Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

August 18, 2015. Vol. 8, No 8

If You Love Women's Books...

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 Lee Ambrose's interview with Pam Webber, author of Wiregrass.

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

Cover Stories

Judy King tells us about herself:
My fascination with the natural world goes way back to my early childhood when I always had to visit the flamingos and the zebras whenever my family went to the zoo. Why were flamingos pink? I wondered. Why did zebras have stripes? Why not the other way around?"

Without being aware of it, I grew into a science nerd. Writers I admired included Rachel Carson and Carl Sagan, and I got away from reading fiction more and more. These days there are so many excellent writers producing books about scientific topics and the history of science that it's hard to know where to start. I tend to look first for a woman's name as the author, and go from there. I still doubt that I'll ever run out of reading material.

When I'm not reading, I'm generally riding herd on my silly dogs. I also make things without always following directions or patterns. Sometimes they turn out the way I imagined. Other times they turn out awesome.

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

  • Dawn Wink's essay, "Wild Waters: Landscapes of Language," was recently published in the journal Langscape. The intro to her piece states this: "Wink offers an intense reflection on her intertwined experiences as a lover of the desert, a student of language, and a listener to the ever-changing, powerful voice of flowering water."

  • Two of Judy M. Miller's essays are being included in two anthologies: Chicken Soup: Dreams and Premonitions (out Sep. 22) and My Special Needs Child: Reflections on Raising a Child With Special Needs (forthcoming).

  • Jazz Jaeschke's poem, "Yellow Windbreakers," was published in the 2015 Austin International Poetry Festival anthology, Di-Verse City.

  • Susan J. Tweit's commentaries have been picked up by two national websites. Her essay on seeing nature through different eyes (as in different genders and different cultures) is featured on the Children & Nature Network, the website of the organization founded by Rich Louv (Last Child in the Woods). And her piece about restoring the urban creek that runs past her house is featured on the "City Creatures" blog at the Center for Humans & Nature.

  • Susan Albert's mystery, The Darling Dahlias and the Eleven O'Clock Lady (#6 in the series) will be out in early September.

  • Cheryl Bazzoui, writing as Ann McCauley, published an essay, "Focused Writing Time" in the July/August issue of Working Writer.

  • B. Lynn Goodwin's YA, Talent, will be out November 1. Her short personal essay was recently published on

• 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.

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.

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.

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                

Land of the Rain Shadow
by Joyce Gibson Roach

From Trilla Pando's review:
West Texas is big; West Texas is huge. Lots of land, lots of wind, lots of sky, and not very many people. Joyce Gibson Roach's stories tell of this country which she describes as land that "stretches between and beyond the Brazos and the Rio Grande, from the Panhandle through the Big Bend, from the Red River to the Gulf of Mexico." The stories draw us into this land and those lonely ones who inhabit it across the twentieth century.

Reviewer of the Month:
Trilla Pando
Story Circle Online Classes:

SCN Online Classes, the only online writing program designed exclusively for women. General writing skills, organization, and critical editing; book design and development, online marketing, blogging, and more. An Independent Study Program, too. For full class listings, faculty bios, enrollment, and more, visit our website.

Sarton Literary Award:
Winner & Finalists
2013-2014 Sarton Memoir Award

(click on the images for more info!)
by Yelizaveta P. Renfro
Not the Mother I Remember
by Amber Lea Starfire
Short Leash
by Janice Gary

Thanks to our advertisers
for helping to support SCN

Desperate Straits:
Desperate Straits

by Janet Squires

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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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