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Literary Arts and Reviews
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Literary Arts and Reviews

Love to read? Here are some books recommened and reviewed by our readers.

If you want to write a review of a book that impressed you enough to pass along - please send the review to vesta@sonic.net. Thanks for READING!

TWO BOOK REVIEWS - Dark and Comic Lit for the Trump Era TWO BOOK REVIEWS - Dark and Comic Lit for the Trump Era
March 1, 2017

Gary Brandt’s eruptive metamodern novel The Vault Apocalyptia couldn’t be more frighteningly prescient. This grand, gaudy, and grotesque satire on the genesis of America’s suicidal nuclear crusade is both comically absurd and becoming ever more real, daily. Picture Pynchon peanut butter and Kubrick jelly slathered between puffy white slices of Trump Brand bread.

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BOOK REVIEW - The Dry BOOK REVIEW - The Dry
March 1, 2017

This is a book that would have made a better read last year. The Dry is about a relentless drought plaguing a small Australian town located a few hours from Melbourne. The lack of rain has made, “.......the whole place crazy.” the reader can almost taste the dust and imagine the crackling, dried brush as the merciless sun beats down making the folk edgy and tense.

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BOOK REVIEW - Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out BOOK REVIEW - Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out
March 1, 2017
This just-published title by Healdsburg artist, writer, and counselor, Cathy Wild, is very thought-provoking author. 
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The Cloverdale Performing Arts Center presents ~Books on Stage with Matthew Specktor ~ Books on Stage at Cloverdale Performing Arts Center
March 1, 2017

On March 9th at 7pm, Matthew Specktor will read from his recent novel American Dream Machine and will discuss all things Hollywood. 

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Book Review: The Girl on the Train Book Review: The Girl on the Train
February 1, 2017

The Girl on the Train will forever be compared to another girl – Gone Girl.  Both anti-heroines were first featured in best-seller books and then their stories were made into films and ultimately DVD’s.

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Soleful Hiking – A Beginner’s Guide to Mindful Hiking Soleful Hiking – A Beginner’s Guide to Mindful Hiking
February 1, 2017

With dozens of parks and hundreds of miles of trails, the North Bay is a treasure trove for the hiking enthusiast. But often getting started might seem daunting to the person who is just beginning to hike and unsure what trails suit their level of experience.

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Book Review: The Princess Diarist Book Review: The Princess Diarist
February 1, 2017

I have never been a Science Fiction fan. Nevertheless, I have seen several of  the Star Wars films  because they are beyond just a depiction of events that happened a long, long time ago is galaxy far away, they represent a cultural phenomenon.

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Book Review - Tarot at a Crossroads: The Unexpected Meeting of Tarot and Psychology Book Review - Tarot at a Crossroads: The Unexpected Meeting of Tarot and Psychology
February 1, 2017

Retired Sonoma State University psychology professor Victor Daniels and SSU graduate Kooch N. Daniels have just released their remarkable new book Tarot at a Crossroads: The Unexpected Meeting of Tarot and Psychology.

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Steelhead Valentine, Russian River Steelhead Valentine
February 1, 2017
Every year on Valentine’s Day I celebrate the return of the steelhead, Oncorhynchus mykiss (their species name). Mykiss – what could be more perfect?
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BOOK REVIEW - The Marriage of Opposites Book Review: The Lilac Girls
January 4, 2017
Caroline is a Manhattan socialite, a former Broadway actress who comes from old money. She volunteers at the French consulate. The time is 1939 right before Hitler’s invasion of Poland.
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The Goddess Storybook by Patricia Dines The Goddess Storybook by Patricia Dines
November 26, 2016
I’ve recently been delighted to announce the release of my new empowering spiritual storybook, The Goddess Who Forgot That She Was a Goddess.
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BOOK REVIEW - The Marriage of Opposites BOOK REVIEW:The Marriage of Opposites
November 25, 2016
The title doesn’t seem to fit. It gives the reader the wrong impression and doesn’t reflect the profundity of the narrative. The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman is a huge, sprawling family saga thematically covering so much more than connubial relationships.
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BOOK REVIEW - Siracusa BOOK REVIEW: Siracusa
October 26, 2016
Delia Ephron, sister of Nora and the screenwriter of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and You’ve Got Mail, has delivered a not so nice psychological thriller called Siracusa. It was drawn to my attention by a random recommendation in People magazine. 
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Book Review - The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time Book Review - The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time
September 26, 2016

Sleep has always been precious to me. I'm a restless, light sleeper who will wake up at the drop of a pin. If I don't sleep, my eyes appear to be sunken in, my nerves become raw and I am reduced to what I call my zombie state.

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Book Review: The Flight of the Pickerings Book Review: The Flight of the Pickerings
September 1, 2016

Go local! This is an exhortation that blankets our community. But mostly we think of it in terms of fresh fruit and vegetables. What about our local authors? The Flight of the Pickerings is a novel as well-written, funny and profound as any offerings currently gracing the prestigious best-seller lists and the author, John Heide, lives in Glen Ellen.

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Book Review: The Egypt Game Book Review: Me Before You
August 7, 2016

If a novel is deemed Chick Lit is it necessarily a pejorative? Me Before You has been on the top of the New York Times Paperback Best Seller’s List for quite some time. 

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Book Review:  Tractors, Trains & Shipwrecks –  Yesteryear Recollections of Sonoma County Tractors, Trains & Shipwrecks – Yesteryear Recollections of Sonoma County
August 1, 2016

When I was recently given the opportunity to preview this forthcoming title (in stores locally mid-August), I was immediately intrigued – especially given Gaye LeBaron’s reference to these stories being “Tom Sawyer like” (her quote appears on the book’s back jacket) along with the book being described as “a unique keepsake from one of Sonoma County’s founding ranching families.”

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Book Review: The Egypt Game Book Review: The Egypt Game
June 24, 2016

Author Zilpha Keatley Snyder lived most of her life in California. She died in San Francisco in 2014 of a stroke. But, in the seventies her husband was a professor at Sonoma State University and the family lived in the rural outskirts of Santa Rosa in a one-hundred year old farm house whose ambiance, I am sure, served as inspiration for some of the forty books she has written. Her most famous book is The Egypt Game which won the prestigious Newberry Award.

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Book Review: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Book Review: The Devil in the White City 
May 25, 2016

Although first published in 2004, there are two reasons why Erik Larson’s book The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America is having a resurgence.

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Book Review: Himalayan Pink Salt Book Review: Himalayan Pink Salt By Diane McCurdy
May 25, 2016

This book was a random recommendation by a friend. I hadn’t seen it praised in any magazines articles. It hadn’t popped up on any bestseller lists. Probably I was intrigued by the title, Himalayan Pink Salt. It turned out to a hidden gem.

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