Non-fiction Review: Walking to Listen, by Andrew Forsthoefel

Title: Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time Author: Andrew Forsthoefel Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2017. 371 pages Source: Library Publisher's Summary: Life is fast, and I've found it's easy to confuse the miraculous for the mundane, so I'm slowing down, way down, in order to give my full presence to the extraordinary that infuses each moment and resides in every one of us. At 23, Andrew Forsthoefel headed out the back door of his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman and Rilke, and a sign that read -Walking to Listen.- He had just graduated from Middlebury College and was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn't know how. So he decided to take a cross-country quest for guidance, one where everyone he met would be his guide. In the year that followed, he faced an Appalachian winter and a Mojave summer. He met beasts inside: fear, loneliness, doubt. But he also encountered

#Fin50: That Old Wive's Tale

  Old Wives’ Tales is the prompt for the month’s Fiction in Fifty words #Fi50, the brainchild of the BookShelf Gargoyle . As a hint to fill out the story a little, I'll tell you that once, long ago, I was a Chaucer scholar. The Old Wives’ Tale There’s time before the ride ends for you to hear our wisdom. You young wives want to live as long as us, and be as happy? Then you must use your husband right. What’s that? You’re no slave to any man? Tell her, Mildred. How long since your husband disappeared? ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2017 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!

Librarians Vs. Robots: Flash Fiction Friday

Another wonderful random-draw prompt from Chuck Wendig , this time two lists of character-things. Draw one from each, and set them against each other. To my delight, my first roll got me the utter appropriate Librarians vs. Robots. In 999 words, then, my take on it. You know who's gonna win :) Librarians vs. Robots Abigail let her glasses slide down her nose so she could look over them at the patron who had just entered the library. Hers was a quiet and well-run library, and she did not allow troublemakers. This one looked like a troublemaker. The patron approached the desk with the slightly awkward gait that gave away even the best robots. It was unaffected by the over-the-glasses gaze of the librarian, and made its request in a surprisingly human voice. “Might I get a library card?” Very polite. Abigail wasn’t fooled. Nor was she willing to discriminate against any potential borrower of books. She might see trouble coming, but even an obvious troublemaker could get a library car

Audio-Book Review: One Dead, Two to Go

  I'll start with an apology, because I was sent this book for review last summer, and I listened to it, and enjoyed it, and somehow the review never got written. I only discovered this when I saw the second book was out, and went to look at my review and see what I'd thought of this one. No dice. I must have gone on vacation. So here it is, better late than never.  Title: One Dead, Two to Go  (Eddie Shoes Mystery #1) Author: Elena Hartwell, narrated by Moira Driscoll Publisher: Audible, 2016. Paperback by Camel Press, 2016, 240 pages. Source: Review copy from publisher Publisher's Summary: Private Investigator Edwina “Eddie Shoes” Schultz’s most recent job has her parked outside a seedy Bellingham hotel, photographing her quarry as he kisses his mistress goodbye. This is the last anyone will see of the woman … alive. Her body is later found dumped in an abandoned building. Eddie’s client, Kendra Hallings, disappears soon after. Eddie hates to be stiffed for her

Audacity Jones, by Kirby Larson. Middle Grade review

  Title: Audacity Jones to the Rescue Author: Kirby Larson Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2016. 209 pages Source: Library Publisher's Summary: An irrepressible orphan named Audacity Jones is headed on an adventure of historic proportions! The first book in a brand-new series from beloved Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson! Audacity Jones is an eleven-year-old orphan who aches for adventure, a challenge to break up the monotony of her life at Miss Maisie's School for Wayward Girls. Life as a wayward girl isn't so bad; Audie has the best of friends, a clever cat companion, and plenty of books to read. Still, she longs for some excitement, like the characters in the novels she so loves encounter. So when the mysterious Commodore Crutchfield visits the school and whisks Audie off to Washington, DC, she knows she's in for the journey of a lifetime. But soon, it becomes clear that the Commodore has unsavory plans for Audie--plans that involve the president of the Uni

Friday Flash Fiction: The Crispins

After a long absence while he was busy doing author things, Chuck Wendig was back this week with a new flash fiction challenge. I used the random number generator to pick my genres, and ended up with Near-Future Sci-Fi and Biopunk. Had to look up the latter, but in the end they kind of ended up being the same thing. I stuck with it, though, because I'd just finished reading an article about CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and it seemed kind of obvious. Chuck gave us 1500 words, and I ran longer than usual at 1380. The Crispins We Crispins were the result of the hubris of the 2030s, when the genetic scientists were sure they had all the glitches worked out of the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing protocols. The big challenge had been solving the problem of not just removing bad DNA, but replacing it with what should be there. They finally got that worked out in 2029. That was when someone got the bright idea of creating enhanced humans. The result was us. They gave us all the name “Crisp

Non-fiction review: The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap

  Title: The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap   Author: Wendy Welch Publisher: St. Martin's Press, 2012. 291 pages Source: Purchased Publisher's Summary: A book about losing your place, finding your purpose, and immersing yourself in what holds community, and humanity, together—books Wendy Welch and her husband had always dreamed of owning a bookstore. When the opportunity to escape a toxic work environment and run to a struggling Virginia coal mining town presented itself, they took it. And took the plunge into starting their dream as well. They chose to ignore the “death of the book,” the closing of bookstores across the nation, and the difficult economic environment, and six years later they have carved a bookstore—and a life—out of an Appalachian mountain community. A story of beating bad odds with grace, ingenuity, good books, and single malt, this memoir chronicles two bibliophiles discovering unlikely ways in which daily living and literature intertwine. The