Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

March 2012, Vol. 5, No 3

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!

For women who like women's history

For the "spiritual scribe" in you

For you poetry lovers

For all women with stories to tell

Our Favorite Authors

Donna Johnson Read Sharon Lippincott's interview with Donna Johnson, author of Holy Ghost Girl. You can meet Donna at Stories From the Heart VI. Her presentation: Rewrite Your Life: How to Transform the Tragic, the Ordinary and the Dull-as-Dirt into Compelling Memoir.

Our Reviewers and Editors Make News
  • Susan Wittig Albert's 20th China Bayles mystery was published this month by Berkley Prime Crime. She also published an article in Wildflower Magazine: "When In Drought." You can read the online version here.

  • Judy Alter's 1994 novel, Libbie, a fictional account of Libbie Custer's years with General George Armstrong Custer, will be available for e-readers soon. And watch for Judy's latest mystery, No Neighborhood for Old Women. It launches as an e-book April 8 and will be available in print by May 1.

  • SCN board member and Star Blogger Susan J. Tweit is looking forward to morphing into "writer-on-the-river," teaching a floating creative writing workshop for Colorado Art Ranch's inaugural Green River "Floatposium," July 6-9. What's a floatposium? A traveling workshop, says Tweit, who invites SCNers to join her to float the Green River through the spectacular red-rock canyons of Colorado and Utah's Dinosaur National Monument while honing your writing skills and creative direction. Tweit also reports that she has spent what seems like thousands of hours over the last six weeks Tweit "renovating" her website and blog, combining the two here.

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.

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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                Review of the Month                

Week by Week

From Khadijah A.'s review:
I have to admit that Week by Week: A Year's Worth of Journaling Prompts and Meditations was a surprise to me. I expected the book to be laid out like a calender, with each prompt being specific to a certain day. Amber Lea Starfire, however, stepped outside the boundaries of the conventional daily prompt idea and made the book, in my opinion, much more intuitive to use and beneficial overall.

Reviewer of the Month:
Khadijah A.

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
Thanks to our advertisers for helping to support SCN
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True Words From
Real Women

"I have never written a book that was not born out of a question I needed to answer for myself."
—May Sarton

"The more articulate one is, the more dangerous words become."
—May Sarton

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

To read this e-Letter on our web site, click here:

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

      voice: 970-235-1477