PRAIRIE FIRES by Caroline Fraser

I finished reading a book that left me a little distraught. It was the winner of a Pulitzer Prize, The National Book Critics Circle Award and named one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year. But even more than that, it is a subject that absorbed so much of my childhood,…

A CHRISTMAS MEMORY by Truman Capote

Illustrator Beth Peck elegantly illuminates the words of Truman Capote as he tells the story of the uniquely loving relationship between seven-year-old, Buddy, and his ‘sixty-something’-year-old distant cousin, living in the same house. ‘We are each other’s best friend.’⠀ They make cakes together every year as the weather turns cold and fly homemade kites when…

HARRY’S TREES by Jon Cohen

What a fantastic book. It hooked me quickly and kept me on the line the whole way through. What a beautiful celebration of books and nature and great love. ⠀ ⠀”To every story we bring the story of ourselves.”⠀ This book celebrated the freedom of forgiveness. The adventure of reading. The beauty of nature. The cost…

It never rains in California…

Rain rain rain rain. But at one point in the not so distant past, there was sun. And it played beautifully with the variegation of this Brasil philodendron. Lemon lime in all its glory! ⠀ What’s the weather doing where you are?

THE GOOD NEIGHBOR by Maxwell King⠀

As Mr. Rogers hits the big screen with the ever-brilliant Tom Hanks as his representative, I thought I’d review a book I read this year – The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers.⠀ Good Neighbor was an in-depth look into Fred Rogers’ life and built a solid foundation as to why Mr….

MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFE by Heather Webber

It was a nice…quiet…weekend. I participated in the Instagram book challenge from @thebookishglow and @catebutler. We read Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber. #TheCozyBookishWeekend⠀ What an easy, enjoyable read laced with the magic of family and hometown and enduring friendships. (Imagine the undercurrent of Sweet Home Alabama but with pie.)⠀⠀ Anna Kate returned…

THE YEAR of MAGICAL THINKING by Joan Didion⠀ ⠀

It would appear to be a morbid book to read, yet this memoir about the year following Joan Didion’s husband’s death, was a systematic, matter-of-fact approach to try to make sense of the common process of grief. I mostly found it fascinating that our mind tries to make sense of something our heart cannot easily…

LET’S JUST SAY IT WASN’T PRETTY by Diane Keaton⠀ ⠀

I listened to this book on Audible and now I can’t imagine reading it in its physical form. Diane Keaton’s narration made it all the more wonderful.⠀ Let’s Just Say…, Keaton candidly discusses non-conventional beauty, aging gracefully (and not-so-gracefully at times) and embracing the person you truly are. She offers encouragement and support for women…

POET X by Elizabeth Acevedo

“The pages of my notebook swell from all the words I’ve pressed onto them. It almost feels like the more I bruise the page, the quicker something inside me heals.”⠀ Poet X is about Harlem high school student, Xiomara Batista, discovering the art of slam poetry. Batista doesn’t seem to fit anywhere in her world…

PLENTY LADYLIKE by Claire McCaskill

“You’re too young. Your hair is too long. You’re a girl. Go find yourself a husband.” Thus began a 35+ year career of public service, as Claire McCaskill knocked on the door of a potential voter in 1983. Claire McCaskill is a former state senator from Missouri. Her influence in the Senate has been one…

THE LAST ROMANTICS by Tara Conklin

102-year-old, Fiona Skinner had been out of public life for 25 years. Questions about her body of work were numerous at her first public appearance. Wanting to skip ahead to the end of the evening, Fiona was not prepared when a question came from one of the audience members, “Who was your inspiration in your…