Monday, June 30, 2014

Today's Post is Brought to You By the Letter...

It all started with Simon. He began assigning letters to bloggers who agreed to list their favorite books, authors, movies, songs, and objects beginning with said letter. Anyone playing along can then "give" letters (using to others wanting to play along.  Frances got her letter from Simon, then selected one for Bellezza, who assigned a letter to Audrey... the source of my M.

Favorite book:

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. I actually left a New Year's Eve party early to go home and finish this book. No joke, that happened in 2004.

Favorite  author:

This one is easy - Jojo Moyes. Since December I've read Me Before You, The Girl You Left Behind, and Honeymoon in Paris. Over the weekend I started The Ship of Brides. She sure can tell a story!

Favorite song:

I had to think about this a little longer but decided on Paul McCartney's Maybe I'm Amazed. Yes, I'm that old!

Favorite movie:

I'll go with Midnight in Paris - romance, Paris, time travel, 1920's, Hemingway, Fitzgerald. Who could ask for more?

Favorite object:

Miniature poodles, black. As much as I love greyhounds, my youth was spent with these smart little dogs and they still hold a special place in my heart. Don't tell Zelda...

Would you like to play?
Let me know and I'll assign you a letter.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekly Update: June 29

Another week has flown by, but it's been a good one! My #100happydays project on instagram really helps me focus on the positive each day. From my nephew's high school graduation to appreciating the beauty surrounding me, I uploaded seven photos this week. These two were the most popular:

Are you participating in this project? If I don't already follow you on instagram, please let me know.

Reading//   I finished The All of It  by Jeannette Haien, a quiet novel from 1986 recently reissued with a new forward by Ann Patchett. Since it was on my kindle, I didn't get to enjoy the gorgeous cover to its fullest. My review will be coming soon.

Then, after nearly a year of avoidance, I rediscovered NetGalley. Yesterday I started The Ship of Brides  by Jojo Moyes. It was written nearly a decade ago but in light of her recent popularity, Penguin will issue a paperback edition in the US this fall.

Listening//  It took a couple of weeks, but I finally finished Five Days at Memorial  by Sheri Fink. Both riveting and horrifying, it focuses on the events and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina at one New Orleans hospital. No wonder it won a Pulitzer Prize.

I started The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd yesterday on the way to my nephew's graduation.  The novel is perfectly suited for dual narrators and after less than an hour, I already love the audio production.

On the blog//
- a Tuesday Intro featuring The All of It by Jeannette Haien
- my review of Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
- my review of  Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Looking forward//  A long holiday weekend is on the horizon and my small town really knows how to celebrate. July 4th festivities last for days: parade, fireworks, sidewalk sales, craft fair, farmers market, concerts, family movies in the park, a short 5K plus a longer run around the lake, and more.

We'll also host our annual 4th of July bash and attend a couple more graduation parties. I'm even more excited because Daughter #1 will be coming home on Wednesday... she hasn't been all the way upstate since Christmas!

Today//  The forecast calls for another beautiful summer day. I need to quickly clean the house and plan menus for the week, but then I plan to relax and enjoy it!

How was your week?

This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Dept. of Speculation
by Jenny Offill
Knopf, 2014
192 pages
source: borrowed from the library

Summary (from goodreads):
Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all.

Jenny Offill’s heroine, referred to in these pages as simply “the wife,” once exchanged love letters with her husband postmarked Dept. of Speculation, their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship. As they confront an array of common catastrophes—a colicky baby, a faltering marriage, stalled ambitions—the wife analyzes her predicament, invoking everything from Keats and Kafka to the thought experiments of the Stoics to the lessons of doomed Russian cosmonauts. She muses on the consuming, capacious experience of maternal love, and the near total destruction of the self that ensues from it as she confronts the friction between domestic life and the seductions and demands of art.

With cool precision, in language that shimmers with rage and wit and fierce longing, Jenny Offill has crafted an exquisitely suspenseful love story that has the velocity of a train hurtling through the night at top speed. Exceptionally lean and compact, Dept. of Speculation is a novel to be devoured in a single sitting, though its bracing emotional insights and piercing meditations on despair and love will linger long after the last page.

My thoughts:
I'm pretty conventional in my reading choices and tend to shy away from anything even vaguely experimental. Still, I know it's good to get out of my comfort zone every once in a while and Dept. of Speculation certainly flirted with its edges.

The story is actually a series of short, seemingly disjointed paragraphs that, when taken as a whole, tell the story of a relationship. No names are used, the characters are simply the man, the wife, the child, etc. The novel is clever and innovative - even the abbreviation in the title hints at its style.

The beginning, especially, seemed odd and choppy, but as I grew accustomed to the style it became more enjoyable. This is a very short novel that can be read in a single sitting, but I liked returning to it a few times over a couple of days. I also (surprisingly) found myself thinking about it in between times.

While I may not have appreciated this novel as much as other readers, I marveled at its beauty, simplicity and creativity. I do recommend Dept. of Speculation... at least borrow it from the library and see what you think.

My rating:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

Still Life with Bread Crumbs
by Anna Quindlen
Random House, 2014
272 pages
source: borrowed from the library

Publisher's Summary:
Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.

Brilliantly written, powerfully observed, Still Life with Bread Crumbs is a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.

Quick thoughts:
Anna Quindlen and I go way back. From her early columns and essays, to those first few novels, and most recently her nonfiction title Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, she now seems like an old friend... and any new novel she writes becomes irresistible.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs got off to a slow start for me, but it was refreshing to see an older heroine (Rebecca is 60). I also loved the upstate New York setting. Like many readers, I'm drawn to novels set close to home and Quindlen nails life in this small town.

Rebecca's story is "deeply moving and often very funny" as promised, but the writing is the true star of this novel. These quotes will linger in my mind long after memories of the story have faded.

Favorite Quotes:
There are two kinds of men: men who want a wife who is predictable, and men who want a wife who is exotic. For some reason, Peter had thought she was the latter. But even if that had been the case, the problem inherent remains the same -- once she becomes a wife, the exotic becomes familiar, and thus predictable, and thus not what was wanted at all. Those few women who stayed exotic usually were considered, after a few years, to be crazy.  page 104 
... she realized she'd been becoming different people for as long as she could remember but had never really noticed, or had put it down to moods, or marriage, or motherhood. The problem was that she'd thought that at a certain point she would be a finished product. Now she wasn't sure what that might be, especially when she considered how sure she had been about it at various times in the past, and how wrong she'd been.  page 223 
Her marriage had been like a new silk dress, so beautiful and undulating, except that after a while the edges of the sleeves gray, there is a spot of wine, the hem drags. If her love affair with Peter had stopped after six months it would have been a gorgeous memorable thing. But in love no one ever leaves well enough alone, and so it settles into a strange unsatisfactory kind of friendship or sours into mutual recriminations and regret, the dress pushed to the back of the closet, limp and so unnew, embalmed in plastic because of what it once was.  page 124
My rating:

Bottom line:
Still Life with Bread Crumbs is a good story with great writing, but I definitely prefer Quindlen's nonfiction.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday Intro: The All of It

Thomas Dunn, the head ghillie at the Castle, wasn't telling Father Declan anything he didn't already know: the river was too high and wild from all the rains, and the salmon, therefore, not moving, just lying on the bottom, not showing themselves at all, and the midges terrible, and only two days left to the season so of course all but the least desirable of the river-beats, number Four, was let already; "and Frank and Peter'll be ghillieing for the Americans stayin' at the castle Father, so I'll have to give you Seamus O'Connor and he's hardly worth the pay and that on top of the twenty pounds for the beat and you know yourself, Father, how beat Four is after a rainfall such as we've been having, the piers awash and banks slippery as grease. If you'd given me a bit more notice, if I'd but known you had it in your mind to come for the day, I'd have---" 
The long-distance connection was weak; that, and Thomas' nattering on and on, discouraging, all but took the last of Father Declan's heart. Still, he'd do it. "I know all you're telling me, Thomas," he bawled into the mouthpiece of the parish-house phone, "I know. But I'll take beat Four and Seamus O'Connor with it, though I don't need him."
The All of It
by Jeanette Haien

Although the opening paragraph doesn't do much for me, I'm confident things will improve. I learned about this book in one of Ann Patchett's essays and the book description (from amazon) certainly sounds promising:
Jeannette Haien’s award-winning first novel relates the seemingly simple tale of a parishioner confiding in her priest, but the tangled confession brings secrets to light that provoke a moral quandary for not only the clergyman, but the reader as well. Set in a small town in Ireland, Haien’s intimate novel of conversations and dilemmas—perfect for readers of Paul Harding’s Tinkers, Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, and Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood—is “an elegantly written, compact and often subtle tale of morality and passion that gives voice to an age-old concern in a fresh way” (NewYork Times Book Review). Harper Perennial breathes new life into this 1986 classic in a new edition with an introduction by Ann Patchett.
There is a one-paragraph author's note at the beginning explaining "In Ireland, stretches of a salmon river which run through privately owned lands are divided by the owner into sections, called "beats". Beats are rented by the owner by the day , to an angler. The angler is called a "rod". A "ghillie" (or "gillie") is a servant who attends the rod."

I certainly appreciated that information.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekly Update: The First Weekend of Summer

The scene//  It's just after noon - a little later than usual for my Sunday post, but it's an absolutely gorgeous summer morning and my husband and I just got back from a 4 mile walk.  It's so nice to have him join me, but that does mean no audiobook time ;-) Before the walk, we enjoyed coffee and the newspapers.

Reading//   What a week! I can't tell you the last time I finished three books in a single week. They were all fairly short, but still a banner week for me.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen was good, but I definitely prefer her nonfiction.

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill was also good, but the style was a little too choppy for my taste.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub was my pick of the week. I read it in two days and loved it!

This week I need to spend a day working on reviews. There were already several that needed attention, but now I'm feeling a little desperate.

Listening//   I'm still enthralled with Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink. Just over six hours to go, so I will definitely finish this week. Let me tell you, this is one disturbing book!

On the blog//
- a Tuesday Intro post featuring Dept. of Speculation
- my summer reading list
- my thoughts on The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

Up next//  I'll start a new book this afternoon, but am not quite sure what it will be. I want to choose a title from my summer reading list, but my mother is encouraging me to read Joshilyn Jackson's latest, Someone Else's Love Story. We'll see...

Other stuff//  Have you seen all the photos tagged #100happy days on instagram?  (read about it here) I decided to take the challenge. The photo you see at the top of this post was taken this morning and is my day 7 entry. I really like focusing on something happy each day... and it's much easier in the summer!

What are you up to today?

This post will link to It's Monday, What are you Reading? hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress
by Ariel Lawhon
Doubleday, 2014
320 pages
source: borrowed from the library

Summary (from goodreads):
A tantalizing reimagining of a scandalous mystery that rocked the nation in 1930-Justice Joseph Crater's infamous disappearance-as seen through the eyes of the three women who knew him best.

They say behind every great man, there's a woman. In this case, there are three. Stella Crater, the judge's wife, is the picture of propriety draped in long pearls and the latest Chanel. Ritzi, a leggy showgirl with Broadway aspirations, thinks moonlighting in the judge's bed is the quickest way off the chorus line. Maria Simon, the dutiful maid, has the judge to thank for her husband's recent promotion to detective in the NYPD. Meanwhile, Crater is equally indebted to Tammany Hall leaders and the city's most notorious gangster, Owney "The Killer" Madden.

On a sultry summer night, as rumors circulate about the judge's involvement in wide-scale political corruption, the Honorable Joseph Crater steps into a cab and disappears without a trace. Or does he?

My thoughts:

My sister recently asked for a vacation book recommendation... something absorbing and face-paced that would keep her turning the pages, but no fluff. She's also a nonfiction fan and, since it's based on a true story, I figured The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress might be the perfect choice. It was. She loved it.

I knew she would. I'd read it in Florida just a month earlier and had been telling everyone else to read it, too - family, friends, my book club, even the bunco group I occasionally attend.

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress is a wonderful piece of storytelling based on the disappearance of  New York City Judge Joseph Crater in 1930. As you might imagine, there is no shortage of gangsters, showgirls, or political corruption in this tale. The only thing that slowed my reading was getting lost on google. I couldn't resist looking up the people and places mentioned!

I also appreciated the very detailed author's note at the end. Lawhon clearly separates fact from fiction. Some characters are real, others are imagined, and a few are amalgamations of various key players. The actual case remains unsolved.

Highly recommended. Add it to your summer reading list now!

My rating:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Summer Reading List

As some of you may know, I am both a notorious mood reader and a compulsive list-maker. There is no way these two traits can peacefully co-existence, yet I persist with seasonal reading plans. Actually sticking to them is another story.

This summer I'd like to read a few new releases, some older titles, at least one classic, and a YA title or two. All of the books listed are already on hold at the library, currently on my kindle, or waiting on my bookshelves.

I know all too well that one used book sale, kindle daily deal, or impulse purchase could derail the whole plan.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub 
 Borrowed from the library, up next

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Bloggers love this one, on the library hold list

I was pretty impressed with The Dinner, so put this on hold.

Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes, 
An older title to be released in paperback in the US this fall (via Netgalley)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
...because I seriously don't want to be the last person in the world to read it

Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck
a favorite author and my summer classic

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 
I loved The Secret History. This one is so long, it may be a good read/listen combination.

The All of It by Jeannette Haein
a 1986 classic with an introduction by Ann Patchett

Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout
a backlist title from a favorite author

The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz 
...or some other foodie title with recipes (preferably set in France) for my book club

A Few Audio Possibilities:
The Invention of Wings  by Sue Monk Kidd
narrated by Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd

 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
narrated by David Pittu

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
narrated by Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra

What's on your summer reading list?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday Intro: Dept.of Speculation

Antelopes have 10x vision, you said. It was the beginning or close to it. That means that on a clear night they can see the rings of Saturn. 
It was still months before we'd tell each other all our stories. And even then some seemed too small to bother with. So why do they come back to me now? Now, when I'm so weary of it all. 
Memories are microscopic. Tiny particles that swarm together and apart. Little people, Edison called them. Entities. He had a theory about where they came from and that theory was outer space.
Dept. of Speculation
by Jenny Offill

I picked up this little book last night. The entire 177 pages is composed of these short, seemingly unrelated paragraphs. But, according to the blurb:
Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all. 
I'm intrigued. My car needs to be serviced this morning... this book is a perfect fit for my purse.

What do you think of that opening? Would you continue reading?

Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekly Update: More Blogging Means Less Reading

Good morning, friends. As the week passed, it occurred to me that balance is becoming a problem. Two weeks ago when I was mostly reading, blogging suffered. The opposite was true this past week. My total reading amounted to barely 100 pages, but a blog post appeared nearly every day. We'll see what the week ahead holds.

In print:

I'm reading Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen, still.  Not sure whether to attribute the slow start to the my reading habits of the past week or to the story itself. Either way, I read over half of it yesterday evening and can't wait to pick it up again later today. I may even finish tonight.

What should I read next? Two great book came through inter-library loan this week: Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill and The Vacationers by Emma Sraub. They're both fairly short, but I prefer the cover of The Vacationers. How's that for shallow? I may have to flip a coin.

On audio:
I started listening to Five Days at Memorial by Sheir Fink. It examines the events at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans during and immediately following Hurricane Katrine in 2005. The book is amazing but, given my experience working in a teaching hospital, I am totally horrified. So compelling and though-provoking...

On the blog:
 - Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I've Read (so far) This Year
 - Summer Shorts '14: "An Ancient Gesture" by Edna St. Vincent Millay Read by Kathe Mazur
 - Summer Shorts '14: Amy Rubinate, Cassandra Campbell, and Kathe Mazur, Sonnets 2, 4, and 6 from Renascence & Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay
 - A quick review: Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall

Book club meeting:
Eight of us met Friday morning to discuss Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.  The story of Huguette Clark is fascinating, but the reaction to the book was only lukewarm. I was the most enthusiastic, perhaps because of the read/listen combination. A complete review is in the works.

Next month is our annual potluck dinner. For this meeting we choose a book with recipes and each of us prepares one of those dishes to share. The tradition started in 2010 with A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. I wrote about that meeting here.

This year we're approaching it a little differently. Since it tends to be our most social meeting (i.e. no serious book discussion), we'll each read a foodie title of our own choosing, bring a dish from the book, and, hopefully, come away from the meeting with several new books for our TBR lists.

I'm considering The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz. It would be perfect for Paris in July, but I'm open to other suggestions.

What's the best "foodie" book you're read in the last couple of years?

This week's random observation:
I bought a Fitbit One last month and set a daily goal of 10,000 steps. It didn't take me long to realize the goal was practically unattainable without a daily walk or time on the treadmill. There was no walk yesterday, but I spent a couple of hours at the mall and hit 10, 000 steps... a first! Another benefit of retail therapy ;-)

Later today:
It's Father's Day, and I'm happy to have two of my three daughters home to celebrate. We're hosting a family dinner for my parents and siblings later this afternoon... ribs with all the fixings. Hopefully we'll be able to get out on the lake, too. It was very cold (for June) yesterday, barely 60 degrees, but we should recover to the mid 70's today. Just about perfect, I think.

This post will link to It's Monday! What are you Reading? hosted at Book Journey.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart 
by Carol Wall
Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 2014
304 pages
nonfiction, memoir
source: borrowed from the library

Summary (from goodreads):

Carol Wall, a white woman living in a lily-white neighborhood in Middle America, was at a crossroads in her life. Her children were grown; she had successfully overcome illness; her beloved parents were getting older. One day she notices a dark-skinned African man tending her neighbor’s yard. His name is Giles Owita. He bags groceries at the supermarket. He comes from Kenya. And he’s very good at gardening.
  Before long Giles is transforming not only Carol’s yard, but her life. Though they are seemingly quite different, a caring bond grows between them. But they both hold long-buried secrets that, when revealed, will cement their friendship forever.

Quick thoughts:

I hadn't heard about this book before reading BermudaOnion's review, but Kathy made it sound like exactly the kind of memoir I tend to enjoy. My decision was made when I realized it was also an Amy Einhorn book.

From the title, you might think this is a book about gardening, but in reality gardening only serves as a backdrop for the blooming friendship between Carol Wall and Giles Owita. Wall's story is open, honest, and touching. It also provides the opportunity to pause, reflect, and possibly re-evaluate the garden of your own life.

Favorite quotes:
I had come to a gradual acceptance that I was "that lady" - the one who drove slower than all the impatient younger folks on the highway, the one who younger man found invisible, and who reminded younger women of their mothers. But instead of resenting that shift, I decided to embrace it. In our youth- and health-obsessed culture, it was either win or lose, and I decided not to play that game at all. The contest was rigged anyway -- because everyone, sooner or later, was going to age out of the running. So I decided to just get over myself. The world would not end if I had a bad hair day or didn't monitor every bite of food that went into my mouth.  (page 204) 
"Oh, many, many people speak too soon," Giles said. "And those who know a little less speak even sooner..."   (page 242) 
In every moment there exists a lifetime. Every day brings something good!  (page 287)
My rating:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Shorts '14 Blog Hop: Amy Rubinate, Cassandra Campbell, and Kathe Mazur, Sonnets 2, 4, and 6 from Renascence & Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay

June is Audiobook Month, and to celebrate, a group of more than 40 professional narrators has teamed with Going Public and Tantor Media by offering Summer Shorts ‘14, an audio collection of poetry, short stories and essays. All sales proceeds from the collection go to ProLiteracy, a national literacy outreach and advocacy organization.

All month you can visit Going Public and various blogs to hear 1-2 stories stream for free on their release day. You can purchase the whole collection at Tantor Media and you’ll receive 20 additional tracks while supporting a great cause.

Summer Shorts '14 is focusing on poetry this week, and I'm thrilled to be hosting a 2-day feature on Edna St. Vincent Millay. Yesterday I introduced you to Kathe Mazur and shared her performance of "An Ancient Gesture".

Today, Kathe is back, along with Cassandra Campbell and Amy Rubinate. It's such an honor for me to host this ultra-talented group of narrators at Lakeside Musing, and even more exciting to have them reading sonnets by a favorite poet.

One of the reasons I love poetry is for its ability to elicit such deep, personal responses from readers and listeners. I became interested in the work of Edna St. Vincent Millay, in particular, about five years ago when I discovered the marker pictured below on top of Mt. Battie. The view looking down on Camden, Maine was surely a source of inspiration for Millay's early work.

I asked the narrators to share thoughts on Millay's poetry.

Amy Rubinate:
I have always appreciated Millay's Sonnet 2, "Time Does Not Bring Relief; You All Have Lied," for its simple honesty and raw, searing lament. I first discovered it in high school, a time when heightened emotions were my daily diet, and it felt true and immediate. Years later, a step removed, the poem still strikes me with the same intensity. Almost a century after its publication, it still has the intimate quality of a woman sharing her sorrow directly with the reader, and in that way seems very modern. I was so pleased to be able to perform this poem!
Kathe Mazur:
I was working in a summer stock theatre at 15 when one of the actresses there, Ingrid Sonnichsen, took me under her wing.  She gave me The Collected Works of Edna St. Vincent Millay, and its that dog-eared and Post-It covered copy that I am still reading today. I devoured it. Millay's writing cut right to the heart of of me. The size of her appetite for life and for feelings, for love and loss, and her wit, brilliance and accessibility made her the perfect writer for me to be curling up with, and as my life went on, that never changed. But my understanding of the poems deepens as I understand more about love and loss. What a woman, what a writer. 
Sonnets 2, 4, and 6 from Renascence & Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay performed by Amy Rubinate, Cassandra Campbell, and Kathe Mazur


Amy Rubinate has narrated over 140 audiobooks, and has won multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her books have been selected as Booklist's Top 10 Historical Fiction and Booklist Editor's Choice Media 2012. She has a degree in oral interpretation of literature and has won state and national awards for poetry reading. A voice actor and singer for over a decade, Amy has narrated many interactive children's books and provided voices for toys and video games. Her one-woman cabaret shows have been performed in New York and San Francisco. Her work has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and reviewed in the New York Times.

Cassandra Campbell has recorded and directed over 400 audiobooks. A ten-time Audie Award nominee, she has won twice: for non-fiction in 2011 for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and as one of four readers of The Help, which won both best fiction and best Audio book in 2010. She has been named a best voice by AudioFile Magazine for the past four years, as a voice of the year for both Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal in 2009 and 2010. She has received nearly two-dozen AudioFile Earphone's Awards and many starred reviews. In addition to her voice over work in both audio books and commercials, she continues to work as a theatre director and actor: This summer she will direct As You Like It for the Independent Shakespeare Company in Los Angeles.

K├Ąthe Mazur ( pronounced "Kay-ta"),is best known on television for the role of DDA Andrea Hobbs that she plays on both The Closer and it's hit spin-off, Major Crimes. She has recorded over 100 audiobooks, including the multi-award winning Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain, and The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, and the works of Nora Ephron, Tess Gerritsen and Jacquelyn Mitchard, among many others. She also has the distinction of having recorded both Hillary Clinton's and Anne Coulter's books in the same month. She has won multiple Earphone awards, is an Audie nominee and been on all sorts of great Best Books lists. She will appear soon on American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood, and has worked extensively as an actress in film, theater and television, including The Mentalist, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Criminal Minds; Suspect Behavior, ER, and Monk. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

by Nancy Milford

by Erika Robuck

Stay on top of daily releases by following the Complete Blog Hop Schedule at Going Public.

Yesterday's stops:
Kathe Mazur - An Ancient Gesture by Edna St. Vincent Millay at Lakeside Musing
John Lee - The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats at The Literate Housewife

Also today:
Colleen Marlo - How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning at AudioGals

Katherine Kellgren - Father William by Lewis Carroll at Overreader
Carrington MacDuffie - Al's Boy by Carrington MacDuffie at Beth Fish Reads


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