There have been biographies of Arthur Conan Doyle before, but none quite like Margalit Fox’s Conan Doyle for the Defense. Looking at the true story about one specific incident in Doyle’s life in this book, Sherlock Holmes himself could be proud.
Shinrin-yoku or Forest Bathing, the quirky name for this pursuit, does not require the removal of your clothes. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to wear long sleeves and pants since chiggers and ticks may be involved.
Sometimes classifying a book can become difficult as is the case with Lillian Li’s Number One Chinese Restaurant – at least beyond the ethnicity!
With no affluenza to interfere, Shakria Hall has a full ride to Harvard on a Bill Gates scholarship. She grew up in Mississippi, a state not often put into prestigious rankings, in the town of Bassfield, not widely known even in Mississippi.
In a collection of interviews, Conversations with Will D. Campbell, University Press of Mississippi brings us an irascible and irreverent character saying what he thinks exactly like he thinks it in twelve interviews from 1971 to 2009.
If I may alter a phrase from Forrest Gump’s mother, “Husbands are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” On this sixtieth anniversary of acquiring one, I can prove my point.
The first time I remember Gary Alipio reading his work aloud in our SCBWI critique group, he had the voice down pat of a middle-school boy in deep trouble who had to finish an essay as punishment – 10,000 words if I remember correctly.
I seldom repeat a blog, but Richard Peck has died. He had been a long time favorite author for me and my junior high students, and I considered it a high honor in 2010 when I was his chauffeur at the Kaigler Book Festival.
The words of this title might describe the life goals of author Elaine Magliaro who worked as an elementary teacher for more than thirty years and finished up that career with three years as a school librarian, but they actually do something quite different.
Little by little. A flood starts with a drop of water. A beach begins with a grain of sand. A novel opens with a single word. I don’t have to tell you we live in a stressed-out world that leaves an individual wondering what one person could possibly do.
The degree of intrigue in the title of Jess Butterworth’s novel, Running on the Roof of the World,is no match for the tale she spins. Set in Tibet where Tash must follow rules of the Chinese soldiers, problems come out into the open when a man publicly sets himself on fire to protest the occupation.
In a disclaimer right up front, neither my mother, my daughter, nor I could claim to be “birders,” but that doesn’t keep us from being interested in them, especially mother birds which seem just right for my blog before Mother’s Day.
I think the first time I heard the perk mentioned was when a writer friend did a week-long workshop with my junior high language arts students. She said, “One of the best things about being a writer is that you can work in your pajamas.”
A friend recommended the book, Quiet by Susan Cain, that will be of interest to both introverts and extroverts, and even to those in-betweens called ambiverts.
Card carrying nerds often find their excitement in places that might be strange to regular people. Frequently research is involved, as in the case of my recent jubilation.
The book title, The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind, presents an intriguing promise that is kept by Barbara K. Lipska writing with Elaine McArdle in her memoir.
The mixed message of April leaves us bumfuzzled and agreeing with the poet who claims it to be the cruelest month. This year, more than any I remember, it seems to be handing us spring and taking it back.
Champions don’t all come in athletic form as Deborah Abela confirms in her book The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee.
The invitation was universal. It covered tomorrow, next week, whenever you happen to be passing; covered you, your children, your elderly parents, your crazy Aunt Martha, your weird cousin Joe; covered with or without a specific invitation. I can hear it now from the door as we left the door of country people – or they left from ours. Now, I issue my own invitation to my remodeled website.
Antony Ray Hinton, in a memoir of his life in prison on death row for a crime he did not commit, begins his saga in The Sun Does Not Shinewhen he was twenty-nine years old and chronicles its ups and downs for twenty-seven years. The book is co-written with Lara Love Hardin with a foreword by Bryan Stevenson, best-selling author of Just Mercy.
A bad joke doesn’t show up until over half the book is finished, but its truth is there from the beginning. Question: “What does capital punishment mean?” Answer: “It means a guy without capital gets punished.”
With enough evidence to have cleared him from the beginning, including the verification that he had clocked in at work before the crime began and clocked out after it was over in a place too far away to have made the trip, he is convicted. Adding a competent attorney to that evidence should have cleared Ray to live a normal life, but he is poor and black in Alabama.
Written in a style that gives a feel that Ray is sitting across from you at the table over a cup of coffee (or several considering its length), he takes you to his small bare cell with less than most of us would consider essentials. Recounting a story that goes through a range of emotions, surprisingly including a fair batch of humor, leaves one wondering at the resilience of the human spirit. I will not spoil his story by relating his coping mechanisms that thread through and add interest to the memoir.
I recommend the book to anyone interested in justice and to those, like me, who have wondered how a human being could survive in what amounts to a small cage with little or nothing to do.