A wonderful surprise

I got a huge and wonderful surprise yesterday from my author and poet friend Jessica Bell, of Vine Leaves Press. She tagged me in a Facebook post to tell me that my memoir Leaving the Hall Light On was on a list compiled by Erin Burba of BookRiot of the 100 Must-Read Biographies and Memoirs of Remarkable Women. As I looked at the list I couldn’t believe my memoir was among those written by the likes of Mary Karr, Joan Didion, Cheryl Strayed, Sonia Sotomayor, Madeleine Albright, Maya Angelou, Anais Nin, Malala Yousafzai, Patti Smith, Katharine Graham, and Nora Ephron, memoirists and authors I’ve admired for almost forever. But it is indeed true. Leaving the Hall Light On is number 80 on the list. Here are the first twenty and the last twenty of the books listed. Please click on the BookRiot link to see the rest and to read the description of each book. The first twenty: Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock. The Liars’ Club … [Read more...]

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Favorite books and what I’m reading now

Now that I work as an author people ask me what books I’m reading and would recommend. That is a tall order. I think our reading choices are very personal. Besides I’m not a very good person to ask. I seem to fall in love with the book and author I am currently reading. Right now I’m reading two books chosen by my two book groups: A Regular Guy by Mona Simpson, the sister of Steve Jobs, and Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948, by Madeleine Albright. I’m not sure if I’ll finish A Regular Guy – it is a poor excuse for a story about her brother. I liked his biography (see below) much better. Prague Winter, crammed with historical details, is definitely a must read. My real interest in it is how her Jewish family survived the holocaust. My three favorite books in 2013 were: 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I never thought a Stephen King novel would top my list. I read his wonderful book On Writing, but steered clear of his gruesome novels. This book is not … [Read more...]

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Madeleine Albright’s brooch collection

I was enthralled at an exhibit of Madeleine Albright’s brooch collection at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. Even though I had to wait in line for twenty minutes to get in the door and even though people were pushing against each other as they viewed the over 200 pins in the show, it was well worth it. If you live in the Los Angeles area, go on over. The show ends on January 13. Albright wielded her pins with expertise. People got what message she wanted to convey by the pins perched on her lapel or shoulder. Her book, Read My Pins, also has wonderful photographs of her collection and the history behind most of pins in it. I bought a copy. It’s a great coffee table book. Here’s what the Amazon book description says: Before long, and without intending it, I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal. Former president George H. W. Bush had been known for saying "Read my lips." I began urging colleagues and reporters to "Read my pins." I … [Read more...]

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