And Then She Said

About Women: Conversations between awpid-9780385539869.jpeg writer and a painter by Lisa Alther and Francoise Gilot is an interesting non-fiction book. Reading much like a play with two famous women as the main characters sans stage directions, the book is an ongoing dialogue between a well-known writer and painter who have an enduring friendship. Their discussions cover many topics and reveal their innermost thoughts and feelings about art, life, and love.

There were many things I enjoyed about this book. While reading it, I missed my dearest friends and sisters with whom I am able to have similar deep discussions. The book contains many pearls of wisdom. It is not something you can read quickly; you need to take these discussions slowly. There is great food for further rumination.

I recommend this book be read with a good friend and a glass of wine.

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The Chicken or the Egg

wpid-us_cover_of_go_set_a_watchman.jpgDevoid of any preconceived notions or expectations and with great anticipation, I read Harper Lee’s new novel Go Set a Watchman. I was aware of negative feedback after the book was published, but consciously chose to ignore it. I did not want to be swayed one way or the other with regard to my opinion of this novel.

I really liked the story. I do not care if it was written 50 years ago or yesterday; nor do I care if it was the first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird. What I do care about, is the message contained within its pages. And the message was clear to me. I perceived the message of this novel to be one of what it means to develop a belief system of one’s own and to be willing to defend it. To me, this is a story about the coming of age of a young woman in the Deep South who has returned home after time spent in New York with a clear change in her perception of the belief systems of those she revered most. Upon returning to her home in the rural south for a vacation, after a stint in Yankee country, she sees the world she grew up in and the people living in it with new eyes. She does not like what she sees.

The novel takes place in the mid-1950s when the USA was in the throes of racial tensions. Much of the story revolves around this issue and I found the dialogue enlightening.

i recommend this book because I believe it is truthful and has valid life messsges for all who read it.

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wpid-wp-1442360798946.jpegOur Souls at Night by Kent Haruf came to my attention after my mother discovered it, read it, and liked it. This is Haruf’s last novel. Sadly, he passed away in 2014.

This is a bittersweet love story about a woman in her seventies named Addie and the relationship which develops after she asks her neighbor Louis, a widower, if he will consider spending his nights at her home. Addie, a widow, is lonely and in need of a man to speak with in the dark at the end of the day.

As their unlikely relationship blossoms, many intimate life secrets are revealed making this a touching story. Despite the wagging of tongues in their small Colorado town, all goes well until the entrance of Addie’s grandson who experiences a loneliness of his own.

This is a lovely final novel by Haruf and one I could relate to on a personal level. The author’s vivid descriptions are ones which made me long to be in the mountains. Thank you Mom for the recommendation!

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wpid-buried-alive-tale-these-days-arnold-bennett-paperback-cover-art.jpgBuried Alive is a fictional novel by Arnold Bennett. Published in 1908, the book was made into a movie entitled Holy Matrimony in 1943. This is a satire about an accomplished British artist and his valet. The valet, Henry Leek dies after a brief illness and is mistakenly taken to be his shy, reclusive employer, Priam Farll, who is very much alive. With little forethought, Farll decides not to correct the error. The ensuing events are comical and Farll gets much more than the anonymity he bargained for.

I enjoyed the book even more than the movie even though there is little difference between the two. I trust my readers will as well!

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Words In My Head

wpid-416xm5ojt0l._sl1500_.jpgMiss Emily is a fictional novel by Irish author Nuala O’Connor. Based on the life of Emily Dickinson, the story revolves around the relationship between Emily and a household maid named Ada who comes straight from Ireland to the Dickinson household.

Told in the first person, the chapters switch between Emily and Ada’s point- of-view. Using this writing style, the author compares recluse Dickinson to the new maid who fearlessly left Ireland in search of something more in life. O’Connor also includes Emily’s relationships with her immediate family which are somewhat strained.

I admit I know little about Dickinson’s life however, reading this book helped me gain insight into what may have been her private thoughts. She was certainly an introvert who preferred the company of her poetry, nature, and words to that of human beings. The story itself captured my attention, and as a writer, I enjoyed it.

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Whither Thou Goest

wpid-e96e89aa8afe306596e306a65674141414d6741.jpgBridge to the Sun by Gwen Terasaki is a memoir written by the American wife of a Japanese diplomat during World War II. When the Tennessee born author met and married her Japanese husband in Washington D.C. in 1931, little could she imagine the effect upcoming political events would have on their lives.

This is another novel which came to my attention after watching a movie based upon it. I am very grateful the movie prompted me to read this memoir. I think it is an amazing book. There is so much information in this book about the reality of war. This is the first book I have read which, thanks to the author, allowed me to see inside the lives of the people living in Japan during World War Ii. Up until now, my perspective was limited.

After Pearl Harbor, Gwen, her husband, and daughter were expelled from D.C. and returned to Japan after being interred in the U.S. while awaiting transport. With limited knowledge of the Japanese language, the author lived at her husband’s side throughout the remainder of World War II in a country at war with her own.

This memoir is much more than a story  about the politics and deprivations of war;  ultimately it is a story about love, marriage, and commitment. It touched my heart and soul.

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Double Book Giveaway: Anne of Green Gables

wpid-51o1uvmgdpl._sl1500_.jpgYoung readers have read and loved Anne of Green Gables and its spunky, smart heroine, Anne Shirley. Debut novelist Andi Teran reworks this classic in Ana of California. Teran introduces characters with modern sensibilities and issues while staying true to the heart and spirit of Montgomery’s series. The novel also reflects Teran’s Mexican heritage.

To enter to win both books, please email us at bookwinked [at] before July 24, 2015! Contest open to U.S. residents only.

Congratulations to our giveaway winner Carol!

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