Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

December 2014, Vol. 7, No 12

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 Susan Wittig Albert's feature piece about Judy Alter. Judy's latest: The Perfect Coed (but she's written many more!).

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

Cover Stories

• NovaStar reviewer Lee Ambrose is passionate about words! She enjoys reviewing books for the SCN Book Review Site almost as much as she enjoys reading the reviews posted by her sister reviewers. Lee tells us, "Reading and writing are such an important part of my life that I cannot imagine a day without actively reading or writing—or both! When I am not immersed in 'word-working' I am enjoying nature or working as an oncology/hospice RN at the local hospital. I have been an active member of the Story Circle Network's Internet Chapter since 2000. Currently, I write for the poetry e-circle #4 and writing e-circle #7, facilitate writing e-circle #10, author the weekly 'Women's Wise Words: A Week's Worth of Writing Prompts,' and serve as the President of the Internet Chapter (2004-present)."

• Our reviewers have been busy. We're pleased to announce that Judy M. Miller is now a StarBurst reviewer!

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

  • Writer Advice's Winter Issue includes two winning pieces submitted to our Scintillating Starts Contest and directions for our 10th Flash Prose Contest. Writer Advice is owned by SCN member, reviewer, and teacher, B. Lynn Goodwin, who is always looking for new reviewers.

  • Judy M. Miller had essays and articles published in Long Island Special Child, Mom to Mom NWI, New York Special Child, Parent Notebook, Pittsburgh Parent, Montgomery Parents, Flagler Parent, Pittsburgh Parent, Auburn Opelicka Parents, Bronx/Riverdale Family, BC Parent, San Diego Family, Mom to Mom NWI, Central Penn Parent, Growing Up Chico, Portland Family, Mobile Bay Parents, PB Parenting, and Brooklyn Family.

• 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

"There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away."
—Emily Dickinson

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

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 Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women's Movement
by Laura Swan

From Barbara Heming's review:
Much if not most of women's experience has languished in the dark shadows of history. Around 1980 scholars became interested in a medieval movement of independent women known as beguines and began unearthing historical records about their way of life. The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women's Movement by Laura Swan illuminates the development and growth of the beguines from its formation around 1200 until the death of the last beguine in 2013.

Reviewer of the Month:
Barbara Heming
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
A Mother's Story: Angie Doesn't Live Here Anymore
by Maggie C. Romero
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

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