As the Assistant Editor for the Story Circle Books Reviews, I see (and feel and smell and fondle...oh my!) all of the wonderful books made available to our review team. I'm the contact point for the publicists and publishers. For an avid reader and book lover like me, this is sweet torture. Many a day, I find myself wanting to keep each book for myself to read, to savor, to review. Alas, I can't find that many hours in my day, and I suspect you can't either. Enter our wonderful review team. I offer the books and they are spoken for immediately, so eager are they to see the newest in women's literature. On the site, we feature books of varied genre including memoir, mainstream fiction, poetry, travel, self-help,books on lifewriting,and so many more. We even have chick lit for those times you need a good "cozy" to curl up with and just relax.
Every week, I'll update our latest reviews for you. For instance, since this is Election week, you might want to check out Michelle: A Biography by Liza Mundy, for a look into the life of our new First Lady Elect. On a lighter note, you might enjoy our Review of the Month penned by Patricia Pando--American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld. If some of the characters seem familiar, well, you'll just have to read the book. I have a copy on my bedside table and it's beckoning to me...OK, Susan, focus! you have a deadline. Where was I? Aah...Books!
Some weeks, I'll probably talk less about books and more about reading. Why? Because I believe that most good writers are readers too. A good author is an instructor, whether or not she intends to be. There is so much to be gained by spending time in the company of a good book. Be aware of the author's style. See the development of characters. Watch for the way dialogue is used. Consider the descriptive prose. Lest you think this would make reading tedious or would distract you, let me assure you it does not. Those elements of style are the very reason(s) you are drawn to a book and immerse yourself in the joy of reading it. Just know that there are lessons to be learned every time you read. Take some time to reflect on these qualities.
At its most basic, consider a young child just beginning to read. Every time a book is read, a vocabulary is built and added to. Now, if you sat a child down and said "It's time for your vocabulary lesson," the squirming would start in a matter of minutes (I'm talking about at home, not school). Just put a book into those little hands. Be available to answer questions and share the experience. Read to a child too young to read on her own. There are many things I don't remember about my childhood, but I cannot remember being without a book. It's that elemental.