Category Archives: Recommendations

Cover of The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

In Their Own Words: Kate Moore

Kate Moore is the author of The Radium Girls, the first-ever narrative non-fiction account of this inspirational true story. Kate was born in Northampton, England and grew up in Peterborough. She studied English Literature at the University of Warwick. A Sunday Times bestselling author, she writes across various genres, from biography and history to gift and humour, and […]

In Their Own Words: Eve Ewing

  Dr. Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist of education and a writer from Chicago. She is the author of Electric Arches and Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side and the co-author of No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. She is a scholar at the University of Chicago School of Social […]

After Clinking Champagne Glasses

You’ve counted down the clock and sang “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight, so now it’s time for the annual rite of self-reflection and exploration of the new year’s potential. If you’re coming up blank, heed the goals and advice of some of the greatest American writers. Take the pressure out of your list making by […]

American Authors of Short Stories – Part Two

Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980) was born Callie Russel Porter to Harrison Boone Porter and Mary Alice (Jones) Porter.  Her father had a cousin who was an American writer: O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter.   Perhaps those literary genes ran in the family.  When Callie was two years old, her mother died and […]

Why We Should All Read Sarah Piatt’s Poems

In the late 1850s, when a young Sarah Morgan Bryan began to publish her poems in magazines and journals (her first collection, A Woman’s Poems, appeared in 1871 under her married name Sarah Piatt), poetry was one of America’s most popular literary forms. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, James Russell Lowell, and their fellow Fireside Poets […]

Twelve Odd Tales for Christmas

Grinches and reindeer may dominate our annual holiday folklore, yet celebrated American writers also produced seasonal gems less well known today. While these authors’ definitive literary works often overshadow minor prose, resurrect their unusual holiday tales to refresh your December reading list. Commence the Christmas countdown with the following twelve stories. “Christmastide” by H. P. […]

Erma Bombeck

With her usual wit and humor the writer Erma Bombeck wrote, “It’s frightening to wake up one morning and discover that while you were asleep you went out of style.” Erma may have predicted her future.   I went to the local used book store hoping to find at least one of her twelve books, nine […]

Creepy Crawly Short Reads for Halloween

  This Halloween, are you ready for some dark-side literature to complement the spirit of the season, but aren’t in the mood to commit to an entire book? Short stories can provide you with just the right number of chills to do the job. Longer dark nights, the crunch and maelstrom of dead leaves underfoot […]

The Wonderful Wizardry of Children’s Books

Recently, my sons and I enjoyed the unique pleasure of losing ourselves for a few nights of bedtime reading in a compelling children’s book, Kate Milford’s The Boneshaker (2010). The book, a richly imagined historical novel set in 1914 Missouri, has as much to tell us about history, community, and early 20th century America as […]