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[23 Jun 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: 2018 Beach Reads

Last month I wrote about my penchant for the dark when it comes to beach reads. Earlier this month when we headed out for our annual trip to enjoy the salt & sand, I got to load up on my reading, and true to form, most of my selections were not what most people consider beach reading.
Here’s a quick wrap up. (Click on the title to shop for the book.)
The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn – This book was recommended by Knox McCoy from The Popcast Pod who green-lit it on Episode 239. Don’t …

Book Reviews, Books, Featured »

[19 Jun 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Clock Dance

Fans of Anne Tyler will recognize all the things they love about her in Tyler’s latest novel, Clock Dance: quirky – but very real – characters, a seemingly ordinary story that is anything but and sometimes poignant and sometimes laugh-out-loud (often both!) insight into what makes us human.
Clock Dance is Willa’s story. It begins with a couple of chapters of back story but the majority is Willa, middle-aged. She’s a women that, despite a sister, two husbands (one died – not talking polygamy) and two sons, is without a family. And for …

Book Clubs, Books, Featured, Justice, Out and About »

[14 Jun 2018 | No Comment | ]
Literary Volunteerism :: Books for Africa

A couple of times a year, my team at work volunteers with a different not-for-profit around Atlanta. Last month, we spent a morning with Books for Africa (BFA) – an amazing organization that does just what it says – sends books to Africa. And, since this is a blog for people who love books, I wanted to share knowledge of this organization with you!
Americans throw away 320 million books a year. For 30 years, Books for Africa has worked to redirect this waste into the eagerly awaiting hands of …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books, Featured »

[26 May 2018 | One Comment | ]
Literary Roundup :: Summer Reading Guides

Based on what I’m seeing these days, summer reading guides are almost as popular as year end “best of” lists. With upcoming vacations that could mean hours idle on a plane, beach or in a car, it seems everyone is ready to make sure you’re well equipped to fill the void. If you’re one who is planning on making a list, here’s a round-up of some of the lists I’ve enjoyed pursuing.
The Bitter Southerner: A round up of Southern reads that includes fiction, memoir, a children’s book and a couple …

Book Reviews, Books »

[20 May 2018 | One Comment | ]
Book Review :: Sweet and Low: Stories

Nick White’s collection of stories Sweet and Low are best described as evidence of the new South. Ever present are the themes that demonstrate the complexity of the South – the oppressive heat and beauty of our states (in this case, Mississippi); the animals we do life with and in spite of; and the people that are both our charm and disgrace – often in the same soul. Students of the Southern greats will recognize the peculiar, the odd, the disfigured, the freaks – in setting, narrative and character. Since …

Book Reviews, Books, Justice »

[10 May 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: An American Marriage

I’ve been mulling over this review for a while, wanting to write it in a way that does it justice. To say that this is a great book is not enough. It is that, but it is also a book we need.
Before I dive into the novel itself, let’s address some preliminaries. I listened to it as an audio book, and it was one that truly paid off in that format. With multiple narrators, it came to life. A significant portion of the first part of the book is epistolary, …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[27 Apr 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: End of Year Wrap Up for 2017-18

Here’s my end of year (almost) wrap up for our 2017-18 book selections. Because life happens, we weren’t able to meet in April and will be discussing our final book of this year (Radium Girls) at our May.
I’ve got an older post that will give a quick history lesson on how we rate books and how we account for DNF’s or DNR’s here.
Here we go!
Thirteen Ways of Looking – 2.79 (Low: 2.75; High: 3.5)
This is the lowest a book has scored in our group a long time. Basically, the way we select …

Book Clubs, Books »

[18 Mar 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: WWII Novels

There is a rash of World War II literature. In our last book club annual selection long list, there were enough books that had we wanted to dedicate a whole year to WWII, we could have. Also, occasionally, I’m asked to recommend a good WWII book, so I thought it might be a fun list to compile – all the WWII books I’ve read (or at least that I can remember!) These are in somewhat backwards order beginning with most recent. And just because I’m that kind of person, you’re …

Book Clubs, Books, Out and About, Podcast »

[13 Mar 2018 | No Comment | ]
Meet the Author :: Amor Towles

Amor Towles wrote Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow – two of my favorite books from last year. When I learned that he was speaking in my state, I was thrilled. I was even more excited when I figured out that while it was on the other side of the state in Newnan, Georgia, it did happen to coincide with when I would be traveling back home from being in Columbus, Georgia for work.
It is obvious the fates were conspiring on my behalf.
He was a delight. And …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[10 Mar 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sista Long List for 2018-2019

For the last several years, my book club has followed the same procedure for selecting its books for a whole year. Last year, when our picks were made, we realized we were missing out on discussing some really good books by leaving behind the books that were not selected. (That’s what happens when you take a month to research books you plan to pitch!)
So this year we’re doing something different. Instead of making new book pitches, we took the the books from our 2017 and 2018 Long Lists that weren’t …