Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

August 2013, Vol. 6, No 8

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 1300 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:

Our Favorite Authors

Read Lisa Shirah-Hiers' interview with Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys, the winner of the 2012 Sarton Women's Memoir Award.

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

Cover Stories

Laura Strathman Hulka is one of our two coordinating editors. She requests review copies and manages our database. About herself, she says: "Born and raised in California, I spent nine years in Tennessee at the turn of the century, learning to speak Southern, and eight months in the Arizona desert, learning I really don't like heat! Presently, I live with my husband of almost 40 years and two dachshunds in senior apartments in Sacramento CA. I consider myself a 'renaissance woman' with a wide variety of interests and enthusiasms, including reading, writing, baking, dogs, crafts and family (not necessarily in that order!). I taught myself to read at age four, from the back of cereal boxes at the breakfast table, and haven't stopped reading since."

Welcome to our new reviewer, Sheila Trask. Sheila is a professional book reviewer who has written for a variety of publications, including Publishers Weekly, BookPage, ForeWord Magazine, and more. She has a Master's degree in Library and Information Science and a background in academic libraries. She loves getting the word out about new books and their authors.

Sarton Memoir Award. SCN is pleased to announce the winner of the 2012 Sarton Memoir Award, named for May Sarton, distinguished American memoirist, poet, and novelist. Monica Wood was awarded first place for When We Were the Kennedys (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012). Full story here. Congratulations to our winner!

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.

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.

Story Circle Editorial Service. We can help you find the editor who is just right for your project. Your manuscript deserves respect, careful attention, and an editor who understands your needs and goals. Our service is unique...designed just for you.

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, Twitter, & Pinterest.

True Words From Real Women

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."
—Harper Lee

Read more thoughtful words from women writers.

Three Books from SCN

What Wildness is This     Kitchen Table Stories     Starting Points


We appreciate your help in spreading the word about Story Circle Network. Please forward this e-Letter to anyone interested in books by, for, and about women. If a friend has forwarded this to you, add your e-address and click below to get your own subscription.

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Who We Are

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.

                Review of the Month                

Warrior Mother: Fierce Love, Unbearable Loss, and Rituals that Heal
by Sheila K. Collins

From Sheila Trask's review:
We all have different ways of processing grief. When social worker and dancer Sheila K. Collins was faced with the loss of not just one, but two, of her grown children, she faced the darkness head on. She wanted to talk about it, perform rituals to process it, and ultimately, write about it. Her husband, Rich, was not on the same page. After two deaths, he just wanted to move on, and not relive the nightmare. Collins, on the other hand, needed to share her story—for her own healing and to offer her unique perspective to other mourning mothers. Collins did just that, and the result is this remarkably frank and unexpectedly hopeful memoir: Warrior Mother: Fierce Love, Unbearable Loss, and Rituals that Heal.

Sheila Trask
Reviewer of the Month:
Sheila Trask
                Sarton Memoir Award                

Deadline: December 1, 2013

The Sarton Memoir Award is granted annually to an outstanding woman's memoir published during September 1, 2012 - December 1, 2013 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.
Stories From the Heart

Plan now to join us for a unique and exciting event: the seventh national women's memoir conference of the Story Circle Network! Come, learn, share, celebrate with us as we honor our stories!

April 11-13, 2014
Wyndham Hotel, Austin, Texas

We have posted our Call for Presenters and would like to invite you to submit a presentation proposal. The deadline for proposals is September 15. Check the webpage for other details.

(click on the images for more info!)
When We Were the Kennedys
by Monica Wood
The Sandoval Sisters' Secret of Old Blood
by Sandra Ramos O'Briant
Travel/Literature/Culture Writing Tours
Italy, October 11-20, 2013
with Teresa Cutler-Broyles
Changes In Life
by Pat LaPointe
A Wilder Rose
by Susan Wittig Albert

Thanks to our advertisers
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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, (PO Box 500127, Austin TX 78750-0127). ©2013 Story Circle Network

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