Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

November 2011, Vol. 4, No 5

We provide a review venue for small presses, university and regional presses, and for women authors whose books may not be reviewed elsewhere. If you're looking for strong, insightful, well-written books by women of strength and courage, you'll find them here. With over 1200 reviews and a team of sixty-some reviewers, Story Circle Book Reviews is the largest and most comprehensive women's book review site on the Internet. For previous issues of our monthly eletter, go here.

Book Report

Editors' Picks:
Every month, our editors choose remarkable books by and about special women. Here are our choices for this month:

Here are some of the other books we've enjoyed. You will, too!

Women and the Inner Life

Women and the Artful Life

Women in Later Life

The Nature of Things, from a Woman's Viewpoint

Our Favorite Authors

Donna Johnson Read Sharon Lippincott's interview with Donna Johnson, author of Holy Ghost Girl.

Our Reviewers and Editors Make News
  • Susan Ideus is stepping down as SCBR's long-time "Book Learning" blogger. For several years, we have enjoyed her monthly posts about books, bookstores, reading. Her work is always interesting and enlightening. She will continue to do her great job as our Review Team Coordinator. Thanks, Susan, for all you do for SCBR!

  • Trilla Pando Trilla Pando has agreed to take Susan's place as SCBR's new "Book Learning" blogger! Trilla is a Star Reviewer on our team, with 75 reviews to her credit. She lives in Houston, Texas where she writes, does volunteer work, and enjoys plays, concerts, museums and general fun. She is a past president of SCN and a member for many years. Trilla, we're looking forward to reading your "Book Learning" blog posts!

  • Judy Whelley has joined our review team—with a big bang! Her very first review was selected as Review of the Month. Congratulations and welcome, Judy.

If you're interested in joining our review team, go here for all the details.

Cover Stories

Stories From the HeartStories From the Heart VI. Plan now to join us at the Wyndham Hotel in Austin, Texas on April 13-15, 2012 for a unique and exciting event: the sixth national women's memoir conference of the Story Circle Network! Come, learn, share, celebrate with us as we honor our stories!

Advertising your book at SCBR. We are now posting carefully selected ads on our website—books and writing-related activities that we're confident you will enjoy. If you are a new author, please consider StoryCircleBookReviews as a part of your promotional efforts. Promotion on our site will allow you to take advantage of SCN's growing reputation as a unique member of the international community of women writers. Details to come.

• Here at SCBR, we always receive more wonderful books than we can possibly review. So we've created a new feature on our website: a section called Briefly Reviewed, 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 for your reading pleasure!

SCN Online Classes: The Story Circle Network offers the only online lifewriting program designed exclusively for women. We teach general writing skills, organization, and critical editing, as well as technical skills in book design and development, online marketing, blogging, and other Internet-related activities. Through our Mentor Program, we can connect you with a helpful mentor who will provides you with individually tailored, constructive assistance designed to help you strengthen your writing, sustain your efforts, and complete your projects. For full class listings, faculty bios, enrollment, and more, visit our website.

HerStories and One Woman's Day. SCN hosts two blogs and dozens of bloggers. The HerStories bloggers are a dozen women writers and teachers who regularly share their passion for the how-to and why, the art and craft of lifewriting. The One Woman's Day bloggers share occasional stories of the special days of their lives. If you're a member and would like to contribute to OWD, visit the blog and see how to get involved.

• Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

                Review of the Month                

Untie the Strong Woman

From Judy Whelley's review:
In 1996 I received Clarissa Pinkola Estés' Women Who Run with the Wolves as a gift. I read and enjoyed the book but did not deeply engage with it until 2006. At that time changes in my life gave me a new and different appreciation for the stories. It is the kind of book that reveals new meanings as the reader grows and changes. Estés is a cantadora, a keeper of the old stories in the Latina tradition. She is also a Jungian psychoanalyst and poet. I grew to love Women Who Run with the Wolves and find the archetypal stories soothing and inspiring as well as insightful.

Judy Whelley
Reviewer of the Month:
Judy Whelley

SCN is proud to announce a new literary award to be granted to an outstanding woman's memoir published in 2011 in the United States or Canada. The Sarton Memoir Award is named in honor of May Sarton (1912-1995), distinguished American poet, novelist, and memoirist. The winning author's name and the title of her book will be announced at Stories from the Heart, the SCN National Memoir Conference, Austin TX, April 13-15, 2012. For full details of the competition, including guidelines and application form, visit the Sarton Memoir Award website. You'll also want to check out our scoring rubric, so you can see what our team of memoir experts will be looking for.

True Words From
Real Women

"From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot before the other. But when books are opened you discover you have wings."
—Helen Hayes

"We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become."
—Ursula K. LeGuin

Read more thoughtful words from women writers.


Three Books from SCN

What Wildness is This
What Wildness is This

Kitchen Table Stories
KTS cover

Starting Points
Starting Points

Who We Are

Story Circle Network

Our mission: The Story Circle Network is dedicated to helping women share the stories of their lives and to raising public awareness of the importance of women's personal histories. We carry out our mission through publications, a web site, classes, workshops, writing and reading circles, and woman-focused programs. To join us, see our online membership form.

Our Newsletters: We publish four monthly e-Letters:
  • This monthly e-Letter brings you information about book reviews and features. You'll find archives here.
  • The monthly Story Circle National e-Letter brings you writing tips, quotes, and Story Circle news.
  • The Online Class e-Letter brings you information about women-only writing classes.
  • The monthly Internet Chapter e-Letter is sent only to members of the Internet Chapter; it features chapter news and events.

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    This e-Letter is written and edited by Peggy Moody & Susan Wittig Albert. It is a publication of the Story Circle Network, (P.O. Box 500127, Austin TX 78750-0127). ©2011 Story Circle Network

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