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Writers & Lovers by Lily King
Apr05

Writers & Lovers by Lily King

A woman in my writers group had a line in her submission last week that we all enjoyed. In her book, a group of young men are going somewhere where they will be seeing a woman that one of them has met recently and is really interested in. The one friend says “He likes her,” and the other says “Yeah,” and the first one, to emphasize what he means, says “No, he likes her likes her.” I was amused to see this line come up again In Lily King’s new novel Writers & Lovers. “You two really hit it off.”“She likes you.”“We’ve known each other a long time.”“She likes you likes you.”p.236 I read a lot of books. Sometimes I don’t like them and sometimes I do like them. And sometimes I read a book that I am just so happy to be reading, and the time that I am engaged with this book is a period of such great pleasure, that I’m sad when the book comes to an end. I’m sure you’ve had that experience. That’s how I feel about Lily King’s new book. And that made me realize that the best way to describe how I feel about this book is this: I don’t just like it.  I like it like it. Ok, now, about the book… This is a story about a 31 year old woman who is struggling to write a book. I do tend to be a fan of books about writers trying to write books. This book now definitely goes on my short list of favorite novels about the writing process, along with The Friend by Sigrid Nunez and Graham Swift’s Mothering Sunday. Casey, the protagonist of Lovers & Writers, is reeling from the recent and unexpected death of her mother, and she is very lonely. She’s working as a waitress and struggling to pay off student loans and trying to recover from the heartbreak of several failed relationships. And for the past six years, through graduate school and even a prestigious writers residency, she has been struggling to finish her novel. We follow Casey through the trials of her work life, her love life, and her writing life, and it’s just a great, well-told story, in addition to being full of insight about the lives of writers and the writing process. Brava, Lily...

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Amnesty by Aravind Adiga
Apr01

Amnesty by Aravind Adiga

A selection for my Spring 2020 “Hot Off the Press” book discussion class. The class enjoyed reading this book by a writer whose debut novel, The White Tiger, won the Man Booker Prize in 2008. Here’s a quick plot summary: Danny—formerly Dhananjaya Rajaratnam—is an illegal immigrant in Sydney, Australia, denied refugee status after he fled from Sri Lanka. Working as a cleaner, living out of a grocery storeroom, for three years he’s been trying to create a new identity for himself. And now, with his beloved vegan girlfriend, Sonja, with his hidden accent and highlights in his hair, he is as close as he has ever come to living a normal life. But then one morning, Danny learns a female client of his has been murdered. He thinks he knows who the murderer is, but turning him in means exposing his own illegal status. Click HERE for my video...

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The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess
Apr01

The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess

I’m always attracted to books about writing and books about publishing, since I inhabit those worlds, and this book promised both. It’s one of several I plan to read about women who wish to write, since I am one of those as well, and I am also writing a novel about a woman who is struggling to write. This book is set mostly in 1987, at which time I actually was working as an editorial assistant in a New York publishing house, so there was that to compel me to read the book as well. In the end, it wasn’t really a book about a woman who wanted to write. Well, she did express plenty of desire to write, and told of writerly insecurity and many thwarted attempts at composing short stories, but really it was more a book about literary hobnobbing. The protagonist finds herself becoming part of the world of a New Yorker writer and his poet wife at their Cape Cod summer house, and becomes enmeshed in their lives in a salacious (and dare I say predictable?) way. One thing leads to another leads to a great big sloppy drunken exposé leads to consquences, corrective action (where possible), and then finishes with strong hints that the protagonist will wind up with the boy you thought she was going to wind up with in the first place, despite detours. And does she wind up writing? Sure. But that didn’t seem to be what the book was really all hot and bothered...

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Virtual Book Discussions
Mar31

Virtual Book Discussions

Convene for a virtual book discussion led by Lynn Rosen! CROSSING TO SAFETY by Wallace Stegner Many readers cite this novel, published in 1987, as one of their favorites. Let’s explore why! Stegner, who was a much-celebrated writer in his time, writes a moving story of two married couples, their relationships and friendships, as well as their career and health challenges over their decades of acquaintance. It’s a look at love and friendship as well as at the writing and the academic life, not to mention a book filled with gorgeous description of natural beauty.Join our discussion of this complex, insightful, and evergreen novel by a treasured American writer! DATE/TIME: Wednesday, April 29th, 7PM – 8:15PMCOST: $25Sign...

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Lunch ‘n’ Learn Short Story Discussion Class
Mar31

Lunch ‘n’ Learn Short Story Discussion Class

Discuss one story in this bite-sized 45 minute class. Stories are available online; links to be provided ahead of time. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins GilmanDESCRIPTION: This classic feminist story, first published in 1892, is about how a woman’s “rest cure,” arranged by her husband, eventually becomes her imprisonment.Led by: Lynn RosenDATE/TIME: Friday, April 3rd, 12:15PM – 1:00PMCOST: $20Sign up HEREMore Short Story Lunch ‘n’ Learn classes will be added in the coming...

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“Bring a Book” Happy Hour

Join book discussion leader Lynn Rosen for a virtual discussion of the books you like best! Come to this virtual meeting with two things: your beverage of choice, and a book that you really enjoyed reading. Be prepared to spend a few minutes telling the group about the book and why you like it. We’ll each share a book, and Lynn will share details about some new just published or about-to-be published books to add to your reading list. DATE/TIME: Wednesday, April 14, 5:30PM – 6:45PM COST: $10 Sign up...

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