A Kirkus Review for Gerbert’s Book

Sometimes things go your way. For some five years I researched and wrote a book about a poor French monk, Gerbert, who rose to the papacy, much of it through the advocacy of well-placed friends and during an era as troubled as that of the early 21st Century. I was fortunate to have it published…

A Life of Lies

The Pale Faced Lie, by David Crow FINALLY!! A memoir that shows the author as having adapted and prevailed over life circumstances. So many memoirs these days don’t do that; they spell out the authors’ issues in excruciating detail, but as the final pages turn, readers see only victimization. David Crow doesn’t do that. His…

Learning To Love

The magazines I subscribe to are not ones with the highest subscription rates, certainly, but by my reckoning, some of the best. One such, The American Scholar, continues to have me muttering “Yes! Yes!” as I read it. That it’s published by Phi Beta Kappa doesn’t mean it’s elitist, smug in its ivory tower environ,…

Cultural Collisions

The Lieutenant, by Kate Grenville Last year I read Australian writer Kate Grenville’s first novel, The Secret River, and if it’s possible to establish a trend from two books, hers is to examine through fiction the interplay of two cultures: the British one that came to the continent to found a penal colony, and the…

Traveling Side by Side

  When I graduated from college and entered my profession, I knew I should turn over a new leaf and take life seriously. No more beer busts, all night parties; diminish the ongoing ups and downs of dating (Well, slow all that down, at least). Work. Responsibilities. Parallel with my professional life, I took on…

A Mother’s Murder

  Memorial Drive, by Natasha Trethewey Looking for books one day, I saw this title. Hmm…I used to live off of Memorial Drive in Atlanta. I wonder if there’s a connection. As it turns out there was. This book, a memoir, was written by a former Poet Laureate of the U.S. and a winner of…

Authors Interviewing Authors

I’m really excited to have taken part in the inaugural episode of Atmosphere Press’s AUTHORS INTERVIEWING AUTHORS, with Paul Edmondson of Waterford, Ireland. His book, “Great Spirit of Yosemite – The Story of Chief Tenaya” paralleled mine of “Gerbert’s Book,” the story of the first French pope. The YouTube link to the interviews above.

The Durability of Family

Deep River, by Karl Marlantes In most books of this nature (this one is over 700 pages), the reader gets a panorama of history as well as an extremely deep exploration of character interplay. This isn’t a literary innovation. Particularly with the advent of modernism, and most especially with Hemingway’s work, much was left to…

Art and Sitting Bull

Woman Walks Ahead – A Movie It’s late nineteenth century, and Catherine Weldon of New York has decided to go west and paint Native Americans. Particularly, she has in mind, Lakota Chief, Sitting Bull. Crazy Horse has been executed, and the Lakota are not happy with a new treaty that will cut their supplies in…