Book Marks

1. Playwright, poet, and novelist Ntzoke Shange dead at 70.

2. Viv Albertine is back with another memoir To Throw Away Unopened.

3. It’s Halloween! The perfect time to read these witchy books.

4. Red-pilling, misogyny and how they affect classic books.

5. How anti-tax zealots affected libraries and how residents responded.

6. Here are some tips on organizing your home library.

7. Not everybody loves To Kill a Mockingbird.

8. Horror books that tickle the funny bone.

9. Why are fiction sales dropping?

10. How to combine the real and unreal when writing horror fiction.




Book Marks


1. Todd Bol, creator of the Little Free Library dies at the age of 62.

2. Jane Austen, fairytales, and feminism.

3. The controversial YA novel in the age of Kavanaugh.

4. Tina Turner in her latest memoir (her first memoir I, Tina is a must read).

5. Barbara Ehrenreich on the fight for a living wage.

6. How to be a rare book collector.

7. Publisher’s Weekly announces the winner of the 2018 Man Book Prize.

8. Twelve authors on their favorite libraries.

9. The psychology of bad rough drafts and five tips on how to help them make sense.

10. Steven Hawkins final book claims “There is no God!”

Off the Books: My Handmade Bijoux

As many of you know crafting is a passion of mine and I design jewelry. I get a lot of compliments and positive feedback on my handcrafted wares and now people are encouraging me to start a little business selling my jewelry. I organized my jewelry, attached some blank tags and a branding consultant is going to advise me on pricing my work and other marketing issues.IMG_20181015_171920



Brag Book


Hard to believe it but The Book Self is now five years old. And how my little place in the vast blogosphere has grown and grown. What started with a smattering of book reviews now includes author interviews, authors (and others) seeking me out to review their books, people asking me to provide my publicity, marketing, and consulting expertise on all things book related, over 900 followers on Twitter, and top ratings on the website Book Blogger List.

But best of all The Book Self has blessed me with all of you, my readers. I can’t thank all of you enough. You bring me joy.

Look for some new themes at the Book Self including “Off the Books” where I share the people, places, and things that make up my non-blogging life via photos and captions, and “Our Books, Our Shelves” (inspired by the feminist classic Our Bodies, Ourselves) where I will share the books that take up shelf space in my lady lair via photos and captions.

What else? My dear friend and bellydancing teacher, Shaia, is now providing me her editing skills pro bono. And I can’t thank her enough.

Once again, thanks so much for sticking with me for five years. Here is to five more.

Book Review: You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld


I’ve been a fan of author Curtis Sittenfeld ever since I read her debut novel Prep several years ago.  Since then Sittenfeld has written several critically acclaimed books. Now she’s back with her latest release, a collection of short storie, called You Think It,  I’ll say It.

In You Think It, I’ll Say It, Sittenfeld chronicles the lives of men and women in our modern day, both the mundane and the complex.

In the opening story, a man and a woman (married to other people) play a game called You Think It, I’ll Say It. It is their way of coping with their less than ideal relationship issues and marriages that have known better days. Little do they realize their little game just might lead to dire consequences.

In Gender Studies, Henry elopes with his student Bridget. Left behind is Henry’s longtime former girlfriend Nell. At first, Henry thinks he has done the right thing leaving Nell, for he has enough with her smugness. But has he found the ideal woman in a less “affected” woman like Bridget? Or is he just with her because of her youth, and what he believes is her less than formed identity?

In Bad Latch, a new mother struggles with breastfeeding and the judgmental attitude of mothers. Is she less than a mother because breastfeeding isn’t this magical bonding moment and she might have to turn to (oh horror), formula? In Bad Latch, a “Breast is Best” activist character is a hilarious highlight.

In Off The Record, entertainment reporter, Bridget copes with new motherhood while on a business trip to interview an up and coming actress. The actress reveals a juicy tidbit asking Bridget not to put it in the article. But finding this actress a bit of an obnoxious twit, Bridget wonders if she should put in this detail in the article out of spite. Should she she? Hmm, maybe she should.

And clearly The Prairie Wife is based on The Pioneer Wife (and other lifestyle bloggers) and a total hoot in all its snarky bitchiness.

Pretty much all of You Think It, I’ll Say It is a tremendous collection, written in Sittenfeld’s sharp voice that makes her such a singular voice her generation. I highly recommend it.

Retro Review: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros


Released in 1984, celebrated by critics all over the globe and crucial reading for students of all ages, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is a visionary classic and I am happy to have re-read.

The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Corset growing up in Chicago. Like any young girl, Esperanza has hopes and dreams that go beyond a little red house where her family resides and a world beyond Mango Street.

She wants to better her family’s fortune, while also declaring her independence and get her own apartment, as well as an education and a career.

Yet, first Esperanza must face certain thorny issues like her father’s abuse, her friend’s budding sexuality, not to mention racism and sexism.

Throughout The House on Mango Street, Esperanza notes small and mundane tasks and behaviors, which her family operates on a daily basis, which will shape her as grown woman.

The House on Mango Street is written in tiny chapters that reminded me of journal entries Esperanza could have written in a diary. They are simple, yet highly descriptive, sentimental, but never saccharine.

Though The House on Mango Street narrates the life of one very singular character, ultimately it expresses the universal desire to be free.