Night of Literary Prose, Poetry and Songs, third Tuesday of the month, 7 to 8:15 p.m., RSVP to Maribeth, see Tom's email for place.
Book Club for Writers, 2nd Thursday of the month,
location in Tom's weekly email.
JULY -- The Paris Wife, Paula McClain. This is a novel based on Hemingway’s first wife, and told from her point of view. McClain is a poet and so the language is beautiful, but what I especially enjoyed was seeing how she took known facts of Hemingway’s life and dramatized them through the point of view of the wife--thus making them fresh and new for the reader. I think this is a book that would help writers better understand point of view, and might be especially useful for memoir writers, who like McClain, often have the facts of their family’s story and now must learn how to bring those facts to life, to make the characters come alive and yes, to tell their stories with a specific point of view. Nominated by Maribeth Fischer. 7 Votes. Host: Tom Hoyer
AUGUST -- Everyone was so Young Gerald and Sara Murphy: A Lost Generation Love Story. by Amanda Vaill. I’m not sure we’ve ever read a biography in our book club, and as one who is not typically a fan of biographies, it’s surprising to me that I would recommend this but it is one of the best biographies I have ever read, reading more like a novel. It details the lives of Gerald and Sara Murphy who took under their wing such artists as Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, and Piccasso all the while trying to create art themselves. A terrific book for writers of memoir--again not only to see how to take facts and create a dramatic story, but how to create living breathing characters out of biography. In other other words, you might know the fascinating story of your grandparents, but how do you take that story and bring the characters alive--with dialogue and gestures and action? Vaill makes the Murphy’s and their fascinating cast of friends feel real--and she does a fantastic job with the exotic settings and the era in which these people lived. Nominated by Maribeth Fischer 10 votes. Host: Ginny Daly
SEPTEMBER -- The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. What if you’ve lived a good life, but you’re haunted by one thoughtless moment from your past? Can that moment ever be atoned? The book’s title refers to a letter that’s not meant to be read. While searching the attic for a piece of the Berlin Wall, Cecilia Fitzpatrick comes across a secret letter her husband has written for her to read after his death. Should she read it, even if he is very much alive? The story unfolds in pieces as Moriarty narrates the lives of three women who will feel the repercussions of the secret. Nominated by Gail Comorat. 10 Votes. Host: Irene Fick
OCTOBER -- The Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam. Main character wobbling on the line between madness and sanity writes letters to her neighbor in suburban London. Witty and poignant. Writing interests: epistolary novel; unforgettable character; setting and commentary on suburban life; realistic portrait of a mind coming unhinged. (Whitbread Award winner) Nominated by Sarah Barnett . 7 Votes. Host: Sarah Barnett
NOVEMBER -- In The Woods by Tana French. This is a writer that I am currently studying because her descriptions of character especially, but also setting, are fantastic. She takes her time with characters, lets you get to know them, care about them. I am learning a ton about the importance of including gesture--even seemingly unimportant ones--in writing a scene, and how to be more specific in describing facial expressions, for instance. These are all a part of really letting the reader feel she knows the character, and sees her. Although this is a mystery, and I am not usually a mystery reader, I loved this book, because in a way, the mystery is the least important part. French does write long, however--this is about 500 pages (over our usual word limit),though personally, I wished it was longer) Nominated by Maribeth Fischer. 12 Votes. Host: Steve and Marcia Plotkin.
DECEMBER -- Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson. This book jumps right into its story: “I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K.” Shandi Pierce is finishing college, raising a genius three-year-old, born of what she claims is a virgin birth. It’s been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered Ashe’s universe. He is a brilliant geneticist who believes in numbers, and destiny to him is about choice. This is more than a love story; it’s a quirky novel about science and sacrifice, about secrets and truths. A book for writers who love research—you will want to study how smoothly Jackson imbeds facts in the story. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Nominated by Gail Comorat . 7 votes. Host: Sharon Hoover
The Lewes Public Library has opened a Writer’s Library in its Delaware Room, a unique collection of literary journals and magazines for use by
authors and anyone else who wants to read great contemporary fiction and poetry. It's purposes are to acquaint Delaware authors with a greater number of literary journals than they were previously aware of, allow them to physically review the journals, looking for editorial bias, style, length, form, or topical interest preference by that journal, and to help Delaware authors make a better match for the submission of their work to appropriate journals and thereby improve their chances for publication.