John McMillian: Beatles vs. Stones

John McMillian's new book, Beatles vs. Stones, examines the rivalry between the two titular bands and their fan bases. You know any book that begins with a "Recommended Soundtrack" is going to be good. Between that opening suggested playlist and the introduction's juicy retelling of how Paul McCartney upstaged Mick Jagger at his own birthday... Continue Reading →

Scott Alarick: Revival

Scott Alarick's Revival is a beautifully crafted, eloquent, heartfelt novel about folk music, the enduring bonds of love and friendship, and the equally heavy burdens of doubtful youth and regret-filled age. There are undeniable elements of Crazy Heart in the romance between the novel's washed up, alcoholic, folk curmudgeon and his feisty, young, female protégé.... Continue Reading →

Hallie Ephron: There Was An Old Woman

A daughter discovers her aging alcoholic mother has become a hoarder. Next door, a nephew tries to convince his elderly aunt to move into an assisted living facility. These are the seemingly innocuous elements which begin Hallie Ephron's novel, There Was An Old Woman, but there's many a twist and turn before the true mystery... Continue Reading →

Movie Review: The Great Gatsby

I've waited years for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby to be released. Not only am I a longtime fan of Luhrmann's flamboyant directorial style, but F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite novels of all time. Overall, I liked the movie very much. My preconceived notions about the beloved novel would... Continue Reading →

Jami Attenberg: The Middlesteins

Guest Post By: Brendan Jami Attenberg has captured the zeitgeist in her heartbreaking and life-affirming novel, The Middlesteins. Edie Middlestein is eating herself to death and Attenberg shows us her sometimes sad life, and the ramifications of her decisions for herself and her family. Deftly hopping through time, we are situated not with the date... Continue Reading →

Molly Ringwald: When It Happens To You

Guest Post By: Brendan I expected When It Happens To You to be good... for Molly Ringwald, but thought that perhaps from another author it might be considered a disappointment. I was wrong. This is a remarkable work of fiction with glimpses of brilliance. The work is described as a collection of interlinked stories, but... Continue Reading →

Kate Morton: The Secret Keeper

Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper is truly a page turner. It's a rather thick hardback (yes, I still read actual books!), so I was shocked to finish reading it in one weekend. Morton, author of The House at Riverton, is one of my favorite modern authors. She has a knack for writing prose that is... Continue Reading →

Lynn Austin: Wonderland Creek

Wonderland Creek is a charming, cheery little novel by Lynn Austin. Austin pays homage to Lewis Carroll by dropping her fiesty, somewhat spoiled, bookworm heroine, Alice, in a strange, Depression-era, backwoods Appalachia town called Wonderland Creek (hence the title). I first heard of the book through the review posted on the WV Book Festival Blog... Continue Reading →

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