Story Circle Book Reviews

                        reviewing books by, for, and about women

August 17, 2016. Vol. 9, No 7

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 over 1900 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 2016 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 Dawn Wink's interview with Kathryn Ferguson, author of The Haunting of the Mexican Border: A Woman's Journey.

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

Cover Stories

Meet Our Star Reviewer:
Mary Jo Doig: "I have found so many ways to nurture my reader's/writer's soul in SCN since joining in 2001. As I found deeper levels of my own story by reading other women's stories, my segue into writing book reviews was a natural. I am honored to be part of the editorial team for our outstanding SCN Book Review site and hope you visit it often. The reviews are so excellent and the books reviewed are both current and the best from today's indie women authors."

• SCBR Named to Goodreads Top 1%: We're proud to report that Goodreads has named SCBR to its top-rated book reviewers. Most-viewed: Lee Ambrose's review of Pam Webber's novel, The Wiregrass.

Our editors and reviewers are active writers and writing teachers/coaches. Here are some of their projects:

    Jude Walsh Whelley won third place in the "The Magic of Memoir: Inspiration for the Writing Journey" competition. In addition to a $100 prize, her piece, "The Unfolding Story: One Memoirist's Path," will be included in the November 2016 book, edited by Linda Joy Meyers and Brooke Warner.

    Susan Wittig Albert completed the third book in her series of biographical/historical novels. Titled The General's Women, it will be published next year under Susan's imprint, Persevero Press.

    Judy Alter's cookbook, Texas is Chili Country, is a finalist in the cookbook category of the Will Rogers Medallion Award.

    Susan J. Tweit's commentary about polizarition and the lessons we might learn from reconciliation ecology, "Partisan Politics are Pulling My Town Apart," appeared in High Country News online and in newspapers around the West through the Writers on the Range op-ed syndicate, and was shared widely on Facebook and Twitter.

    B. Lynn Goodwin has just been invited to be on a panel of writers talking to the Danville, Alamo, Walnut Creek Branch of AAUW this November, along with fellow SCN member, Martha Slavin.

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.

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

"My family can always tell when I'm well into a novel because the meals get very crummy."
—Anne Tyler

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.

Sarton Women's Book Award:
                Review of the Month                

The Year of Living Virtuously
by Teresa Jordan

From Susan J. Tweit's review:
For her ninetieth birthday, Laberta Altermat bought herself black lingerie. My friend Greer told me this... as we drove to a gathering of a book club in Virgin, Utah, near Zion National Park. Greer also said that Laberta looked more like seventy than ninety.

Still, when we arrived, I didn't immediately take the vibrant woman on the couch to be Laberta. I heard her hearty laugh before I even entered the room. She had pure-white hair in a chic, asymmetrical cut and wore a tiger-striped sweater and a large, Picasso-inspired necklace. Her confidence of style endeared me, but I was most engaged by her flashing, mischievous eyes.

That vivid picture of Laberta Altermat opens the essay on love, one of 45 mostly short chapters in this personal book exploring virtue and vice in daily life. The book's subtitle sums up its aim: A Meditation on the Search for Meaning in an Ordinary Life. Teresa Jordan clearly knows how to tell a story and hook a reader. What keeps us reading is her wide-ranging, open and erudite mind.and where she takes the story and what she makes of it.

Reviewer of the Month:
Susan J. Tweit
2014-2015 Sarton Memoir Award

(click on the images for more info!)
So Many Africas
by Jill Kandel
War Creek
by Susan Marsh
Even in Darkness
by Barbara Stark-Nemon


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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). ©2016 Story Circle Network

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