Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

February 2012, Vol. 5, No 2

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!

Especially for Women's History Month (March)

Our Food, Our Health, Our Planet's Health

Spirits & Souls

Strong Women, Strong Stories

Our Favorite Authors

Susan Tweit Read Lisa Shirah-Hiers' interview with Susan J. Tweit, author of Walking Nature Home and the Sunday luncheon speaker at SCN's 2012 National Women's Memoir Conference, "Stories from the Heart VI."

Our Reviewers and Editors Make News
  • SCN member and Star Blogger Susan J. Tweit has been invited to speak at TEDx in Homer, Alaska, on July 26th. TED, which calls itself "Ideas Worth Spreading," is the invitation-only digital channel that launched Jill Bolte Taylor and her best-selling book My Stroke of Insight, as well as dozens of other thinkers, speakers, musicians and writers. Tweit says that being invited to speak at TEDx "is kind of like being invited to an NBA draft camp: If I'm really good, my talk could get a slot on the main TED channel and be viewed by millions. Of course," she continues, "this is writing and not the NBA, so even if that happens, I won't get a contract worth millions of dollars." Her talk, "Love. Every Moment: Living with a Playful Spirit Through the End," will be streamed live from the TEDxHomer event, and also will be available on TED's video channel after the event.

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

Cover Stories

Advertising with SCN. As you plan the marketing campaign for your book, writing program, or writing-related workshop or conference, please consider Story Circle as a partner in your promotional efforts. Story Circle provides a unique voice and a wide range of services for women readers and writers. Partnering with us allows you to target your promotion efforts and take advantage of SCN's growing reputation in the international community of women writers. Depending on your budget, you can choose from five packages.

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.

• SCN is proud to announce the opening of the second annual Sarton competition. The Sarton Memoir Award will be granted to an outstanding woman's memoir published in 2012 in the United States or Canada. It is named in honor of May Sarton (1912-1995), distinguished American poet, novelist, and memoirist. 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 judges will be looking for.

The judging for the 2011 competition is now underway. 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.

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.

• 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!

• Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

                Review of the Month                

Lectio Divina

From Mary Ann Moore's review:
As with The Artist's Rule: Nurturing your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom, reviewed on Story Circle Book Reviews, I savoured Christine Valters Paintner's Lectio Divina as my morning reading practice.

Lectio divina essentially means "divine reading" of sacred texts, during which we "enter into an encounter with God." While the ancient practice has its roots in Judaism, Valters Paintner refers to the scriptures of different religious traditions, including Hebrew, Christian and the Qur'an, throughout the book. There are many passages from which to choose for your own practice.

Mary Ann Moore
Reviewer of the Month:
Mary Ann Moore

Stories From the Heart

Stories 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!

Stories From the Heart
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Target your promotion efforts and take advantage of SCN's wide readership in the international community of women writers.


True Words From
Real Women

"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting."
—Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

"Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier."
—Kathleen Norris

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). ©2012 Story Circle Network

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