Everybody’s Talking About Sisterhood

The Moon Sisters

With the publication of Therese Walsh’s new novel, The Moon Sisters, the lovely folks over at The Muffin are celebrating sisterhood, and when I heard about it, I had to participate, but here’s the thing: I don’t have any biological sisters. I have a step-sister (sort of) and a few sisters-in-law, but I was an only child until I was twelve, and then I inherited a slightly-older step-brother, so the people I consider sisters are my chosen family, more often than not.

One of them, Cathy, is actually my cousin, but she was my “big sister” for most of my life. It was Cathy who spent hours with me, making home movies that we wrote and performed in, baking and cooking and playing with dolls. It was even Cathy who gave me my first bra. Her mother, my own mother’s cousin, shared her birthday with me, and used to call me her birthday girl, so we had a sister-like bond from the time I was born, really, and while our interests have diverged and our politics don’t always align, she’s family, and she is my sister in every way that counts.

Then there’s my friend Alisa. We don’t really talk much these days, interacting mainly via Facebook (she’s incredible at Scramble with Friends), but when we were kids, my mother sliced our hands (nicked, really) open so we could be blood sisters. We didn’t have headdresses like the girls in The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, but we did have matching t-shirts when we were seven.

More recently, my spiritual sisters have expanded to include my friend Kathy, who was there for me when I had a miscarriage several years ago while my husband was traveling for work, who knows my dogs as well as I do, and who lets me borrow her children and use them as guinea pigs when I do experimental baking. She’s a visual artist, while I play with words, but we have in common the creative spirit.

Does it matter that none of these women are technically related to me? No. In fact, I think the case could be made that all women are sisters at some level, though some of us are closer than others. This is why it drives me crazy when women don’t support each other. No, we all don’t think alike, dress alike, behave alike, but there is far more that unites us than divides us, and I think we should embrace that.

Which brings me to this awesome new novel by Therese Walsh – The Moon Sisters. Here’s a bit about the book:

In The Moon Sisters, her second novel, Therese Walsh wanted to write about one sister’s quest to find will-o’-the-wisp light, which was her mother’s unfulfilled dream. Also called “foolish fires”, these lights are sometimes seen over wetlands and are thought to lead those who follow them to treasure. Despite the promise, they are never captured and sometimes lead to injury or even death for adventurers who follow them. The metaphor of that fire – that some dreams and goals are impossible to reach, and that hope itself may not be innately good – eventually rooted its way into deeper meaning as the Moon sisters tried to come to terms with real-world dreams and hopes, and with each other, in their strange new world.

Olivia and Jazz Moon are polar opposites: one a dreamy synesthete, able to see sounds and smell sights and the other controlling and reality driven. What will happen when they are plunged into 24/7 togetherness and control is not an option? Will they ever be able to see the world through the other’s eyes and confront the things they fear the most? Death. Suicide. The loss of faith and hope. Will they ultimately believe that life is worth living, despite the lack of promise?

The writing of The Moon Sisters was a five year journey and at times author Therese Walsh felt like it was her own “foolish fire”. But remember, some fires are worth the chase!

I haven’t read it yet – though I have it sitting on my to-be-read pile (look for my review on March 20th), but it sounds like a truly fantastic story for anyone who has a little bit of magic left in her soul, or who has shared a secret with a sister, even if she is a sister of the soul, and not one of blood.

Therese Walsh If you want to be among the first to read The Moon Sisters, you can buy it from Amazon.com, on Kindle or as a physical copy. (I love my Kindle, but I miss trading books with my friends when I only read ebooks.)

You can also find out more about the author, herself, by visiting her website: ThereseWalsh.com where you can find book club information, a personality quiz based on characters in the novel, and much, much more.

Also, don’t forget to stop by The Muffin and enter to win a copy of The Moon Sisters for yourself. Read it, then pass it along to your own sister. It’s nice to share.

200 Bloggers, 200 Books

On Nov 10, at 1 p.m., 200 bloggers will simultaneously publish reviews of 200 books printed on eco-friendly paper to raise consumer awareness about considering the environment when making book purchases. Participation this year has doubled from 2009.


Green Books Campaign

PRLog (Press Release) – Nov 03, 2010 – On Wed., Nov. 10, at 1 p.m., 200 bloggers will simultaneously publish reviews of 200 books printed on environmentally-friendly paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using greener methods, Eco-Libris aims to raise consumer awareness about considering the environment when making book purchases. This year’s participation of both bloggers and books has doubled from the event’s inception last year.

The 200 books to be reviewed are in a variety of subjects including cooking, poetry, travel, green living, and history, and come from 56 publishers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K. that are participating in the Green Books Campaign. This diversified group of publishers includes both small and large presses who all print books on recycled and/or FSC-certified paper.

Participating publishers include among others Penguin Group, Scholastic, Barefoot Books, McClelland & Stewart, Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, Sterling Publishing, DK Publishing, Harvard Business Press, Island Press, North Atlantic Books, McGraw-Hill, ABRAMS and Picador.

“Although there’s so much hype around e-books, books printed on paper still dominate the book market, and we want them to be as environmentally sound as possible,” explains Raz Godelnik, co-founder and CEO of Eco-Libris. “Their share is still relatively small, but you can find a growing number of books printed responsibly and we hope this initiative will bring more exposure to such books. Through this campaign we want to encourage publishers to increase their green printing options and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.”

Doug Pepper, president and publisher of 100-year-old publishing house
McClelland & Stewart, says he is delighted to participate in a program that ties in with the company’s mission. “The Eco-Libris Green Books Campaign’s positive “take action” message perfectly reflects our consistent use of recycled papers and our commitment to sustainable publishing as a whole,” Pepper says.

Among the bloggers who will review the books there are many who participate in the campaign for the second time. One of them is Kim Allen-Niesen of the blog ‘Bookstore People‘. “Participating in the Green Books Campaign was such an education in green reading. I didn’t have any idea how many publishers and writers are committed to creating books with as small an impact on the environment as possible. I discovered unique books because they were printed on recycled paper and I learned that books I’ve read for years are printed in a low impact manner. I’m looking forward to more surprises during this year’s campaign, “Allen-Niesen says.

This year’s campaign is supported by Indigo Books & Music, the largest book retailer in Canada, as part of its efforts to draw attention to the need for more environmental paper in book publishing. This is a core goal of Indigo’s environmental program, reinforced by Indigo’s industry leading environmental paper policy.

Michelle White, Director, Sustainability at Indigo Books & Music said, “Indigo has a strong forest conservation mandate and we believe that physical books printed on environmental paper are a sustainable choice. We commend Eco- Libris for reinforcing this message and engaging and motivating readers to take this issue into consideration when purchasing books. In fact, Indigo provides information online and through in-store kiosk that allows consumers to make informed decisions about where the paper content of their book comes from”. Learn more at http://www.chapters.indigo.ca.

Learn more about the Green Books Campaign and find a list of all participants at http://www.ecolibris.net/greenbookscampaign2010.asp

# # #

Founded in 2007, Eco-Libris (http://www.ecolibris.net) is a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices in the industry, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. To achieve these goals Eco-Libris is working with book readers, publishers, authors, bookstores, and others in the book industry worldwide. So far Eco-Libris has balanced out more than 150,000 books, resulting in more than 165,000 new trees planted with its planting partners in developing countries. To learn more visit http://www.ecolibris.net

— end —

EcoLibris: Green Books Campaign 2010

Green Books Campaign

Eco Libris Green Books Campaign

From the EcoLibris website:

On Wednesday, November 10, 2010, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time 200 bloggers will take a stand to support books printed on environmental paper by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 such books.

Launched in 2009 by Eco-Libris, this campaign is aiming to promote “green” books by reviewing 200 books printed on recycled paper or FSC-certified paper. Our goal is to use the power of the internet and social media to promote “green” books and increase the awareness of both readers and publishers to the way books can be printed printed in an eco-friendly manner.

You can learn more about the campaign, or read the lists of books and bloggers, by following this link.

Otherwise, check back here on November 10th to read my review of Dave Thompson’s book Bayou Underground.

Buzz: Author Interview with M.J. Rose

Author M. J. Rose

M.J. Rose | Click to embiggen

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my review of M. J. Rose’s latest novel, The Hypnotist. I was also privileged enough to do an emailed interview with her, which was posted over at All Things Girl. It’s posted in the blog, as part of our ongoing Author Insight series. We mainly do women authors, but we also have a Men on Monday series, which includes male authors.

If I’ve reviewed your work, and you’d like to be part of our interview series over at ATG, please let me know. (Actually, let me know, even if I haven’t reviewed your work. If interviews aren’t your thing, we also welcome guest posts.

Also? Go read The Hypnotist if you haven’t already, because it’s really good.

The Ever-Expanding To-Be-Read Stack

Every real book addict has a TBR stack – the pile of books that are yet to be read, but that seems to grow bigger daily, even when you read nonstop. Mine is so bloated at the moment, that I’m considering slipping weight loss supplement reviews inside the covers of some of the thicker tomes as a sort of subtle hint…but only considering it. Knowing me, I’d find them later, and just assume it was more to read.

From time to time, I post the titles that are waiting to be read. Here are the next few books I’ll be reading.

  • The Wedding Gift, by Kathleen McKenna
  • Once Wicked, Always Dead, by T. Marie Benchley
  • Key Lime Pie, by Josi S. Kilpatrick
  • Apathy for the Devil: a 70s memoir, by Nick Kent
  • Becoming Jimi Hendrix: the Untold Story of a Musical Genius, by Steven Roby and Brad Schreiber
  • Kiss My Tiara: How to Rule the World as a Smartmouth Goddess, by Susan Jane Gilbert

There are actually other books on the TBR stack, but these are all the books I’ve agreed to review, so are moved to the top of the list by default. Well, the last one isn’t a review book – it’s actually a birthday gift, but I want to get to it sooner rather than later.

It’s a good thing I work from home, and have the ability to take a book to every room.

Coming Soon! (What’s on my TBR stack?)

If you’ve read my main blog, you know that I’m turning 40 on Tuesday, and I had a lovely party last night. It didn’t include any atv riding, but there was yummy food, good cake, excellent company, and copious amounts of Mike’s Peach Margarita.

As is usual for me, books were in evidence…specifically four new additions to my TO BE READ stack.

They are:

  • A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style, by Tim Gunn with Kate Moloney
  • The One Hundred: a Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own, by Nina Garcia
  • The Little Black Book of Style, by Nina Garcia
  • Kiss My Tiara: How to Rule the World as a SmartMouth Goddess, by Susan Jane Gilman
  • The Wedding Gift, by Kathleen McKenna

The first three have been on my WANT list for a while, and are part of a project some friends and I are working on, the ‘Tiara’ book was on my wishlist of birthday inspirations, and the last is a new book by a woman who contacted me via this blog. She seems like a great person, the premise of her book seems right up my alley, and I’m looking forward both to reading it, and to getting to know her better – but all of these books made me grin, or laugh, or inspired me…

Isn’t reading just GRAND?

Nothing to Read?

For me, bookstores are as much fun as orlando vacations, but I haven’t had a chance to visit one in weeks, and my TBR (to-be-read) stack is dwindling. Sort of.

I mean, I have all but the first two Aurora Teagarden books left to read, but the problem here is that I’m leaving on Thursday, for vacation, and I can’t take someone else’s books with me. It’s just wrong.

I did find a Christopher Moore book I hadn’t read yet – it had somehow ended up beneath bed. So what book is it? The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove.

Now, normally I love Moore’s work. I mean, I want to BE Moore – well, with breasts – and finding one of his novels I hadn’t read lurking in my own house would be a boon.


Except I’m ready for crisp weather, and creepy stories. I want something like The Historian, but I’ll settle for something like Dracula or The Southern Vampire Mysteries. I want something long, mysterious, and satisfying. I want a novel I can sink into, that sets a tone so perfect that even if it happens to be sunny, I’ll feel like it’s not, and I’ll keep glancing behind me to see who’s there.

I want something as amazing as The Eight, or as chilling as Stephen King’s early work – although I prefer clown-free stories.

I want…shadows, and suspicion and surprises.

What do YOU want to read?

Coming Attractions: Drinking with George by George Wendt

Drinking with George: A Barstool Professional’s Guide to Beer
George Wendt
Get it at Amazon >>

One of my favorite parts about my work with online magazine All Things Girl is that I often get to review books before they come out, so that I can interview the authors.

Recently, George Wendt, whom most people probably recognize as “Norm” from “Cheers,” wrote a book that was half memoir, half ode to beer. I was given a galley so I could prep for an interview, and spent all night last Tuesday reading it. The interview was Wednesday evening, and both the book and the man were delightful: funny, smart, and totally engaging.

Let’s face it: beer is as important to American culture as novocain is to a Plano dentist, but it’s not something we generally read about. In the case of Drinking with George, however, skipping the book would be a literary sin, not because it’s high art, but because it’s the real story of a real guy’s love of the brew.

The fact that the book is filled with interesting beer factoids doesn’t hurt, either.

Look for Mr. Wendt as the All Things Girl Man of the Moment in October, and look for my review of his book in the ATG blog sometime after the first of the month.

Coming Soon: Julie & Julia – the Movie!

I never formally reviewed Julie & Julia, by Julie Powell, but I’ve read it twice and recommended to friends who like to read and friends who like to cook. In fact, it inspired me to read Julia Child’s My Life in France, as well.

I’ve been hearing murmurs about the upcoming movie for a while, but kept forgetting to look for trailers. I just did, and found out that the trailer was released on April 29th, and the movie is coming on August 7th, just ten days before my birthday. I shall consider it an early birthday present, especially as it stars Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.

But don’t take my word for it, watch the trailer: