BLUEPRINTS FOR BUILDING BETTER GIRLS by Elissa Schappell

Poor Holden Caulfield. In Catcher in the Rye, he muses, “Girls. You never know what they’re going to think.” How right he was! In Elissa Schappell’s new short story collection, the old blueprints for Appropriate Female Behavior — the name of a vintage etiquette manual, 1963 edition — have all been tossed away. And now the girls and women are forced to muddle through with the new rules: Be yourself but also be what your boyfriend, parents, and girlfriends want you to be as well.

October 11, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Humorous, Short Stories

HEALER by Carol Cassella

In HEALER, by Carol Cassella, forty-three year old stay-at-home mom Claire Boehning had been living a charmed life with her biochemist husband, Addison, and their only daughter, fourteen-year-old Jory. After Addison sold his biotech company, he and his wife bought a beautiful lakeside house in Seattle, where Jory attended private school, took ballet lessons, and enjoyed hanging out at the mall with her friends. Suddenly, everything turns sour, and mother and daughter are forced to retreat to their vacation home in the mountains of Washington State, while Addison scrambles to recoup the losses that Claire knew nothing about until a store rejected her credit card.

October 17, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, Reading Guide, US Northwest

THE INVISIBLE MOUNTAIN by Carolina de Robertis

THE INVISIBLE MOUNTAIN is a gem of a novel, grounded in actual history, with a dollop of magical realism, a splash of Dickensian coincidence, with some forbidden romance and political intrigue added to the mix.

The novel opens at the turn of the 20th century in a remote Uruguayan village, when a baby is spirited away and then reappears, a year later, unharmed in the branches of a tree. The young one is named Pajarita – translated to little bird – and the narrative, divided into three sections, sequentially focuses on her, her daughter Eva, and her granddaughter Salome.

October 9, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Debut Novel, Facing History, Latin American/Caribbean, Reading Guide, South America

IMPERFECT BIRDS by Anne Lamont

If you are at all familiar with any of Anne Lamott’s books, IMPERFECT BIRDS will have a very familiar ring to it. It tackles the themes of addiction, spirituality, 12- step programs and enabling.

April 15, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: California, Family Matters, Reading Guide

THE CONFEDERATE GENERAL RIDES NORTH by Amanda C. Gable

Set in the 1960s, Amanda C. Gable’s debut novel, THE CONFEDERATE GENERAL RIDES NORTH spans two pivotal times in American history: the Civil War and the century-later Civil Rights movement. Eleven year old Kat, a Civil War buff, finds herself on a sudden trip from Marietta, Georgia to Maine with her manic-depressive mother who has decided to start her own antiques store up north. At first, Kat believes that they are on vacation, but the signs are immediately evident to the reader: her mother is leaving her father. Not until days later does Kat discover that her mother intends for this move to be permanent. Kat, loyal to her mother as well as to those family members left behind, finds herself emotionally under siege.

November 29, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, Literary, Reading Guide, US South

ANNA IN-BETWEEN by Elizabeth Nunez

ANNA IN-BETWEEN is a novel about an unmarried, Caribbean woman in her late thirties, Anna Sinclair, who begins to understand herself as she comes to understand her parents. The novel explores issues of caste, race and culture in a moving, deeply poignant tale of mother and daughter. Anna goes back to the island of her birth as she does every year, but this time she stays for a month to spend more time with her aging parents…

November 14, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Caribbean, Class - Race - Gender, Family Matters, Latin American/Caribbean, Literary, y Award Winning Author