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Personal Picks

  • Patti Callahan Henry: Coming Up for Air

    Patti Callahan Henry: Coming Up for Air
    This author recently moved to Birmingham, and she’s already made lots of friends. It wasn’t hard; her bestselling books preceded her. Besides, she’s a really fun and intriguing person. Her newest book, set on the Alabama coast, is about marriage and motherhood and one woman’s desire to become the person she really wants to be. Ellie Calvin has her hands full already when her controlling mother dies and she runs into her ex-boyfriend at the funeral. The old boyfriend is making a documentary on Ellie’s late mother and has questions only Ellie can answer—with the help of a long-forgotten diary. (*****)

  • Hillary Jordan: When She Woke

    Hillary Jordan: When She Woke
    Hillary Jordan’s debut novel, Mudbound (winner of the 2006 Bellwether Prize for fiction), was an international literary hit. That one was set firmly in the rich soil of a Mississippi Delta farm in the mid 1940s. When She Woke, on the other hand, is futuristic and quite chilling. Here’s an America that we won’t recognize completely but might well be able to imagine. The book begins: “When she woke, she was red. Not flushed, not sunburned, but the solid, declarative red of a stop sign.” Hannah Payne wakes up in a bare room wearing only a paper gown. She has been turned into a “chrome.” Chromes are criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to reflect their crimes. Murderers are red. There are hints of The Scarlet Letter here in this nightmare world where politics and religion come together in a mighty scary way. (*****)

  • Susan Haltom: One Writer's Garden: Eudora Welty's Home Place

    Susan Haltom: One Writer's Garden: Eudora Welty's Home Place
    Oh, this is a lovely book with great photos of the famous writer and her family and neighbors. But the real gems are the colorful photographs of the garden Welty tended with her mother. Chestina Welty designed their modest garden and taught her daughter well. Welty, of course, is known for weaving Southern flora into her writing; much of her knowledge came from time spent in her own garden. Near the end of her life Welty still resided in her family home, but the garden had become neglected. Co-author Susan Haltom is a garden designer, and she offered to help preserve the garden and spent a decade doing that. This beautiful book, organized by seasons and decades, contains previously unpublished writings, including literary passages and excerpts from Welty’s private correspondence about her garden. (*****)

What's on my nightstand...

  • Susan Rebecca White: A Soft Place to Land: A Novel

    Susan Rebecca White: A Soft Place to Land: A Novel
    This is a book about sisterhood and the often-complicated love that go along with it. When their parents die in an airplane accident, 13-year-old Ruthie and 16-year-old Julia are sent away from their Atlanta home to live separately in distant parts of the country—in drastically different cultures. The story spans nearly two decades and follows the sisters from this familiar Southern home to bohemian San Francisco, a Virginia mountain town, the campus of Berkley and the lofts in Brooklyn. Once close, the sisters grow up and apart and their relationship becomes complicated by anger, resentment and jealousy. But then another shocking accident changes their lives once again. White is the author of the critically acclaimed Bound South, in which she writes lovingly and insightfully about Atlanta, where she was born and raised.

  • Frances Mayes: Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life

    Frances Mayes: Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life
    Celebrated travel writer and bestselling author Frances Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany) is back and continuing her decades-long love affair with Tuscany’s people, art, cuisine and lifestyle. This is a deeply personal account of her present-day life in Tuscany, detailing the changes she has experienced since the success of her first two books and her reflections on the unchanging beauty and simple pleasure of Italian life.

  • Robin Lane Fox: Travelling Heroes: In the Epic Age of Homer (Vintage)

    Robin Lane Fox: Travelling Heroes: In the Epic Age of Homer (Vintage)
    The myths of the ancient Greeks have inspired us for thousands of years. But where did these stories come from? How did they spread around the world? Fox draws upon the latest archaeological evidence, his own travels and his vast knowledge of the ancient world to answer these questions. He explores how the Mediterranean seafarers of 8th-century B.C. Greece encountered volcanic mountains, vaporous springs, huge prehistoric bones and more and then weaved them into their legends of gods, monsters and heroes.

  • David Ebershoff: The 19th Wife: A Novel

    David Ebershoff: The 19th Wife: A Novel
    My bookgroup is reading this one right now. This book combines historical fiction with a murder mystery, and my bookgroup is reading this one right now. One story line, set in 1875, involves Ann Eliza Young, who has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Ann Eliza begins a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.
 A second story is the tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death.
Both narrative intertwine to create a larger story of love and faith.

For book groups . . .

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April 02, 2012



It is a shame that no one is concerned about this cotruny enough to rid us of the illegal aliens. The cost of these illegals is astronomical in comparison to what it would cost to send them all back to their countries. They come over here and receive all types of aid from our state and federal governments. They can go into any hospital or doctors office and not have to pay a dime. I DO NOT have health insurance, am a citizen of this cotruny and CANNOT go to any hospital or doctor unless I pay full price for the service If I need a doctor, I cannot afford to go to one or even have the surgery I need so badly. This is a crying shame that our own cotruny would treat their citizens this way. I am a nurse and worked for a family that (I did not know this info at the time)were illegals and were always going to the doctor for one or another reason. They had a anchor baby and that child got everything from the govt except for her diapers. Wow, it must be nice not to have to work and sit back and sleep all day like the mother did, while the nurse took care of her baby for 12 hours a day. When I found out this info I quit my homehealth job and refused to work in any home where the people were illegals. I just do not understand any of this!!! This woman's boyfriend (also an illegal) worked under the table) for an Italian restaurant while the woman just stayed home. I was in and out of quite a few of this family's relatives (in my job) and they were all illegals also. The men of the families all worked in under the table jobs at local restaurants and several of the women worked at motels/hotels in the Williamsburg area, as housekeepers, getting paid under the table . How long is this cotruny going to let this continue? If the USA wants to give away free health care, how about giving me some so that I can go and get my knee surgery that I so badly need????? Of course not!! The cotruny will not do this. They will only keep on giving to these illegals . I, for one, am sick of this. Something needs to be done about this problem now!!!!! They are not hiding in the shadows -because they KNOW that the cotruny is not going to do anything about their being here illegally. They just want everyone to hear about how rough their trip was here from south of the border -crossing with the coyote. Well, I for one, do not feel sorry for them. They need to be sent back to Mexico or whatever other cotruny from which they came. Let the Americans have some of these jobs and some of this FREE health care. I continue to work as a nurse, as I have for the past 22 years, and never have I been able to obtain free anything!!! Enough is ENOUGH!!!


Perhaps the American Hispanic population doesn’t think they’re going to be ditpsoporrionately targeted . The Democrats, the left in general, the illegal immigrants who are already in the USA and the MSM will inflame the bejesus out of the issue. They'll literally beat hispanics over the head with lies and carefully edited sound bites telling them that they are being ditpsoporrionately targeted' (doublespeak for racially profiled) until they succum to the propoganda. Heck, some could hardly contain their glee at the left's gottcha incident' with the trucker yesterday. No need to get both sides of that story nosiree. Hispanic trucker claims he was asked for ID solely based on his race. There can be no other explanation. The police version? Who cares. No need. Case closed. Time to riot.VA:F [1.9.13_1145]please wait...VA:F [1.9.13_1145](from 0 votes)


You are not the only one with this experience .. I hear it more and more the truth is that big bunesiss doesn't want legal workers, Americans or legal immigrants .. they want ILLEGALS, and preferably illegals from countries where a dollar goes a long way It isn't right, it isn't fair, and it's certainly not true that the illegals only take jobs that no American wants to do that's what big bunesiss wants you to think, that's what our President parrots off, and that's what the pro illegals on this site keep quoting it is as you are saying, the rich are getting richer, the tax payers are getting poorer and legal immigrants and citizens are scrounging for jobs in constructions and other fields where they used to be gainfully employed shameful, that's what it is!


Hi Su, Gosh, Thanks for letting me know about Gunhild. I did not know she was reiitrng. She has given so much to the scrapping community, she will most definitely be missed. However, I realize she deserves more time to enjoy her family. Gosh, I wish the "driveway fairy" would come along and fix the mess at the end of my driveway. I'll just tack it at the bottom of the never-ending list of "to do's" that I have. lol.I'm starting to get into the December kit, and it's looking really nice!! You have a great night. I'm going to watch a bit of TV now with Miss Tootsie.Hugs, Edna B.

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