Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

September 2014, Vol. 7, No 9

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 nearly 1700 reviews and a team of forty-plus 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. For information about the 2014 Sarton Award for women's memoir, 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 Pat Bean's interview with Judy M. Miller, author of What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween & director of the 2014 Indianapolis show, "Listen to your Mother."

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

Cover Stories

• A long-time member of SCN, a former board member and member of the faculty of SCN's Online Class Program, Paula Stallings Yost helped to launch SCBR back in 2001. Later, she served as co-editor of What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest, a Story Circle Network anthology published by University of Texas Press. She owns LifeSketches/Heirloom Memoirs Publishing—a biography service dedicated to helping others preserve their personal and/or family histories and the editor of My Words Are Gonna Linger, a guide to writing personal histories published by the Association of Personal Historians, where she has served as vice president and events manager. For more, visit Paula's website.

• Our editors and reviewers are active writers. Here are some of their projects:

    Reviewer Judy Alter will launch her latest book, The Perfect Coed, at signings Sep 20 (7-9am) and Sep 22 (5-7pm) at The Old Neighborhood Grill in Fort Worth.

    • Reviewers Cheryl Bazzoui (Ann McCauley) and Lynn Goodwin contributed articles to Writing After Retirement, edited by Carol Smallwood and Christine Redman-Waldeyer.

    Editor Judy M. Miller has recently had articles and essays published in Manhattan Family, Bay State Parent, Brooklyn Family, Connecticut Parent, Queens Family, Staten Island Family, Hawaii Parent, Metro Parent, Family Times, Bronx/Riverdale Family, and PB Parenting.

    Reviewer Linda Joy Myers tells us that her organization, the National Association of Memoir Writers is offering a special new teleconference on Breaking Silence—Healing Shame and Writing the Truth in Memoir.

    Reviewer Susan J. Tweit is on the faculty of two national writing conferences this fall: The 20th annual Women Writing the West Conference in Golden, CO, October 16-19 and the 10th annual Tony Hillerman Writing Conference in Santa Fe, NM, November 6-8. She is also featured in the upcoming national film, "Hometown Habitat," which is being shot by award-winning filmmaker Catherine Zimmerman and will be released in spring of 2015.

• 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.)

• If you'd like to learn more about SCN, the best place to start is with our leadership team: women who have devoted their energies to making SCN a home for women who want to write about women's lives. Go here to meet these nine remarkable women.

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 Independent Study 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

"Reading is important—read between the lines. Don't swallow everything."
—Gwendolyn Brooks

Read more thoughtful words from women writers.

Story Circle Network Books

What Wildness is This     With Courage and Common Sense     Kitchen Table Stories     Starting Points


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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                

The Ambivalent Memoirist
by Sandra Hurtes

From Donna B. Russell's review:
It's rare that a book captures my interest right from the prologue, but this one did. Sandra Hurtes writes with an openness, honesty, and passion that draw you into her personal story.

Her strong ties throughout her life to her birthplace come alive in her words... "Brooklyn was an emotional patchwork, and I was sewn into its seams." Hurtes had many opportunities to leave, but the fears and 'what ifs' held her back...

Reviewer of the Month:
Donna B. Russell
Winner & Finalists
Sarton Memoir Award

(click on the images for more info!)
Leaving Tinkertown
by Tanya Ward Goodman
College Girl
by Laura Gray-Rosendale
Hidden Lives
by Carole Garibaldi Rogers
A Bushel's Worth
by Kayann Short

Thanks to our advertisers
for helping to support SCN
Waking the Dreamer Within Festival
Billie Ortiz
A Mother's Story: Angie Doesn't Live Here Anymore
by Maggie C. Romero
Changes In Life
Pat LaPointe, Editor
A Wilder Rose
by Susan Wittig Albert

Kirkus' Best Indie Fiction for 2013!


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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 1670, Estes Park CO 80517-1670). ©2014 Story Circle Network

      voice: 970-235-1477