







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.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, 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



TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


MY FRIDAY 56

It was a bit amusing to notice, here and there among these strangers, an occasional person who bore unmistakable family characteristics -- the Robineau look, Brice called it. Our remote ancestor, the first Bertrand Robineau, had certainly left a lengthening trail of footprints on the sands of time.




Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Teaser Tuesday: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson



It is also a mistake to conceptualize nature romantically. Rich, modern city-dwellers, surrounded by hot, baking concrete, imagine the environment as something pristine and paradisal, like a French impressionist landscape.

-- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson. I've heard a lot about this book and wanted to read it for myself.




Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Mailbox Monday: Steal Like an Artist

I picked up a book about creativity the other day. What books came into your house last week?



Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon.

Being a ligation attorney may seem like one of the least creative jobs to have, but I often need to think of my cases and their challenges in fresh ways. I like to read books about writing, or making art, or general creativity to get my brain working in new directions.

And this is no April Fool's joke, it's five years ago today that I started my own law firm.



Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf.

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