All posts tagged: book recommendations

Diane Chamberlain had me gasping aloud in THE LAST HOUSE ON THE STREET, plus her obsessions, civil rights, letting characters lead and the magic of writing

By Leslie Lindsay Two seemingly unconnected stories merge into one very thought-provoking, highly emotional read. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ Always with a Book Leslie Lindsay in Conversation with Diane Chamberlain Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 27 novels published in more than twenty languages. Influenced by her former career as a social worker and psychotherapist, she writes suspenseful stories that touch both heart and mind. One of Marie Claire’s Most Eagerly Anticipated of 2022 January Indie Next Pick I have long been a fan of Diane Chamberlain’s work, but this one really knocks it out of the park. THE LAST HOUSE ON THE STREET (Jan 11 2022, St. Martin’s Press), is completely ‘affecting and spellbinding,’ (Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW), and is a PEOPLE magazine ‘pick of the week,’ and is sure to pack a powerful punch for readers and book clubs. I loved it. What Diane does best is mine historical plot points with an emotional heart, and generally it’s something that once touched her own life. In fact, THE LAST …

Year-End 2021 and What’s Ahead in the New Year

By Leslie Lindsay An end of an era. But all endings are really beginnings, right? Since 2013, I have been remarkably grateful and blessed to have spent so much time connecting with readers on Always with a Book. Each week I have presented very fine authors and titles–from smashing debuts to immediate bestsellers. This has been both a privilege and joy. The website will remain, and you can always go back and re-read any author interview. How do you do this? Simple: Have an author or title in mind? Go to the search field (home page, top right magnifying glass) and type in a few keywords. It will ‘take’ you right to where you want to go! Head over to ‘Featured Authors’ and scroll through all of the…uh, featured authors…and peruse that way. Find an author or a book you really love? Great! I aim to please. You can add it to your Bookshop.org storefront, GoodReads, Instagram, or wherever else you catalogue your virtual reads. If you feel so compelled to read a book because …

GENTRIFIER by Anne Elizabeth Moore is more than a memoir, it’s a story about the American housing crisis, community, and maybe even a ghost story or a mystery, exploring Detroit, houses, more

By Leslie Lindsay A timely and gorgeous exploration of home, culture, community, immigration, and so much more in this memoir of art, gender, work, and survival. ~WRITER’S INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ Always with a Book| Memoir Monday Leslie Lindsay & Anne Elizabeth Moore in Conversation Anne Elizabeth Moore has written several critically acclaimed nonfiction books, including the Lambda Literary Award–nominated Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes, which was a Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017, and Sweet Little Cunt, which won an Eisner Award. Most recently, she is the author of the memoir Gentrifier, out now from Catapult. She lives in Hobart, New York, with her cat, Captain America. ABOUT GENTRIFIER: A Memoir: I admit to falling in love with this book based on the eye-catching cover, the title alone, and of course, the fact that it is about a writer in a house. I mean, it hits on so many of my passions. But the love for this book isn’t just superficial. I truly loved the story. GENTRIFIER: A Memoir by Anne Elizabeth Moore (Catapult, October 19 2021) is about a …

Violaine Huisman talks about her novel, THE BOOK OF MOTHER, autotheory, structure, legacy; how she is haunted by her late-father’s book collection, and on a personal level: her relationship with her mother is so parallel to my own

By Leslie Lindsay Gorgeous, dark, moving, and resonate work summoning the author’s late mother, her mercurial moods, her madness, and more. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Leslie Lindsay and Violaine Huisman in Conversation Violaine Huisman was born in Paris where she lived for her first twenty years. She runs the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s literary series and has also organized multidisciplinary arts festivals across the city. Originally published by Gallimard under the title Fugitive parce que reine, her debut novel The Book of Mother was awarded multiple literary prizes including the Prix Françoise Saga and the Prix Marie Claire. ABOUT THE BOOK OF MOTHER: This brave, bold, unflinching, and disturbing book is so beautiful it’s maddening, and that’s exactly what THE BOOK OF MOTHER by Violaine Huisman is about: dazzling yet damaged. Originally published in France in 2018, THE BOOK OF MOTHER is technically fiction, but reads like memoir, so autofiction, autobiographical fiction…and it seems that’s exactly how the author describes it, saying in Vogue interview with the translator, Leslie Camhi, (the original published …

MEMOIR MONDAY: Michelle Oranage’s PURE FLAME is less of a legacy, and more of a heritage, about mothers & daughters, a reckoning with matralineal ties

By Leslie Lindsay An intellectual, personal, and ultimately ferocious reckoning with feminism, family, and motherhood from a celebrated critic. A New York Times Edi­tors’ Choice ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ MEMOIR MONDAY Featured Spotlight: PURE FLAME by Michelle Orange Michelle Orange is the author of the essay collection This Is Running for Your Life, named a best book of 2013 by The New Yorker. Her writing has appeared in publications including The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, Bookforum, McSweeney’s, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, where she is a contributing editor. She teaches in the graduate writing programs at Goucher College and Columbia University. ABOUT PURE FLAME: During one of the texting sessions that became our habit over the period I now think of as both late and early in our relationship, my mother revealed the existence of someone named Janis Jerome. So begins Michelle Orange’s extraordinary inquiry into the meaning of maternal legacy―in her own family and across a century of seismic change. Jerome, she learns, is one of her mother’s many alter egos: the name used in a case …

GHOST WEEK: Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s A GHOST IN THE THROAT is a tremendously dark and varied and authentically raw exploration of contemporary motherhood married with archaic morals, plus a writing prompt, more

By Leslie Lindsay ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ GHOST WEEK ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|FICTION FRIDAY Featured Spotlight: A GHOST IN THE THROAT by Doireann Ní Ghríofa Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a poet and essayist. In addition to A Ghost in the Throaf, she is the author of six critically acclaimed books of poetry, each a deepening exploration of birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Awards for her writing include a Lannan Literary Fellowship, the Ostana Prize, a Seamus Heaney Fellowshop, ad the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. ABOUT A GHOST IN THE THROAT: “When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries.” So writes Doireann Ní Ghríofa in A GHOST IN THE THROAT, a “…female text, a chat, a keen, a lament, and an echo,” and I love everything about it. On discovering her murdered husband’s body, an eighteenth-century Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament. Eibhlin Dubh Ni Chonaill’s poem travels through the centuries, finding its way to a new mother who narrowly avoided her own …

WITCHES WEEK: Ariel Gore’s WE WERE WITCHES, exploring fabulous feminist fiction, poetry, witches, motherhood, and so much more, plus a writing prompt

By Leslie Lindsay A sublime genre-bending tale of teen mom Ariel Gore caught betwixt the 1990s family values or home and family, along with the hopes of redeeming herself through education, WE WERE WITCHES casts a spell like no other. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ WITCHES WEEK ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Featured Spotlight: WE WERE WITCHES by Ariel Gore Ariel Gore is the founding editor & publisher of the Alternative Press Award-winning magazine Hip Mama and the author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction. I was alerted to this book after reading and attending an online class with Laraine Herring. Her book, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS: A Speculative Memoir was featured earlier this month. ABOUT WE WERE WITCHES: We Were Witches is a 2017 novel by Ariel Gore. It is a first-person narrative of a fictionalized version of the author, of her life as a teen mom and budding feminist, from the birth of her daughter when she was 18 years old, to her graduation from Mills College. This book is a little different than most, and perhaps a misnomer. …

Michael Rose talks about his debut, THE SORTING ROOM, about delaying creativity, how business informed his writing life, why he loves historical fiction, modernity, & so much more

By Leslie Lindsay An epic family saga, THE SORTING ROOM is a captivating tale of several women’s struggles, perseverance, and more set in Prohibition/Depression-era NYC. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Michael Rose in conversation After serving in executive positions in global companies, Michael Rose retired from the corporate world. The Sorting Room is his debut fiction. He grew up on a diary farm and now resides in San Francisco. COMING SEPTEMBER 2021 ABOUT THE SORTING ROOM: It’s the beginning of The Great Depression and Eunice Ritter is a living in squalor. She and her brother, Ulrich–Uli–are not exactly close– she’s alone, living on the edges of his world of marbles and friendship. He throws a rock at her, but Eunice may actually be more industrious and skilled than Uli, and even their parents. She’s just ten years old when she gets a job at a local sweat shop–an industrial laundry–a job no one wants. In fact, Eunice was sort of ‘dared’ into the job by adult men who suggested she would become …

The fabulous and down-to-earth Mary Kubica talks about her new domestic suspense, LOCAL WOMAN MISSING, her fascination with true crime, writing ‘the big twist,’ old houses, how even idyllic places have their dark stories–plus, a question for me, too.

By Leslie Lindsay  An explosive page-turner from Mary Kubica will have you looking over your shoulder–and your neighbors–differently. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ SPOTLIGHT: MOTHERHOOD Mary Kubica has done it again. Every one of her books is a treat and I so glad I had the opportunity to dive into this one a bit early. LOCAL WOMAN MISSING (Park Row Books, May 18 2021) is her seventh (!!) domestic thriller and it’s so, so good. Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. This is unusual, she has a newborn, she’s relatively new to town, what reason would she possibly have to leave…or for someone to kidnap her? Not long after, Meredith Dickey goes missing, and her 6-year old daughter. But it’s a close-knit, suburban town outside of Chicago, neighbors are concerned but there’s only so much that can be done, even after a search party is formed. The case(s) eventually goes cold and Meredith’s husband, Josh, and son, Leo, continue with their lives. Now, eleven years later, the 6-year old daughter shockingly returns. She’s traumatized, must wear sunglasses at all times …

Laird Hunt talks about how ZORRIE was inspired by his grandmother, her ties to Indiana, plus memory, being a literary citizen, the transformative, multifaceted aspects of the color green, more

By Leslie Lindsay  Gorgeously and sparsely told tale of one woman’s life from her hardscrabble days on an Indiana farm and everything in-between. ~Writers Interiewing Writers|Always with a Book~ March Spotlight: Historical Fiction O Magazine’s Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Novels of 2021   This stunning and luminously told story is so affecting, and transformative, too. Set against the harsh, quintessential Midwestern landscape, ZORRIE (Bloomsbury, Feb 9, 2021) is at once a historical fiction of a one woman’s life, but also a study in Americana, grit, and the transformative events of the 20th century. Zorrie is an orphaned child who goes to live with her aunt on a farm in Indiana. She’s twenty-one when she decides to set off on her own, and it just so happens to be in the midst of the Great Depression. She ends up in Illinois working odd jobs and then at the radium plant, sleeping in abandoned barns and under the stars. At the end of the day, the girls from the factory glowed from the radioactive material. Here she meets several young women who become friends–those …