Short Story Collection Offers Provocative Insights into Women

Short Story Collection Offers Provocative Insights into Women

Mothers, Tell Your Daughters (October 2015), Bonnie Jo Campbell’s new collection of short stories, her third, is anything but a page-turner. Readers who gobbled her 2012 novel, Once Upon a River, should, when opening Mothers, be warned to adjust their expectations. For that novel’s main character, the orphaned sharp shooter Margo Crane, 16, kept readers in her grip from the moment she, after a sexual misadventure with an uncle, and the murder of her father, flees her home place in… Read more »

Highly Recommended Debut Fiction for YA Audience

Highly Recommended Debut Fiction for YA Audience

Pam Webber’s The Wiregrass (August 2015) is a lovely coming-of-age story set in rural Alabama in 1969. Webber’s beautiful evocation of place, with its quirks and feisty characters, is superb, and her mastery of dialect is sure. Our narrator is fourteen-year-old Nettie Campbell, en route to “Ain’t” Pitty and Uncle Ben’s house for the summer. This yearly visit with her various “cuzzins” has been the highlight of her life for as long as she can remember. What comes with summer… Read more »

Debut YA Thriller Has Widespread Appeal

Debut YA Thriller Has Widespread Appeal

One of the first things that caught my eye about debut novelist Emily Ross is the fact that she is part of the GrubStreet community of writers. Many of our favorite authors come from this fantastic Boston-based creative writing center—including Randy Susan Meyers and Bret Anthony Johnston. It is no surprise, then, that Ross is a very talented writer. Her novel, Half in Love with Death (December 2015), is a great piece of smart young adult fiction, and will appeal… Read more »

Libby’s Most Memorable Debuts of 2015

Libby’s Most Memorable Debuts of 2015

2015 has been such a fantastic year for books. I had trouble picking my top 5. So, I asked myself which books still cross my mind? Which ones challenged me to think and reflect? Below is my list, in no particular order, of what I thought were the best debuts of 2015. Which one will you read first? Which one will you give as a gift? Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler – The characters in this novel still cross… Read more »

Spunky Heroine Returns in New Mystery Series

Spunky Heroine Returns in New Mystery Series

Though a sequel to Wright’s first novel, The Granite Moth (November 2015) can be enjoyed by all, including those who have not yet read The Red Chameleon. Once again, private eye Kathleen Stone takes center stage in this action-packed, rollicking mystery novel.  When her friend’s Halloween float bursts into flames, injuring several people, Kathleen is hired to find the person(s) responsible. While doing undercover work for a separate, ongoing case to pursue a mobster named Salvatore Magrelli, she witnesses a man… Read more »