Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Chinese Girls: In Fiction, In Photos

Bette Bao Lord’s In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (1984) opens when Bandit is living in China in her grandparents’ home. She is ten years old (nine in Western birthdays) and she is about to learn that she will be going to live in the United States.

  “Holding Precious […]

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Margaret Millar’s How Like an Angel (1962)

Exploring in the back country of Santa Barbara County California, Margaret Millar discovered a group of abandoned buildings on top of a ridge of the Santa Ynez mountains. The view was incredible: the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Ynez valley, Lake Cachuma, and the San Rafael mountains, along with a main lodge, out-buildings, and a tower.

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Margaret Millar’s Wives and Lovers (1954; 2016)

Readers familiar with Margaret Millar’s suspense novels, will immediately recognize her style and language in Wives and Lovers. (Just yesterday I discussed Vanish in an Instant, another volume in the Syndicate reprint series.)

“It was a shoebox of a room, with the ceiling pressed down on it like a lid, and Gordon and herself, two mis-mated […]

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Margaret Millar’s Vanish in an Instant (1952; 2016)

Margaret Millar’s mysteries are being brought back into print by Soho Syndicate. The Master at Her Zenith volume is comprised of five of her well-known books, including the Edgar-winning Beast in View.

Throughout, her interest in psychology is evident. Both she and her characters are fascinated by detail. And the emotions which often erupt in […]

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Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures (2016)

“There was virtually no aspect of twentieth-century defense technology that had not been touched by the hands and minds of female mathematicians.”

HarperCollins, 2016

That might not come up in math class at school, but it’s evident on every page of Hidden Figures.

“What I wanted was for them to have the […]

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The Fold’s 2016 Reading List (Part One)

The FOLD (The Festival of Literary Diversity) is an annual event, in Brampton (Ontario, Canada) dedicated to telling more stories, to having audiences connect with a wider variety of storytellers. You can check out their lineup of terrific writers and storytellers who were a part of the debut festival in May this year, here.

Earlier in […]

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Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People

It begins with something extraordinary.

“Almost a decade earlier, a man with a .45-70 Marlin hunting rifle walked through the front doors of Avalon Hills prep school. He didn’t know that he was about to become a living symbol of the age of white men shooting into crowds.”

House of Anansi. 2016

Readers are […]

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August 2016, In My Bookbag

In which I discuss some of the skinny volumes, which have nestled into my bookbag.

(Meanwhile longer works, like Kathleen Winsor’s Forever Amber and Greg Iles’ The Bone Tree, were left at home.)

Patricia and Fredrick McKissack’s Best Shot in the West tells the story of Nat Love, who was born into slavery in 1854 and became […]

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Still the same old story? (On Trials of the Earth)

Mary Mann Hamilton’s Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman was originally writen in the 1930s, recounting her experiences pioneering. The chronicle begins in the 1880s in Missouri, moving into Arkansas, with her being crowded into a marriage, as a wife but not an equal.

Little Brown and Company – Hachette, 2106

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Eowyn Ivey’s To the Bright Edge of the World (2016)

Research for Eowyn Ivey’s new book took her into the heart of Alaska and onto the Copper River, described here, long before the draft was complete and bound and the book published.

Little Brown and Company Hachette, 2016

Official publication day is today, the launch in Palmer, Alaska. On the page, the action revolves around Wolverine River, a […]

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