Skip to main content


Archives - May 2012

Sylvia Cicetti is the mom of’s Carol Fitzgerald. An ardent Adriana Trigiani fan, she attended her event Monday night at Spring Lake Public Library in Spring Lake, N.J., which was part of Adriana’s tour for THE SHOEMAKER’S WIFE, her latest New York Times bestseller. Carol asked her mom to share her thoughts on this event in the following Q&A.
Dawn Raffel’s forthcoming memoir, The Secret Life of Objects, is a life story revealed through simple possessions --- a coffee mug, a vase, a pair of earrings, my mother's prayer book…things that hold a hidden memory. The book will be released in June but is available for pre-order at a pre-publication discount here: Her previous books are two story collections—Further Adventures in the Restless Universe and In the Year of Long Division—and a novel, Carrying the Body. She is the books editor at Reader’s Digest, and the editor of The Literarian, the online journal of the Center for Fiction in New York.
Carla Stewart is the award-winning author of three novels. Her newest one, Stardust, is the story of a young mom in the 1950s who must make a new life for herself and her daughters when her unfaithful husband drowns in the bayou. Carla’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by as she endeavors to take readers to that place in their hearts called “home.” In this post, she shares her favorite memories of her strong, determined mother.Carla Stewart loves to connect with readers at She is also on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
Benjamin Busch is the author of DUST TO DUST, a memoir, available now from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins. In this post, he talks about how he remembers his mother.
Adriana Trigiani grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. In addition to being the author of BIG STONE GAP, BIG CHERRY HOLLER, MILK GLASS MOON, LUCIA, LUCIA, and most recently, THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE, Adriana is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. She has written the screen adaptation of her novel BIG STONE GAP, which she will also direct. In this post, she talks about her mother's passion for books and how she inspired Adriana's reading and writing throughout her life.
In last week's newsletter, I asked readers to share their feedback on the Shades of Grey trilogy. Below are comments from fifteen readers who share very varying viewpoints . Most have included how they learned of the books, as well as their thoughts on the writing. All agreed to have their comments shared with just their first names. Thanks to all who wrote in; really fun to see what YOU had to say!  
Claire Bidwell Smith lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. She is an experienced therapist specializing in grief. Claire has written for many publications including Time Out New York, Yoga Journal, BlackBook Magazine, The Huffington Post and Chicago Public Radio. She most recently worked as a bereavement counselor for a hospice in Chicago. Claire is currently working on her second book and also planning a series of grief workshops that will begin in 2012. Here, she talks about the experience of introducing the world to her late mother in her new book, THE RULES OF INHERITANCE.
Maryann McFadden has been a successful realtor for the past twenty years, but she always wanted to be a novelist. Her first novel, THE RICHEST SEASON, began as her thesis project when she returned to school for a Master’s degree. Her most recent novel, THE BOOK LOVER, was released on May 1st. Here, Maryann talks about her mother's unflinching honesty.
Tayari Jones was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia where she spent most of her childhood with the exception of the one year she and her family spent in Nigeria, West Africa. Although she has not lived in her hometown for over a decade, much of her writing centers on the urban south. Her new novel, SILVER SPARROW, releases in paperback today (May 8th). Here, she talks about how her mother helped her to write the first story she ever published.
Jana Riess, the author of FLUNKING SAINTHOOD and a longtime friend of, lives in Cincinnati and attended Erik Larson’s event this past Saturday afternoon at the Cincinnati Public Library. He is on tour for IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS: Love, Terror, and An American Family in Hitler's Berlin, which is just out in paperback. We asked her to share her thoughts on this event in the following Q&A.