Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Sunday Salon and The Night I Spent with Garth Stein (Thanks to an Indie Bookstore)...

     
Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It's that day of the week we sit back and chat virtually with all our bookish friends. So, grab a cup of Joe, find a comfy chair and let's talk books… or better yet, let's talk about my Saturday night with author, Garth Stein

It was a cold and dreary day in Connecticut yesterday, a sudden snow storm had left piles of new snow the day before that was now melting. But all was sunshine and anticipation as I prepared for my date with Garth. It was saturday night and there was just a sliver of moon. With much anticipation I got into my car… we were meeting at the library... Actually, me and 50 or so other women (yes, there were even a few men) were meeting him at the library, because thanks to Independent bookstore, Byrd's Books, Garth was doing a reading and presentation of his new book, A Sudden Light

First, let me say, having a wonderful writer like Garth Stein fly in from Seattle to our little town in Connecticut, is very special. Meeting your favorite writer, being able to ask a question or just listening to an author read from his work is wonderful. Garth was charming and funny, and truly enjoyed interacting with the audience. I have to give him a lot of credit too, because he was working on only a few hours sleep due to his original flight on friday being canceled due to snow and having to take a flight on saturday.

Hosting events like this is another reason why Independent bookstores are special too. Independent bookstores are about reading, authors and nourishing what we as readers like - getting lost in a good book. Of course there is still a bottom line in an Independent bookstore, but before you get there (the bottom line), there is a a shared love of reading. Thank you Byrd's Books for treating our community to this wonderful reading event! Now more on the event and Garth Stein…

You may remember a little book called The Art of Racing in The Rain. That was the amazing little story told by Enzo (the family dog) on the eve of his death, taking stock of his life, sharing the ups and downs of his human family and written by Garth Stein in 2008. Smash hit, numerous awards and literally put (ok, not funny) Garth in the hands of many new readers. But after reading The Art of Racing in The Rain, we wanted MORE! Garth had two books previously published, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets and How Raven Stole the Moon, which I really enjoyed, here's my review, but after reading the latest you look towards the future… and that future was A Sudden Light just published this past September. Thanks to Simon & Schuster, I had the opportunity to read A Sudden Light before it was published and LOVED IT! (Here's my review). All of which leads us to my date night (ok, me and 50 other women… the men too) with Garth last night…

Hosted by Independent bookstore, Byrd's Books of  Bethel, CT. and held at the Ruth Haas Library at Western Connecticut State University, Garth Stein walked nonchalantly into the library about 6:15pm. AND he had SWAG! First he walked around giving everyone these cool matchboxes that looked like miniature A Sudden Light books (Very cool), then he handed out Enzo pins, and finally Enzo temporary tattoos! Then he walked up to the podium and started talking, about independent bookstores, about The Art of Racing in The Rain, about his independent film making career, about his connection to Danbury, Ct . (my little home in Connecticut), about his inspiration for writing A Sudden Light, and about being a writer. He was so interesting (ok, he was cute too) and everyone seemed to have a great time. After his presentation, which seemed more like talking to an old friend, he answered questions from the audience and then signed our books on the way out. Thank you Garth for coming to our little town and thank you Byrd's Books for hosting the event!

Want to learn more about Garth Stein and his books? Here's the link to Garth's Website! Want to learn more about Byrd's Books? Here's a link to Byrd's Books Website ( you can even order books there!)

What better way to spend a saturday night?! ...Ok, now how about your next book Garth! ;-)

Happy reading… Suzanne

Monday, March 9, 2015

Seed by Lisa Heathfield... Blog Tour & A Review

Pearl is fifteen, naive and living a sheltered life in a community called "Seed". She was born into this "family", happy to be a part of her family of brothers & sisters, Kindreds and "Mothers", and loving Papa S, their "father".

Why are we so fascinated by these communities? In theory, "the outside" is what poisons our minds and bodies, but the community in author Lisa Heathfield's book, Seed, is perfect on the outside, but pure evil on the inside. And as we slowly turn the pages to delve deeper into the story of Seed, we find exactly what makes some of these communities front page news...

About The Book: Seed by Lisa Heathfield: All that Pearl knows can be encapsulated in one word: Seed. It is the isolated community that she was born into. It is the land that she sows and reaps. It is the center of her family and everything that means home. And it is all kept under the watchful eye of Papa S.
 

At fifteen years old, Pearl is finally old enough to be chosen as Papa S.'s companion. She feels excitement . . . and surprising trepidation that she cannot explain. The arrival of a new family into the Seed community—particularly the teenage son, Ellis—only complicates the life and lifestyle that Pearl has depended upon as safe and constant. Ellis is compelling, charming, and worldly, and he seems to have a lot of answers to questions Pearl has never thought to ask. But as Pearl digs to the roots of the truth, only she can decide what she will allow to come to the surface.

What did I think of the book? I was captivated from the first page! The writing just drew me in and the characters were so real and full of heart. Pearl stole my heart from the beginning with her innocence and tentative inquisitiveness. Though born and brought up in this environment, she had a keen sense of right & wrong and had feelings that were "normal". Trying to deal with her growing pangs of adulthood while maintaining her "obedience" became an ever growing problem that made the story all the more real. A few shockers and a larger than life ending made it quite the literary trip. I have to say that I read it in one sitting because I just could not put it down. The story slowly builds into the climatic ending and when I turned to that last page I was looking for more! And I am going to get it, because there will be a sequel! Thank goodness, because when you read this first installment, you are going to want more too! Definitely a book for readers who enjoy those stories with the conflict of the cloistered world versus the "outside" with a touch of mad cult leader. The book reminded me a bit of those Amish literary books, but with a heftier dose of real world.

A Little About The Author...
Lisa Heathfield is a former secondary school English teacher, specializing in working with hearing-impaired children. Seed is her debut novel. She lives in Brighton, England, with her husband and three children.

Chick with Books is just one stop of Lisa Heathfield's Blog Tour for her book, Seed, which will be published March 10th, 2015 by Running Press, and available at your local bookstore then!  I want to thank Running Press for the review copy of Seed!

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