Discovering The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley


This week, I am reading The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. It is another book I found at the thrift store, and I found to my delight that the writing is bold as the woman’s red hair on the cover. Kearsley paints pictures so perfectly in my imagination that I am disconcerted when I need … Continue reading Discovering The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

The Written World by Martin Puchner


On the surface, The Written World looks to be a history book on the topic of literature. I discovered it was something deeper, far more delightful. Author Martin Puchner has a love for books much like my own; this book is his journey to find the soul of literature, the source of her power, the … Continue reading The Written World by Martin Puchner

The Captain’s Daughter by Jennifer Delamere + Author Q&A!


I enjoy it when historical fiction books are written in different settings. So many seem to take place during the Season or inside of country houses. Though these books are enjoyable, a different setting ensures that I will remember the story. The Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere provided a new setting. A good deal of … Continue reading The Captain’s Daughter by Jennifer Delamere + Author Q&A!

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens


After one month in its pages, I have finished The Pickwick Papers. It is part of my 2019 Classic Novel Challenge, one of the longer ones on the list. I'm unable to critique writing by my favorite author. How can I nitpick the gripping prose, the humorous twists and turns, the delightful poetry? I cannot … Continue reading The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Netherwood by Jane Sanderson


Netherwood was a side read to space out my 2019 Classic Novel Challenge. Like The Lady and the Gent, it is historical fiction. Though they share a genre, these novels are delightful in their own ways. Netherwood is more sober than The Lady and the Gent. It’s the story of a widow named Eve and … Continue reading Netherwood by Jane Sanderson

The Lady and the Gent by Rebecca Connolly


Last week, I took a break from my strict 2019 Reading Challenge and searched for some historical fiction to provide a quick, happy read. Three books by Rebecca Connolly caught my eye, and in two days I had finished the first, The Lady and the Gent. The book did not disappoint; I was smiling by the time … Continue reading The Lady and the Gent by Rebecca Connolly

Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov by Robert Chandler


My third book in this year’s classic novel challenge, Russian Magic Tales, was a delight. I wandered dark forests, met evil stepmothers, learned riddles, and—happily—found the Russian mermaid, who draws travelers to death with her weeping. More interesting than the stories were the biographies of each featured author. Many lived dank lives, suffering illness and … Continue reading Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov by Robert Chandler

The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle


The second book in my 2019 classic novel challenge was The Story of King Arthur and His Knights. These stories were released in serial form for a children’s publication; they are characterized by their bold protagonists, as well as their focus on virtue and morality. It is not a novel, but a compilation of tales … Continue reading The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy


The first book I read for my 2019 reading challenge, The Mayor of Casterbridge, is compelling because of its characters. Though there are many, it focuses on a man named Michael Henchard, a man none of us would envy. It is the story of a mistake he made as a young man and how this mistake … Continue reading The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

On Robert Frost and the Rise of Poetry


We are fortunate to be living in a time when poetry is once again becoming popular. Instagram poetry is on the rise; it's easy to post our work for thousands to see. If we learn the use of hashtags and posting times, we can build an impressive following. It is a breath of relief, since … Continue reading On Robert Frost and the Rise of Poetry

Bird by Bird: On Writing & Honesty


What does it mean to be a writer? Ask anyone who practices the craft. You might hear several answers, because people have different reasons. Anne Lamott's memoir Bird by Bird offers a response I believe few would disagree with: The very first thing I tell my new students on the first day of a workshop … Continue reading Bird by Bird: On Writing & Honesty