FALLING SIDEWAYS by Thomas E. Kennedy

In his fantastic and insightful book, On Writing, the prolific writer Stephen King once said: “People love to read about work. God knows why, but they do.”

But what if that work is especially mind-numbing and unfulfilling and involves plodding away at an outfit called the Tank—chatting, shuffling papers, composing reports, sending e-mails and wondering where things went wrong? Would that still make for a readable story? As Thomas Kennedy’s new book, FALLING SIDEWAYS shows, the answer is yes.

March 1, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Denmark, Drift-of-Life, Literary, Reading Guide, World Lit, y Award Winning Author


Wesley Stace’s ample new novel — half murder mystery, half music criticism — opens with a press report on the death of the talented young English composer Charles Jessold in 1923. He appears to have shot himself in his apartment after poisoning his wife and his wife’s lover and watching them die. The murder-suicide has not one but two ironic precedents. It reproduces the story of the Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo, who similarly killed his wife with her lover. It is also the subject of an English folk-ballad, “Lord Barnard and Little Musgrave,” which Jessold had taken as the subject for his operatic magnum opus, due to premiere the following night.

February 4, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, United Kingdom


In this terse and bold book of eight interconnected stories featuring Fort Hood army wives, breakout author Siobhan Fallon invites readers to peek through the hazy base-house curtains into largely uncharted territory. She offers an intimate glimpse of the spouses and children left behind to cope when the men in the fictional infantry battalion of 1-7 Cav are deployed to Iraq.

January 28, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Contemporary, Short Stories, Texas


For the longest time, growing up in rural Virginia, Birdie Baker is convinced she is destined to follow the path set forth by her devout Christian parents. Like them, as a Jehovah’s Witness, she will spread the word of the Lord, marry, settle down and wrap it up. But the sense of unease that plagues her even after she is married to a church-going man named Judah, is worsened when she runs into her high school drama teacher at the grocery store. “What are you still doing here?” he asks, “I figured the next time I saw you it would be in a movie.” Eventually, leave Virgina she does. Birdie pools all her savings toward a one-way bus ticket to Los Angeles.

December 14, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, California, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Drift-of-Life

WHITE SPACE BETWEEN by Ami Sands Brodoff

ami Sands Brodoff opens with an epigraph from Rabbi Avi Weiss: “The Torah is written ‘black fire on white fire’ . . . black fire refers to the letters of the Torah . . . the white refers to the spaces between the letters . . . they are the story, the song, the silence.” Exploring the story, singing the song, reflecting on the silence, these are the promises of this intimate yet ambitious novel, and they are both moving and beautiful. To say that Brodoff does not quite realize them is not to diminish the value of her search. The book is a sincere and obviously personal attempt to illuminate mysteries that may ultimately remain unknowable.

December 3, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Canada, Contemporary, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

RESCUE by Anita Shreve

RESCUE, by Anita Shreve, focuses on the ways in which parents and children deal with physical and emotional trauma. It is a poignant story about a good man who makes a mistake, but takes full responsibility for his actions.

November 30, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, NE & New York