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Four cheers for Elizabeth Strout’s Burgess boys

Having now finished my fourth Elizabeth Strout novel, The Burgess Boys, it’s obvious why she’s a New York Times best-selling author and has won so many awards, including a Pulitzer for fiction. The lady can write. She captures small-town life so perfectly and we find ourselves rooting for her characters despite their flaws and dark sides. After all, we’re all flawed and we can relate to the…

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Anne Glenconner’s Lady in Waiting gives us a glimpse into life with the royals

When I saw 87-year-old Anne Glenconner promoting her upcoming book on The Graham Norton Show last fall, she was so engaging I knew I couldn’t wait to read it. I always enjoy autobiographies and Glenconner’s outgoing, unfiltered personality promised lots of juicy reading. But, it wasn’t due to be released until the following March (2020) so I immediately put my name on the list for…

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Mobile library ladies in Kentucky were a life saver in remote communities

A few pages into reading The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, I had to Google “blue-skinned people of Kentucky”. The main character of this book, Cussy Carter, is a “blue” and it’s something I was unfamiliar with. The story is set in the midst of The Great Depression in the 1930s. A small group of Appalachian hill people whose skin was tinted…

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Clementine Churchill was a formidable force behind famous husband Winston

One important thing I learned while reading Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict is that her name is pronounced in the British style to rhyme with Josephine, not the American pronunciation which rhymes with Maritime. It was nice to return to my favourite genre, historical fiction, especially since I enjoyed the same author’s earlier book, The Only Woman in the Room so much. Winston Churchill has…

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Elizabeth Strout speaks through Olive Kitteridge in a voice familiar to baby boomers

After reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, I’ve concluded that it is possible to really enjoy a well-written novel despite a depressing theme and a thoroughly unlikeable main character. Strout has now published the followup book titled Olive, Again (which is on my To Read list) and since I’d never read the original Olive Kitteridge, I thought I’d better get up to speed by reading it first….

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A big round of applause for Ali Wong

Ali Wong, comedienne and author of Dear Girls, Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life falls into the same category as the writing of many other smart women I admire. Like Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler and Broad City’s Ilana Glazer, Wong is totally without fear and without filters. Is it a generational thing that these women are so comfortable expressing themselves…

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