This is an event that I look forward to every year. It is spectacularly well organized, in an fantastic location, and partnered with the SterlingFest event... all things that make this a super-fun day. The Sterling Heights Library is the sponsor of this event that brings together 70 Michigan Authors of nearly every genre known to literature. The tables are nicely spaced under the portico in front of the library, extending toward the Police Station, and overlooking the Arts & Craft show. The number of people who walk through this event every year is staggering! This event is so well-trafficked that the city provides for parking lots in outlying areas, and has shuttle buses to bring people in. There are food vendors, musical acts playing throughout the day, and so many friendly faces, it's hard NOT to have a good day at this festival.
My favorite part of the day, aside from the new readers I get to talk with, is the time I get to spend sharing the day with my tribe. I'm thrilled to say that out of the 70 authors that were in attendance, I am friends with about 75% of them already! I was able to catch up with my friends and have a great day in the sunshine, surrounded by books. I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday!
My husband, amateur photographer, Dave Plopa, took some photos, posted here... and he caught me and some of my friends having fun on video, too. A huge thank you goes out to him for all his love and support!
I'm excited to attend this fun event next year!
Photos and Video provided by Dave Plopa Photography
One of the things I love best is to have a friend recommend a book to read. Going in, you have an understanding that this is going to be a story you'll enjoy, simply because someone you trust, someone who also enjoys reading as much as you do, enjoyed it, and thought highly of the author and the story. That recommendation is even better when the friend is a bookseller. Bookshop owners have a special understanding of the writing craft, and what makes a good book great. It's their job, after all, to curate stories and make the best ones available to us. So, a huge THANK YOU goes out to Luke Janes at Toadvine Books in Berkley, Michigan. It is because of you that I am now thrust headlong into a trilogy (usually a taboo for me) and am loving every minute of it!
Although I still haven't figured out why the author titled this book "Wool", and I'm sincerely hoping that at some point along the reading of this series, it's meaning will be revealed... I must say, this is fantastic writing. The story, a post-apocalyptic thriller, is well crafted. The set up is near flawless. It gives you just enough information to understand why things are as they are, but not so much information as to ruin the tension and the expectation of the forthcoming books.
The premise of a community being governed by a history they can't escape, is compelling. The simple request to "go outside" is edge-of-your-seat spooky; and you're not sure why it is that way - except that the lack of complete understanding of the nuances of this society is exactly why this book is such a great read. We learn about the culture and it's people in pieces, after being dropped headfirst into the action and the emotional struggle right from page one. The details are filtered out slowly, and the reader learns more from imagination and inference than from a direct explanation from the author. It was different, and I liked it.
I don't usually read series or trilogy works because too often the let-down after book one is prominent. I am hopeful that this one will be different. Hopeful because this is really good writing, and I'm confident that it will be different because my friend and bookseller, Luke told me it was. If you can't trust your local indie bookshop owner, who can you trust!?!
Visit Toadvine Books on Facebook. I'm sure Luke can suggest a great read for you, too!
2783 Coolidge Highway Berkley, Michigan 248-439-0409
I got completely caught up in this story. It was engaging on so many levels, I devoured it slowly, as you might a chocolate sundae on a summer afternoon... you want to read it quickly so it won't melt, but you want to savor every bite because it's so delicious.
I don't usually do this in my reviews, because after all, it's all written on the back of the book. But here's a quick synopsis...
A reclusive author, nearing the end of her life, calls a writer, who's father owns a bookshop, to write her last tale, her memoir. Many others have tried to get this story out of the reclusive author, but she only speaks to our young heroine.
Okay, there's a lot more to it, but basically, it is a story about an author writing a story, her last story, with the help of another writer, who spent her childhood in a bookshop. In the process, the young writer learns that she, too, has a story, and discovers its weight in her life. It's perfect summitry, if you ask me!
I loved this book for it's multi-layered approach to storytelling. I loved it for its many subplots, told over three generations. I love it for its mystery and gentle tension. I love this book for the diversity in the collection of souls captured between it's pages. I love this book because even when I got to the end, the final "wrapping up" surprised me just as much as the middle climax (of which there seemed to be several - one for each subplot).
This is the first of Diane Setterfield's work I've read, and it's wonderful. I especially appreciated the interview she did at the back of the book, and the book discussion questions, perfectly curated for a book club! If you get the time, this would be a good book to wade into as you would a gentle lake... slowly and carefully, so you don't miss the tiny guppy details swimming around your feet.
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