Peyton Place

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Peyton Place surprised me. What is now called an iconic novel of the mid-fifties, for me Peyton Place represented the first book I thought of as “dirty.” Like Valley of the Dolls, Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious, was one of those books that the moms in my neighborhood whispered about but seemed to all be reading. This must have been… Read more »

New Hampshire Here I Come!

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I started my research for the next bookstore in the usual way – Googled “Best Independent bookstores in New Hampshire.” First in line was a Yankee Magazine review which I’d seen during another such search. Sadly though, the only New Hampshire bookstore listed there had a note beside it ‘’Closed,” which reminded me that I sure hope all the bookstores… Read more »

The Land of Mango Sunsets

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I had the pleasure of reading The Land of Mango Sunsets, by Dorothea Benton Frank on the beach in Hawaii – a perfect backdrop for it. The novel begins with a Prologue explaining why the narrator calls the low country of South Carolina “the land of mango sunsets.” It’s a lovely romantic story involving a honeymoon in the South Pacific… Read more »

The Prince of Tides

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The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy is an unforgettable book. I read it for the first time in the nineties, just before the movie came out. And the movie definitely left a lasting impression too —all that gorgeous South Carolina salt marsh country, all watery tall grass and shrimp boats moving through it. So when I got to South… Read more »

Fiction Addiction in South Carolina

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I’m delighted to take my literary road trip back down south right now — smack dab in the middle of the darkest, coldest and wettest season in the Pacific Northwest. I could use a sun break. I’ll admit that it didn’t take too much online research to find the South Carolina bookstore that sounds just right to me. With a… Read more »

Existential Humor? John Barth’s The Floating Opera

I know John Barth is a well-regarded American writer. Somehow I’d missed reading Barth as an English major back in college. To be fair, I’d focused on nineteenth century English literature so there were many American writers that I missed during those brief four years. So I was excited to be reading Barth for the first time as part of… Read more »

Book Launch!

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On August 21, 2014,  I launched my first mystery novel, Leap of Faith, at The Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle and I’m just now coming down off the high of that awesome dream-come-true experience. Here’s how it played out. I invited all my friends to come and help me celebrate the publishing of my first mystery novel and everyone… Read more »

Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

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How does Anne Tyler do it? How does she create these wonderfully quirky characters who say and do cringe-worthy things in their daily lives yet share qualities that strike uncomfortably resonant chords in her readers? In Breathing Lessons, we meet Maggie and Ira Moran, a long-married couple who, as the novel opens, are on their way to the funeral of… Read more »

The Ivy Bookshop

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On to Maryland! My initial internet search for bookstores in Maryland worried me: are all Maryland bookstores in shopping centers? Is all of Maryland merely a suburb of Washington, D.C.? Wait, wait! That can’t be true. There’s Annapolis, which I’ve visited. I found a lovely bookstore there, but it specializes in maritime books, not for me. Their page featured a… Read more »