First Tuesday Replay, Nov. 2

This feature has a two-fold purpose: 1. To allow those recently added to our followers list to discover books they might have missed and 2. To make sure previously featured authors and their work aren’t forgotten. If you’d like to learn more about any of the books revisited here, simply click on the “Authors” page, then on that author’s name.


Writes Tina: “Abloom & Awry expresses the awe I feel toward the beauty in the world, and also its disasters and destruction. It contains poetry informed by a journalism career, infused with the love of language, fact, music, nature, family, and their interplay. In Abloom & Awry, I praise strange truths and windshield dings. I pay close attention to the dark, trying to move through it with an affirmation. Containing multitudes of human foibles, natural phenomena, questions from children, plus a little roadkill and some hope, Abloom & Awry sings yes to forever, and to forever’s darkest side. My poetry is strongly influenced by Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” “Firekeeper,” by Pattiann Rogers, and the spirit, accuracy and close attention of James Agee, David Wagoner, Sharon Olds, D. Nurkse, Bob Hickok and Naomi Shihab Nye.


According to one reviewer: “There are so many tired variations on the mystery novel, that it is a welcome surprise to find something fresh and just a little different that still retains the sharp edges and fast pacing of a good Who-done-it. Susie Hara has done just that, making her debut novel  ‘Finder of Lost Objects’ a welcome addition to the genre, though it is more accurately a Where-is-it. Her protagonist, Sadie Garcia Miller, is not a detective, nor is she a private investigator. She does not solve mysteries or find missing people. She finds lost objects for a living, working out of a bare bones office in San Francisco’s Mission District. One might think this is not the most lucrative way to make a living, but Sadie gets by, with an almost uncanny way of finding her next client just as the last fee is exhausted. The serendipity is one of the subtle touches of mysticism and Fate that Hara scatters throughout her story. Sadie finds objects by a combination of analysis, common sense, and the feelings she gets when she centers her thoughts and waits for answers to rise up in her quiet mind. It is well done, and not so insistent nor as obvious as to be off-putting if you are not a person with a metaphysical bent.”


Laurie Jean Cannady is most recognizable through her voice. Lyrical and august, yet strangely intimate, her lucid memory for the texture of daily existence weaves the reader into the fabric of the story. We discover that the most slender threads bind the strongest.

It is no surprise this memoir is a narrative about a victim who becomes a survivor. Cannady is assertive, motivational, and unafraid to reach her target audience: women, African Americans, high-school students, college students, survivors of physical and sexual abuse, veterans, people raised by single parents, and folks who are living in or have lived through impoverishment.


Writes Randall: “I think the book is a really fun ride for the right reader. What people enjoy most about it is having their own ideas validated. What I mean is that lots of people have these philosophical thoughts when they hear a song, or consider an album concept, or watch a music video, and the reason they have these thoughts is because (1) they are human and humans are philosophical, and (2) the artists who make this music have philosophical thoughts too, and they put them into the art. It’s true of good film and television and theater and other kinds of entertainment as well. But I see myself as a sort of tour guide, showing you many of the thoughts you’ve already had and, since I do this for a living, hooking those disparate thoughts together and hanging them on various great philosophers’ works, which is where the feeling of validation comes from –some important person in the past, renowned as a philosopher, had the same thought you had while listening to The Rolling Stones.”


Just Another Week in Suburbia by [Zig, Les]

When Casper Gray finds a condom in his wife’s handbag, he suspects that she may be cheating on him. So begins a week where Casper obsesses about the possibility, while his life unravels spectacularly. The main themes of JAWiS are trust (how well can you ever know somebody?) and masculinity (Casper being forced into a situation where he has to take control of his life.)

Says Les: “I love flawed characters – especially characters who are trying to find their place in the world, and who are trying to make sense of things. Casper’s world unravels because of a single small discovery. Life is made up of those small moments. Do I turn left or do I turn right? Most of the time, we’re on autopilot. But, sometimes, some small thing leads to something that jars us from that mindset and into an existence of hyperawareness.”


Set in the early-mid 1990’s, Restless Souls tells the story of the friendship between three wayward Irish lads in their late twenties. Tom, Karl and Baz grew up together in down-on-its-luck Dublin. Friends since childhood, their lives diverged when Tom left home to be a war correspondent. Now, after three years embedded in the Siege of Sarajevo, he returns a haunted shell of the lad who went away.

Karl and Baz have no idea what they’re doing but they are determined to see him through the darkness, even if it means traveling halfway around the world. Hearing about an unlikely cure at an experimental clinic, they embark on a road trip across California. But as they try to save Tom from his memories, they must confront their own – of what happened to their childhood friend Gabriel. And in doing so, they must ask how their boisterous teenage souls became weighed down, and why life got so damn complicated and sad.

Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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