This is my symphony

What I read & what I lived …

The Half BrotherHolly LeCrawDoubleday (2015) Holly LeCraw’s novel The Half Brother is one of those family-with-a-secret-sagas and a story of forbidden love. And then it becomes something more. Charlie Garrett is the son of a single mother. The father he never knew died, ostensibly, in Vietnam. Then his mother married the wealthy Hugh Satterthwaite when he was …

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Educated: a memoirTara WestoverRandom House (2018) I used to try to get my high school students (at least once a year and usually when reading Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451) to think about the difference between ‘education’ and ‘schooling’. Most seemed to think that they were receiving an education in their daily classes. My contention was that they …

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Virgil Wander Leif Enger Grove Atlantic Press (October 2018) Virgil Wander (yes, that’s the main character’s name) thinks his “world began reorganizing itself” the day a stranger, Rune Eliassen, turned up in town–but I’m pretty sure the sea change in Virgil’s life really began when he found himself launched off Highway 61 on a snowy autumn …

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Mr. & Mrs. American Pie Juliet McDaniel Inkshares (August 2018) Juliet McDaniel’s Mr. & Mrs. American Pie is chick lit turned on its head. Call it wacky. Call it madcap. But however you describe it, the novel is 172 pages of fun, largely because the characters and situations are larger-than-life. Here’s a run-down. Mrs. Maxine Hortence …

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Three Things About Elsie Joanna Cannon Scribner (2018) “Everyone’s life has a secret, somethings they never talk about. Everyone has words they keep to themselves. It’s what you do with your secret that really matters. Do you drag it behind you forever, like a difficult suitcase, or do you find someone to tell?” Joanna Cannon’s …

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The Forgotten Guide to Happiness Sophie Jenkins Avon (July 2018) Lana Green writes romance novels–or at least one, the best seller Love Crazy. Her second romance, Heartbreak, has just gotten a thumbs down from her publisher. The reason? It’s bleak and bitter, hardly the stuff of romance. Except Lana was just writing what she knew. And what …

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