Editors' Picks

See the reviews our editors have chosen this month:

Running in Heels   

 Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace

For those who grew up in a loving and stable environs, it is difficult to image what home life would be like if it were filled with drunkenness, shouting matches, and abuse. Yet the latter description captures only a portion of Perez's dysfunctional past. Written in three parts, Mary Perez's memoir delves into the spiritual healing of one woman who was once caught in the vicious cycle of codependency. more...
The Same Sky   

 The Same Sky

"My mother left when I was five years old." When I read that first sentence of The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward, I was captivated. Carla's powerful story covers her life for the next seven tumultuous years. Alternating chapters unfold parallel stories revealing the child, Carla, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and Alice, the Texas-transplant from Brooklyn, N.Y., and her Texan husband, Jake. Their implausible paths eventually merge in a most poignant way. more...
Xylotheque   

 Xylotheque

Here in the Texas Hill Country, we've been living with a five-year drought that threatens to return our woodland to prairie. On our 31-acre homestead, trees have been dying at an increasingly fast clip. The willows that sprouted exuberantly in the rainy years beside our small lake are gone. We lost the large, shallow-rooted American elm by the rock wall. Even the ubiquitous junipers are dying. It's hard to see them go, especially because I suspect that the drought that is killing them, the worst in recorded history, is influenced by human-caused climate change. I worry that someday these lovely trees will be gone and forgotten. more...
White Trash   

 White Trash

When I drive across Texas this summer I'm going to keep my eye on city limits signs. If I see that Alexandra Allred's fictional White Trash town of Granby has suddenly become real, I may back track and go around. Not because I don't want to see it, but because there's a good chance that if I do I'll get swept up into its stories and never leave.

That's exactly what happened to Thia Franks. When she graduated high school, her scholarship to Duke was her one-way ticket out of town, and you probably can guess what happened. more...
Stella Rose   

 Stella Rose

Tammy Flanders Hetrick's stunning debut novel, Stella Rose, hooked me on the first page and I was glued to it until the end of the book. Relationships are thematic throughout: family, friends, work, and romance—not always in that order. The story opens as Abby returns from the funeral of her best friend, Stella Rose, on a cold Vermont June day. Stella bequeaths guardianship of her sixteen-year-old daughter, Olivia, to her best friend, Abby, and the story unfolds at a sometimes frightening pace. more...
Fire Season   

 Fire Season: My Journey from Ruin to Redemption

In a brief moment, life as we know it can disappear. Hollye Dexter and her family experience such a moment on November 18, 1994, when they awaken on a record-breaking cold night in Southern California to find their house engulfed in flames. Dexter and her husband are trapped on the second floor with her four-year-old son as the fire whooshes into the rooms. Their only hope of escape is a thirty-foot drop out the window onto concrete below. more...
Running in Heels
The Same Sky
Xylotheque
White Trash
Stella Rose
Fire Season

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Review of the Month


   Fanny Seward: A Life, by Trudy Krisher

Trudy Krisher acknowledges that her father, who had a passion for the Civil War, prepared her for the task of writing about Fanny Seward. As a child, Krisher visited many Civil War battlefields and monuments with her family. She learned anecdotes and details about generals, their troops, and their battles. But it wasn't until she read Team of Rivals by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin that she began to learn about Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State, William Henry Seward, and his daughter, Fanny (Frances Adeline Seward).
more...

Susan Schoch    Reviewed by Susan Schoch
Susan Schoch is a Colorado member of our editorial team. About herself, she says, "I'm a freelance writer and editor, specializing in memoir and personal history, and recently completed a biography of two revered ceramic artists, titled The Clay Connection: Jim and Nan McKinnell. It's always an honor and a fascinating journey to present someone's life story, something that Story Circle Network recognizes and fosters...
more...


  

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Sarton Winners Announced


The Story Circle Network has announced the name of the 2013-2014 Sarton Women's Memoir Award winner and finalists:
  • Yelizaveta P. Renfro, Xylotheque
  • Amber Lea Starfire, Not the Mother I Remember
  • Janice Gary, Short Leash
For information about the 2014-2015 competition...

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Our Favorite Authors


Yelizaveta P. Renfro   
Read Susan Wittig Albert's interview with Yelizaveta P. Renfro, author of Xylotheque.

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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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.
            
   
Sarton Literary Award

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Meet Our Reviewers


Pat Bean Star reviewer Pat Bean is a retired journalist who traveled the country for nine years in a small RV with her canine companion, Maggie. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, where she is in the final editing stages of her book, Travels with Maggie. The book is about a six-month journey through 23 states and Canada on her way to Acadia National Park in Maine. Pat is on the Board of Directors for SCN, and was named SCN's blogger of the year for 2015. She enjoys reading, walking her dog Pepper, birding, photography, and art. Her latest endeavor is writing a monthly article for Tucson Happenings as an Audubon volunteer. Visit her blog.


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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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