September 16 – August Blog

by Ann McCauley

On this rainy August 31, the temperature is a bit cooler and fall is in the air. And the still-student grandchildren are back in school. We are anticipating hosting my husband’s family, (and after all these years my family, too), for the Labor day weekend. It is an annual thing and we always have a great time. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know family time is what life is all about for me!

I had the privilege of attending the Wilkes Writers Workshop on August 5- 6th. I was on a panel, Pennsylvania Fiction: What it is and What it Does, with fellow writers Chris Campion, Heather Harlan and Barbara Taylor, moderated by David Poyer. My long-time friend and fellow writer, Susan, went with me. We had a wonderful time, and it was good to reconnect with old writing friends and make new ones at the workshop. The writing community at Wilkes U. is so invigorating!

Books I have enjoyed reading this month are:

Crave, Sojourn of a Hungry Soul, by Laurie Jean Cannady. She’s new to the Wilkes U. faculty. Her memoir is poignantly honest, packed full of details about growing up in the projects and escaping that life through education. I highly recommend this one to increase our understanding of a sub-culture that is an important part of our country.

Hope You Can Guess My Name, by Heather Harlan Debut thriller novel that soars from page one. You can read my review on Story Circle Book Reviews at http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/guessmyname.shtml
Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant, Undercover & Overwhelmed as a CIA Wife and Mother, by Lillian McCloy
The author is a natural story-teller and shares her wonderful memoir, packed with details, poignant honesty and sharp wit. You can read my review on Story Circle Book Reviews at:
http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/sixcarlengths.shtml

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Nonfiction. This was our book club’s book for this month. It dealt with the judicial system in the US, and prompted a long and stimulating discussion. Another book I recommend to promote increased understanding of poverty, race and a side of life in the U.S. that is not familiar to most Americans.

Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading by Maureen Corrigan. Memoir. I met her after she spoke at the Writer’s Workshop. She is down to Earth and witty…as well as, oh so knowledgeable about books! And she never forgot her blue-collar roots.

I mentioned In Robin’s Nest in my July blog, it was posted on Story Circle after I had already posted my blog.You can read it at: http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/inrobinsnest.shtml

My review of Tipping Point by David Poyer was on air twice last week WPSU’s BookMark, you can listen to it at: http://radio.wpsu.org/programs/wpsus-bookmark

We have felt a real void this summer for good movies. We did see Jason Bourne, and it was exciting, though unmemorable. the next few months. We also watched God is Not Dead on Netflix, and really loved it. Honestly, I did not expect it to be so good.

Until next month, keep reading and always take time
ann mccauley

Ann McCauley is the author of Runaway Grandma, (2007) and Mother Love, (2012). She’s a contributor to, Women Writing on Family, (2012), and Women Writing After Retirement, (2014). Ann reviews books for regional NPR radio and StoryCircle.org. She’s an RN, with degrees in Nursing, Psychology and Creative Writing. For more info, visit her @ www.annmccauley.com.

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