Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Julia Alvarez wins National Medal of Arts

Julia Alvarez wins National Medal of Arts

It was just announced that the novelist, poet & essayist Julia Alvarez has won a 2013 National Medal of Arts. She will join fellow recipients at the White House on Monday, July 28th,  at 3pm. The event will be streamed live. The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and patrons of the arts by the United States Government. Ms. Alvarez is the author of numerous critically acclaimed novels including:
“How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents”
“In The Time of Butterflies” and “A Wedding in Haiti”.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts,  the author was chosen for this particular honor “for her extraordinary storytelling..she..reveals the human capacity for strength in the face of oppression”.




All of the novels captioned above by this award-winning author are available on Freading.

Monday, July 14, 2014

What's New

There are new arrivals on Freading all the time. Here are just a few suggestions to take with you wherever you go this summer. You can browse through these and more on the Freading site, but your travel bag will never get any heavier!



Martian Summer
By Andrew Kessler
The Discovery Channel producer author won what he refers to as the "space-nerd lottery". He was allowed to witness the 2009 Phoenix Mars Lander mission from a NASA control room.  Water and ice were discovered on Mars during this mission.  Kessler captures the breathless moment -to -moment experiences within the room as new discoveries are made, as well as the long days that are all hard work with nothing to show for them.

A candid and precise account of the ups and downs of a space mission. It gives the feel of the pressure and excitement at mission control”-Nilton Renno, Professor of Atmospheric and Space Sciences, University of Michigan

An informative and even charming semi-insider account of how such a mission operates, how humans fare on Mars time, and how scientists and administrators behave under extreme stress.” —The Washington Post

Readers will thrill to this slightly offbeat firsthand account of scientific determination and stubborn intellect. . . . This behind-the-scenes look delivers a fascinating journey of discovery peppered with humor.” —Publishers Weekly

In The Shadows of the Morning
By Philip Caputo
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, Vietnam Veteran, and former war correspondent Philip Caputo shares his astounding adventures around the globe in this unforgettable collection of essays. From his time in the jungles of Vietnam as a soldier, to his experiences with wild animals in Africa while working for National Geographic, Caputo keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

“Always a thoughtful, intelligent writer”- The New York Times

“Can make the reader shiver with the anticipation of danger in the wild, yet appreciate the need to experience it. “- Publisher’s Weekly

Journal of A Solitude
 by May Sarton
Extraordinary memoir of the author during her time living alone in New Hampshire. The pages bring to life her quest for inner peace and her search to figure out who she really is.  Anyone who has struggled with their own identity or with connections to others in their life will appreciate this refreshing work.

“…rich in the love of nature and the love of solitude. This is a beautiful book, wise and warm…”- Cleveland Plain Dealer

Expecting: A Novel
By Ann Hamilton
Laurie and Alan are finally expecting their long anticipated first child when they are handed the news that the fertility clinic had a mix-up. The television screenwriter author Ann Hamilton (Grey’s Anatomy, Thirtysomething, Party of Five) makes you want to read this entire novel in one sitting.

“Ripe with conflict and controversy, “Expecting” is the perfect book club pick. Ann Lewis Hamilton takes a serious subject matter-infertility-and layers it with havoc, heart, and humor”-Lori Spielman, author of The Life List

“an exuberant celebration of contemporary families in all their insane, messy beauty”-Jillian Medoff, Best-Selling author of “I Couldn’t Love You More” and “Hunger Point”

                                                           Breathe Annie, Breathe
                                                              By Miranda Kenneally
 Contemporary Young Adult pick from the author of the bestselling “Catching Jordan”.  Annie admits she always came in dead last when doing sprints for the Presidential Fitness Test. She doesn’t even like running. Now she is training for a marathon. It’s a race her boyfriend was supposed to enter, before he died in an accident.

"Annie's grieving and growth are realistic, and she makes it to the starting line in the best shape-physical and emotional-to tackle the challenges ahead... a pleasingly deliberate look at grief and healing." - Kirkus

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Author Kaye Gibbons

Award-Winning Books by Kaye Gibbons

Author Kaye Gibbons rose out of a troubled, poverty-stricken childhood to graduate from college and become an award-winning, nationally recognized novelist. Her semi-autobiographical debut novel entitled “Ellen Foster” won the Louis D. Rubin Jr. Prize in Creative Writing, a special Citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction. The CBS Television Network also developed it in to a Hallmark Movie It is an Oprah’s Book Club Selection. The book centers around a young girl who has a difficult childhood, but faces it head-on, and refuses to be a victim.

Her second novel, “A Virtuous Woman” is a lovely, beautifully written story of a young woman who was abandoned by her first husband. When she meets an unsuccessful, never married man that is 20 years her senior, it’s becomes difficult to tell which one needs the other more. This title is also an Oprah’s Book Club Selection.

Gibbons received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for her third novel “A Cure For Dreams”. It won the Chicago Tribune Award for Fiction, The Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, and the PEN Revson Award for the “Best Work of Fiction by An American Writer Under The Age of 35.” The book is the story of a mother’s life during the great depression, as told through her daughter. It captures the sense of community and belonging in a wonderful manner.

All of these books by Kaye Gibbons are available for downloading on the Freading site.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Featured Author

Featured Author: Gina Frangello

Gina Frangello has edited the award-winning fiction magazine Other Voices for over a decade. She is also the Sunday editor of The Rumpus and the fiction editor of The Nervous Breakdown. What happens when a long-time editor starts writing novels? Sensational stories that you can’t put down.

The latest novel from this author is
A Life In Men. It is the soul-searching story of a life-long friendship between two women that ends unexpectedly. Before the reasons for the abrupt departure can be explored, one of them dies of cancer. The sudden passing leaves the remaining friend full of questions, sadness, and a personal search for meaning.

“A stunning novel--Frangello’s broken characters live in a world of terror and redemption, of magnificent sadness and beauty.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In this bravura performance, a quantum creative leap . . . Frangello astutely dissects the quandaries of female sexuality, adoption, terminal illness, and compound heartbreak in a torrent of tough-minded observations, audacious candor, and storytelling moxie.”

  An earlier thought provoking release from the Frangello entitled My Sister’s Continent, is a contemporary retelling of Freud’s famous “Dora” case study. Character Kirby is a young woman so much in dread of her twin sister’s return to town that she enters into therapy to deal with it. The therapy “fails” and she uses her twin’s journal to reconstruct memories of their life in her own way.

“A refreshing rebuttal to the canard that feminism is humorless, and the deep pun in the title is priceless.”
 --Chicago Tribune

Frangello is uncanny and mesmerizing in this smart, suspenseful psychosexual drama.

- Booklist

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Simplify, simplify, simplify!

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say let your affairs be as two or three and not a hundred or a thousand”
-Henry David Thoreau

Have you ever thought that you might like to find ways to simplify your life? One of these books that are available on Freading may be able to help.

Blessed by Less
By Susan Vogt
The author shares the extraordinary results of her own personal experiment to give away one item a day from her home for forty days. What she found is that at the end of that time that is that she did not want to stop getting rid of things; physically or emotionally. Lightening up can be important in more than just physical health.

The Simple Living Handbook
By Lorilee Lippincott
Challenging and inspiring guidebook by a woman who went a few steps further than giving things away; she and her family sold their multi-bedroom home in order to work out of, and school their children from a one bedroom apartment. Although not everyone will want to go to that extreme, she makes readers take a hard look at reassessing priorities.

“This thought-provoking offering will have readers seeing their lives and possessions in a new light”-Publishers Weekly

Mini –Farming: Self Sufficiency on ¼ Of An Acre
By Brett Markham
From just wanting to grow a few salad ingredients that taste great or perhaps having fresh eggs for Sunday breakfast to completely depending upon your own land for sustenance, this book is packed with information that will appeal to gardeners of all levels.

The Naturally Clean Home
By Karyn Siegel-Maier
One way to get closer to nature and simplicity is to use fewer chemicals in your home. They can be quite expensive and in some instances they are potentially hazardous. Although there are numerous  “green” cleaning products on the market now, what is more green than what is actually found in nature? Quite a bit can be accomplished with baking soda, lemon and vinegar.

By Kathleen Jamie
An award-winning essayist and poet from Scotland shares her exquisite essays on nature during her spell-binding travel adventures.  She has visited the Northern lights in Greenland, watched whales in the ocean, and witnessed other natural occurrences that are not as beautiful and don’t always make much sense. Her writings will bring nature to a whole new light.

“Jamie’s lustrous essays recharge our appreciation for not only the world’s beauty and mystery but also for the gift poetic writers such as Jamie possess for translating sensory input into gloriously calibrated,  revelatory language”- Booklist

“A lyrical work of profound insight”- Kirkus Reviews

“..immensely beguiling. There are piquant descriptions to stop you in your tracks.”
- The Sunday Times (London)

“I wonder if I would actually kill to be able to write, or think like that. It’s like this pretty much all the way through.” –The Guardian

Monday, November 25, 2013

Time To Shop

Thanksgiving is almost here, and then its time for….
the official start of the holiday shopping season!

 How do you know what buy for your hairdresser for the holidays? Or what about your child’s teacher, your co-worker or that relative you see once a year? 1500 Great Gift Ideas By Lorraine Bodger is an essential reference when you need some extra help in the gift department. Download it to your iOS or Android Device, and take it to the mall with you ! It is full of clever suggestions for the technological person in your life, the outdoors person, the traveler, and many more! It also breaks it down for men, women, and children. You may not want to leave home without it between now and the New Year!

Are you talented enough to make your own presents? There are many options out there that you still have plenty of time to create if you’re a novice, or more experienced craftsperson.

 Homemade soap can be a wonderful gift for just about anyone! Soap Crafting by Anne-Marie Faiola is a step-by-step guide of how to make your own amazing soaps with beautiful designs and lovely scents. Detailed enough for a novice who will look like a professional when they give these!

Quick and Easy Quilts for Kids by Connie Ewbank is a marvelous resource of cute, cozy blankets that all levels of quilters will appreciate making for the child in their life. They are also perfect ideas if you will be quilting for charity!

Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson holds a treasury of inspiring ideas that can be completed in anywhere from two to ten hours. The book is actually organized by the time it takes to complete each delightful project. You will be amazed how such adorable designs can be made so quickly!

“ Lush color photographs…the directions are clear and easy to follow..”- Booklist

Necklaces and bracelets are other items that can be made at home without too much in the way of supplies or time…

When you’re ready to relax and take a break from shopping or gift making, treat yourself to a laugh! 

 ‘Shop ‘Til You Drop, Then Sit Down and Buy Shoes” is Cathy Guisewite’s witty wisdom at her best!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

                          Fall Book Club Picks

Looking for suggestions for your next book club discussion? Or even if your preference is a book club of one, we have some recommendations for you…

 In The Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctors Journey in the Saudi Kingdom by Qanta Ahmed

The startling memoir of a young British Muslim doctor who accepts a new job practicing in pre-September 11th Saudi Arabia. It’s a position she hopes to find rewarding and exciting. What she finds upon her arrival are insanely archaic rules for the citizens to follow; but a people still filled with humor and love. The wide spread anti -Americanism after 9/11 shocks and troubles her after becoming attached to some of the country folk.

“Ahmed still beautifully asserts her arguments and confronts the anti-Semitism, the sexism, and anti-western attitudes she experienced…In The Land of Invisible Women gave me a lot to think about..”- Adventures in Reading

“Well written and fascinating”-Bookopolis

“…a must read for everyone..”-Blog Critics

A Friend Like Henry by Naula Gardner

This international best seller is a warm, emotionally powerful true story of a young boy with autism and how his relationship with his dog helped him overcome this exceedingly common disability. The story chronicles the daily life of this boy and his family as they try to outsmart autism before it pulls the family apart.

“...fascinating and inspiring..”- Woman and Home

“An emotional rollercoaster”-Book Review

“....emotionally charged, this story raises powerful issues in a deeply personal and powerful manner”-Irish Examiner

 Brief, Gaudy Hour : A Novel of  Anne Boleyn by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Anne Boleyn was the Queen of England in the 16th century, but her name is one that we still know today. This depiction of her by well -known British Author Margaret Campbell Barnes brings to life the courage of this powerful young woman living in a man’s world.

“Barnes lucidly envisions the well-documented events of Henry VIII’s second wife’s brilliant, short- lived career…vividly depicts Anne’s hopes and fears”-Publishers Weekly

 Churchills’ Hour: A Novel of Defiance by Michael Dobbs

Now a full time writer, author Michael Dobbs was previously a prominent British politician. He was an advisor to Margaret Thatcher and deputy chairman of the Conservative party in 1994. Dobbs brings us Churchill  at his most desperate time from an English political insider’s point of view.

“..riveting and controversial…Dobbs has the gift of taking you inside the subjects head”- Glasgow Evening Times

“..a gripping read”-Choice Magazine

Mr. Darcy’s Diary: A Novel by Amanda Grange

A delicious continuation of Jane Austen’s novel, “Pride and Prejudice”. Grange lets readers into the innermost thoughts of the seemingly stuffy Mr. Darcy . At times it feels as if you can hear his voice.  Anyone who has read the Jane Austen novel will be glued to this inspired and well researched “sequel”.

“Absolutely fascinating”- Historical Novel Society

“ Sensitive to the original but lots of fun”- Woman Magazine