Crank up the AC, fluff the pillows and get set for a really good read: “Sister Mine”. Written by Tawni O’Dell, this story had, for me, unique characters and an interestingly complicated story line. It gave me new insights into the coal mining culture and how it affects its families. And it made me grateful for my own childhood and that of my children.

Read it. You’ll be glad you did.



Oboy! I have a whole list of books I’ve read and heartily recommend. Let’s see if I can remember them all.

The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew was excellent. Mayhew gives us a new perspective of the problems of racial integration in this book. Although this is fiction, it fills me with horror to realize that things that happened in the story really happened in real life–back in the day. I’d like to think we’re much better people now.

Another top-notch book is 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson, who gives us a fresh look into the lives of people who have survived a war. Set in England’s 1940s, the story covers a Polish family who had been separated during the war, wife and husband and child each having very unique experiences in that period, and the problems they faced as they tried to live normal lives afterward. This is a must read because any war leaves terrible scars and damages many lives long after the war is “over”, and we the people should remember that.

A beautiful YA (young adult) novel I read was Judy Blume’s Tiger Eyes. Of course, any book by Judy Blume you already know will be a good read. But I’m always so newly thrilled when I get into one of her stories. This is not one of her newer books. Published in 1981, it’s been out there for a while. But Blume, as usual, takes her characters to new levels of pain and loss and joy with sensitivity, understanding and compassion. And you, the reader, are there for the ride.  Don’t worry. It’s really enjoyable!

Finally, at least for this post, is a page-turner from the get-go:  Gone ‘Til November. Wow! I could not put this book down. Wallace Stroby, the author, surely knows how to keep the reader glued to the book.  This is not a literary gem, but it is an easy, quick read that makes you happy that summer TV is so bad–you’re not missing anything by not watching it.

My Theme

I’ve changed my theme for these pages. Only the background and display, not the focus of my blog. Which is about books I’ve read and recommend (or not!), writing tips and/or comments, and just plain musings of mine.

I hope you like the freshness of these pages now. I like change, so we’ll see how long this theme sticks around. 🙂