Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

February 15, 2015. Vol. 8, 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 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.

If You Love Women's Books...

If you love women's books, we'd love to have your contribution to our book review website. Our reviews are FREE to authors, publishers, and readers, but the website costs about $300 a month to maintain.

Go here to help us continue to support women's books through 2015. Thank you!

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 J. Tweit's interview with Sharman Apt Russell, author of Diary of a Citizen Scientist.

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

Cover Stories

• NovaStar reviewer Judy Alter is the author of two mystery series—Kelly O'Connell Mysteries and Blue Plate Café mysteries—plus the stand-alone, The Perfect Coed. In a long career, she has written fiction and nonfiction for adults and young adults, primarily about women in the American west, and garnered several awards. Judy retired as director of TCU Press, a position she has held for 23 years. She is a member of SCN and a coordinator of the May Sarton Literary Awards; a member of Sisters in Crime and the Steering Committee of the SinC subgroup, the Guppies; and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the Texas Literary Hall of fame. She edits her neighborhood newspaper and does third-grade at home with a grandson every school day. A single mother of four and grandmother of seven, she lives in Fort Worth with her lively Bordoodle puppy, Sophie. Visit her blog and her website.

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

  • Susan J. Tweit's essay, "Driving Richard Home," was published in the February 6, 2015 Denver Post. The essay is part of her memoir-in-progress, Bless the Birds.

  • Judy Miller recently had articles published in Your Teen; Mom to Mom, NWI; Atlanta Parent; San Diego Family; Pittsburgh Parent; Treasure Coast Parenting; Eastern Shore Parents; and Adoption Circles. Additionally, she is preparing to launch her new workbook for adopted teens and adults in March: Writing to Heal Adoption Grief: Making Connection and Moving Forward and in the audition process of casting "Listen To Your Mother Indianapolis," scheduled for May 3, 2015.

  • Edith O'Nuallain's article, "A Girl, Reading," was published in the Dec 2014-Jan 2015 issue of Book Women.

  • Linda Hoye was the guest editor for the Winter 2015 edition of Adoption Circles, Canada's Post-Adoption Quarterly newsletter. In addition to Linda's editorial, her piece called "Family Threads" was also published in that edition.

• 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

"Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled 'This could change your life.'"
—Helen Exley

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                

Being Miss America
by Kate Shindle

From Helene Benardo's review:
Being Miss America, by Kate Shindle, is part of the Discovering America Series. I started it expecting a treacly tale of the rather vapid Miss America pageants I remember from days gone by.

Boy, was I wrong! The book is a beautifully written, searing history and exposť of the entire Miss America Organization. The author, who was Miss America in 1998, has gone on to a career in theater and, more significantly, has become an informed, respected AIDS/HIV activist. Her book has an interesting format with one chapter devoted to reportage and the next, written in italics, representing the personal ideas and experiences of the author.

Reviewer of the Month:
Helene Benardo
Sarton Literary Award:
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 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). ©2015 Story Circle Network

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