If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sasscer Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

I Love Books and Reading


I can’t imagine a life without books. Ever since I first learned to read, I’ve been in love with them. Partly it was because my parents were both readers, and also we didn’t have a TV then.
We had a radio, and they listened to the news and programs like Fibber McGee and Molly, Father Knows Best and other shows like Inner Sanctum Mysteries, which were frightening to my brother and I as we sat on the steps to listen until one of our parents caught us and sent us back to bed. It wasn’t until I was fifteen we got a TV, and although I watched it sometimes, I still read. So many times after supper, my mother would nag me to get started on the dishes, and I’d always say something like “Just a minute,” because I couldn’t stop reading right then.

Leftover Books
          I pack the leftover books from the sale.
            Leftovers from the lives of my mother and father.
            Leftovers no one wanted, not even strangers.
            I remember these books as bright splashes of color
            mitigating all that green -
            our celery green shelves, celery green walls,
            gray-green carpet, and a big over-stuffed chair
            aged to an indeterminate color and texture;
            a perfect place to hibernate Sunday afternoons
            when the snow buried our little cape cod,
            and boots melted by the back door.

            Jerry played “The Flight of the Bumblebee,”
            the music undulating, mixing with warm brown smells
            of pot roast with onions, potatoes and carrots.
            Dad did the cooking Sundays,
            ahead of his time in gender correctness,
            while Mom ripening with another bibliophile,
            soon to be baby sister, Cathi, read and dozed nearby.
            Elaine and Suzanne cut out paper dolls,
            as Christ on his Crucifix looked down on
                        The Silver Chalice,
                        The Golden Bough,
                        Main Street,
                        A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,
            and us.

            There were two walls of books -
            a time line of books going back to my parents’ youth
                        Girl of the Limberlost,
                        O’ Pioneers,
                        The Life of James A. Garfield,
                        The Pickwick Club,
            and stretching forward to my future.
            In those days I’d snuggle deep
            into the comfort of that over-stuffed chair,
            galloping the plains on Wildfire, Flicka and Thunderhead
            or solving mysteries with Nancy Drew.
            In that chair, the future was only a nebulous vision
            of a ranch with hundreds of beautiful horses.
           
            And so I sort these books, the pile of books
            I find I cannot part with growing higher and higher.
            Books from my past to add to
            the already overflowing shelves of my present,
            to be read someday in the future.

My grandmother's copy of the book.


As I wrote in the beginning, I can’t imagine a life without books. In fact, if I were ever accused of being a hoarder, it would probably be because of all the books I have and can’t bear to part with. Books that maybe I’ll read again or books that have sentimental value like Beautiful Joe an autobiography written by Marshall Saunders, and published in 1903.  It was in my grandmother’s bookcase and told the story of a dog. It’s a small book three and a half inches by six inches with 359 pages in all. It was a touching story about a dog named Beautiful Joe, and it ended sadly so I shed many tears over it. Someday I may even read this book again,, but for now I’ll just cherish it as one of the earlier books I read and one that belonged to my grandmother, who was a teacher before she got married and was no longer allowed to teach by the rules at that time.



Do you have a favorite book you can’t part with?
What books do you remember from your childhood?





11 comments:

KB Inglee said...

My mother gave me a copy of The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes sometime after I graduated from college. This is a two-fer because it carries sentimental value, but is a book I can pick up and read again any time. It may be why I write short stories.

Jim Jackson said...

It’s been a low-book-read year for me so far with only 48 to date. I expect to end the year between 65 & 70. My two favorites so far this year have been To Dwell in Darkness by Debbie Crombie and Redemption Road by John Hart.

Kait said...

What a lovely poem! I want to come play in your library. I too cherish some childhood books. I had my mother's copy of Honey Bunch, Just a Litle Girl and The Motor Girls in New England until the movers lost a book box in my last move. I was so sad to discover them gone. Although my niece has them now, I also had her original Nancy Drews (I think volumes 1-10 and a couple of later strays). These were the early versions where Nancy drove a roadster.

Like Jim, I'm low on books this year. I just checked my Goodreads, only 38! Yikes. My favorite, an author new to me who is sending me back for the rest of her books, Julia Spencer-Fleming's Through the Evil Days.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I have a two volume annotated Sherlock Holmes on the shelf. The footnotes and illustrations are as interesting as the stories. My childhood books disappeared many moves ago, but I keep a box of my children's favorite books that I pull out at Christmas. My high school copies of Moby Dick and Heart of Darkness are my trophies, though I'll probably never read them again.

Grace Topping said...

I can never believe my ears when I hear people say they don't read. How sad. I couldn't imagine my life without books stacked beside my bed, loaded on my iPhone, and on disks in my car. I fill my hours listening to recorded books while I work about my house and drive in my car. I had a nice collection of books, but when we had water damage in our basement, where our bookcases were, my husband and I decided to donate all of them except the ones that meant the most to us. Among the ones I kept were books by Jeffery Farnol and a few other favorite writers.

Shari Randall said...

Your poem so well captured so many joys I remember from childhood.
We've moved so many times that after awhile I just didn't unpack some boxes of books. Imagine the surprises I'll find when I do!
I've never packed away our copy of The Night Before Christmas which we do for our traditional Christmas Eve reading. Some things are too precious to hand off to the movers.

Gloria Alden said...

K.B. I have a republished works of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Author Conan Doyle published in 1987 by The Reader Digest Association. I also have The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, short stories written by 29 authors using Sherlock Holmes as their protagonist, authors like Steven King, Ann Perry and Laurie R. King to name a few. And best of all, I have two really old copies of The White Company by A. Conan Doyle and Micah Clark by him. Their is no publishing date, but the pages are very fragile and yellowed so I'm thinking they might be the first publishing of these books.

Jim, the last few months have been low reads for me, too, because of so much that's been going on in my life. I'm hoping to pick up with the cooler weather coming. To me between 65 and 70 is quite a lot more than the average reader. I haven't read those two books you mentioned. I'll have to check them out.

Thank you, Kait. I'd love to have ou come, however it's not just my library where I have all my books, but throughout my house. I do have a spare room if you're ever in NE Ohio, I'd love to have you visit. Julia Spencer Fleming is one of my favorite authors. Unfortunately, she hasn't had a new one out since 2013. I hope she hasn't quit writing.

Margaret, I only have a few of my childhood books, too. Since I was the oldest of six, I imagine I left them behind for my younger siblings. I did save a few that were gifts to me.
I have Moby Dick and Heart of Darkness, too, but I got them when I started college older in life as a nontraditional student.

Grace, I feel the same way. How much they miss, and you're right, it is sad. I don't listen to books, but I can't imagine holding one and reading. However, my brother-in-law sent me cassette tapes of Sarah Orne Jewett's short stories and I so loved listening to them in the car. Now my car doesn't have a cassette player.

Julie Tollefson said...

I have a few of my mom's childhood books - a couple of tattered Nancy Drews, a Bobbsey Twins, and one called Donna Parker On Her Own that I remember reading and loving as a kid. She was so independent! She let the dishes sit in the sink instead of washing them immediately after a meal! (Or at least that's how I remember it - haven't read it in decades.) As an adult, I bought myself a copy of The Secret Garden - I checked it out of my elementary school library dozens of times but never had a copy of my own.

Gloria Alden said...

Julie, how nice that you were able to save some of your mom's childhood books. I remember the Bobbsey Twins, too. As a kid I checked out every horse book in our school library and read them numerous times. I remember reading Nancy Drew, too, but I don't remember if they were my books or library books.

KM Rockwood said...

My favorite book as a child was Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan. We were taken to the school library to chose a historic novel for a book report. Since I hated to read, I aimed for one that wasn't too long.

I had spent the previous summer being taught to read by my aunt and mother, since I had managed to reach fifth grade completely unable to read. Now I could, more or less, but the whole idea was an abomination.

Much to my surprise, I loved the book! It was the first book I'd ever read by myself, and not only could I read it, but I couldn't put it down.

Since I discovered the joys of books, I am never without a book in progress and a growing list of to-be-reads.

Gloria Alden said...

KM, how nice that you found a book you could read and enjoy, and how wonderful that you had an aunt who taught you to read after years of not being able to. Now you're not only a reader, but a writer of awesome books.