Editors' Picks

See the reviews our editors have chosen this month:

Under the Wide and Starry Sky   

 Under the Wide and Starry Sky

Nancy Horan's first novel, Loving Frank, told the story of Mamah Borthwick Cheney, a larger-than-life woman who had an affair with architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1900s, while they were both married to other people. Her latest, Under the Wide and Starry Sky, is a fictionalized account of another real-life, strong-willed woman who was scandalously attached to a so-called "great man" of his day. more...
Paradise in Plain Sight   

 Paradise in Plain Sight

"Paradise is your back yard," Karen Maezen Miller says.

Miller and her husband discovered their garden in 1997 while on a house hunt in a suburb of Los Angeles. "It seemed like paradise with our name written all over it," she writes in the preface to Paradise in Plain Sight. more...
Meadowlark   

 Meadowlark

"The beauty. The bitterness. Not a land of mediocrity, but of stunning beauty and brute force. Any living thing that can't survive and appreciate both, will find little to love or live for on the plains." So writes Dawn Wink in her beautifully crafted novel Meadowlark.

Meadowlark is the story of Grace, who in 1911 moves to a farm on the South Dakota plains with her new husband Tom. more...
Phantom Canyon   

 Phantom Canyon: Essays of Reclamation

"It is fall, past the autumnal equinox. I drive, almost sick with fear, the world outside my window telescoped down to a pinhole of light, 'a wandering star'—Jupiter? Mars? Saturn? I cannot tell—suspended above the roadside. My headlights carve the landscape into a verticality of ghost aspen and fencepost, while a fleeting horizon of barbed wire holds fast the vegetating night over Phantom Canyon.

I don't know this dark." more...
Bone Horses   

 Bone Horses

Mystery enfolds a tale of human landscapes and lost bones on the desert in Bone Horses. The title alone surprised and intrigued me. I wondered if this story that appeared to include so many of my passions—the desert, horses, skulls, landscapes, and the peaks and valleys of human terrain—could possibly live up to my expectations.

Bone Horses did, and more. more...
Sinners and the Sea   

 Sinners and the Sea

"I didn't mean to write a novel about Noah's wife," Rebecca Kanner said when asked about her motivation for writing Sinners and the Sea. "But just a few pages into what I thought would be a short story I realized I didn't want to stop. A 500-year-old man that everyone thinks is crazy, a host of vulgar sinners, a world on the verge of destruction... For me, this material was irresistible." more...
Grandma Gatewood's Walk   

 Grandma Gatewood's Walk

At some point in their lives, most people dream of tackling a difficult physical feat. Some plan and train for years before attempting it; some only dream but never try. For many folks, that difficult feat is hiking the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail.

In 1955, a 67-year-old great-grandmother, Emma Rowena Gatewood, became the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail alone. more...
Under the Wide and Starry Sky
Paradise in Plain Sight
Meadowlark
Phantom Canyon
Bone Horses
Sinners and the Sea
Grandma Gatewood's Walk

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Review of the Month


   Stilwater: Finding Wild Mercy in the Outback, by Rafael de Grenade

This is a brutal book. This is a beautiful book. Where brutality and beauty come together, we often find a truth that takes us deeper than either. De Grenade's voice in this memoir of her time spent in the Australian Outback is strong and clear, and it brings us that truth.
more...

Amy Hale Auker    Reviewed by Amy Hale Auker
Amy Hale Auker is the author of Rightful Place, 2012 WILLA winner for creative non-fiction, and Winter of Beauty, a novel released in 2013. She writes and rides on a ranch in Arizona.
more...


  

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Sarton Winners Announced


The Story Circle Network has announced the name of the 2013 Sarton Women's Memoir Award winner and finalists:
  • Tanya Ward Goodman, Leaving Tinkertown
  • Laura Gray-Rosendale, College Girl
  • Carole Garibaldi Rogers, Hidden Lives: My Three Grandmothers
  • Kayann Short, A Bushel's Worth: An Ecobiography
For information about the 2013-2014 competition...

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Our Favorite Authors


Tanya Ward Goodman    Read Lisa Shirah-Hiers' interview with Tanya Ward Goodman, author of Leaving Tinkertown, the 2014 Sarton Award winner.

We're getting up close and personal with our favorite writers. Check out our author interviews to read what these great writers have to say.

Now you can listen to interviews with authors as well. Linda Wisniewski, previously on the editorial staff at StoryCircleBookReviews, talks about her memoir, Off Kilter. Go to our podcast page for the link, and check out all the other interviews there.

We have reviews of books by over seven hundred authors. You're sure to find your favorite here. If not, contact us and request a review or, better yet, join our team and write one.

We're looking for strong reviews of books by, for, and about women. If you'd like to join our review team, check out our guidelines.


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American Women in Their Cultural/Historical Context


Browse through our listing of books by women about American women in their cultural and historical contexts. At Story Circle, we are passionate about women's stories and are grateful to the authors who bring these stories to us. The books on this list deserve to be read and appreciated. They are books that matter, about strong women who have played significant roles in all fields of human endeavor. (Special thanks to Susan Schoch, who compiled this list for us.)

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Briefly Reviewed...


We receive more wonderful books than we can possibly review. Here is a selection of titles, briefly described, that represent the wide range of recently-published memoirs written by strong women who have been there, done that, and lived to tell the tale. Recommended!
            
   
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Meet Our Editors


Mary Jo Doig Mary Jo Doig is one of the members of our SCBR editorial team. About herself, she says: I have found so many ways to nurture my reader's/writer's soul in SCN since joining in 2001. When I reflect about the years past, I think of myself as "SCN Homegrown," from beginning to shyly and not confidently share some of my stories in w-ecircles 2 and 9, to accepting facilitator-ship of the wonderful group of women in w-ecircle 7 in 2003 a few years later. Soon after, I was delighted to accept the editorship of Story Circle Journal's "True Words From Real Women."


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Join Our Review Team


We're looking for strong reviews of books by, for, and about women. If you'd like to join our review team, check out our review guidelines.


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We review books written by women, for women, with an emphasis on women's lives. Check out our guidelines before you query us.


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Story Circle Network supports this book review website, and volunteer editors and book reviewers provide the content. You can also lend your support by buying books through our links to Amazon, the AmazonSmile program, or by making a donation.

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About Story Circle Network


This book review site is sponsored by the Story Circle Network, a non-profit membership organization that serves women who want to tell their life stories in diaries, journals, personal essays, poetry, and memoir. The Network is for every woman who aims to claim the power of her experience, who wants to map her journey, and who is determined to name herself. If you're that woman, please join us.



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