February Musings

Wyatt is checking out one of the orchids.

The skies are clear and the sun is bright. But the coolness in the air is telling me that it is, indeed ,February.  I am in the midst of the most successful lecture season yet. Visiting great clubs, showing off amazing novels, many that are not even published until spring and summer. Life is good.

A couple weeks ago my daughter, Alicia, flew down for a weekend. Sans kids and husband. We had big plans.

Alicia and Me at Hamilton

Yes, we had a blast at a matinee of the block-buster musical, Hamilton. We both loved every minute of it. I had been concerned that I might not be able to understand some of it. After all, I am not a big fan of rap music. And there is a lot of that in this musical. Not to fear, it was easy to keep up with and we did not miss a beat.

Alicia is a reader. So I went through my upcoming books to let her know what is going to be great. She left with more books than she came with. All good.

American Dirt

Shortly after Alicia left, the controversy over AMERICAN DIRT began to fester, and then it just ignited and blew sky high. To tell you the truth, I was shocked. As most of you know, I read the manuscript for AMERICAN DIRT over a year ago. I found it to be the most compelling literary thriller I had ever read. I still do. In fact, the publisher added my blurb to the review copies that went out all over the country. I was in good company: Stephen King; Don Winslow; Tara Conklin; Sarah Blake, along with many booksellers from all over the country. When the finished copy came out the bookseller’s blurbs had been left out in order to add some pretty big author’s names. Kristin Hannah, Ann Patchett, Sandra Cisneros, John Grisham and Julia Alvarez. King even went on to say that the prose is immaculate. These are authors I respect and admire. And trust.

Blurb from American Dirt

So, I am saddened and disheartened to hear the backlash about the novel. First of all, it’s a NOVEL. It’s hard for me to address this.  This important book has an audience. And it’s making people understand how desperate a person would be to do what Lydia Perez did in AMERICAN DIRT.  I have read mostly wonderful reviews of AMERICAN DIRT. But it’s the harsh and hurtful ones that are getting most of the attention, sadly.  Have you read Lauren Groff’s review in New York Times? It’s super. And she is one of this country’s best writers.  So, I say to you, read the book and try to read it with an open mind. Make your own decision. I’m grateful to have been able to read the book before anyone else. I just knew I loved it and I knew it would be so important. I also believe everyone should read it. Not looking for flaws, but for the experience.

We have some great books coming out this month.  I’m currently reading

Apeirogon

APEIROGON by Colum McCann.  This man can WRITE. He can make a dust ball blowing around in a NYC alley sound amazing. A great one to look forward to is A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD by Therese Anne Fowler. Once slated to come out  this month I believe they have pushed it back to March. It is wonderful.

A Good Neighborhood

Tomorrow I’m looking forward to the weekly market near my new house. The vendor line-up swells exponentially during season and I know I can find the freshest veggies and fruits as well as organic meat and locally grown herbs and even cat grass. It’s a nice time wandering in and out of the tents enjoying the local color.

Cheers! I sure hope you’re reading something wonderful.

 

 

 

Maurice’s December Musings

Copperfish Gals

SBS Copperfish Gals

For me, Small Business Saturday truly kicks off the holiday season. This past Saturday was a stellar day for us at Copperfish Books. Our loyal customers were eagerly waiting for us to open the doors. Such a rush of happiness and joy to have a store filled with book-loving shoppers  eager to participate in the biggest holiday shopping day of the year.  They came from near and far. Barbara from Naples, it was such a pleasure to see your radiant smile in the crowd. You truly snagged some of the season’s best books.  Thank you for spending your day with us!

literary candles

December is usually all about the holidays and family.  However, since we’re moving into our new house at the end of the month, December is a lot different for us this year. For one thing we are not putting up any decorations, nor are we having a tree. I will miss the tree and look forward to having a real tree in our new house next year. The other big thing is that we will be on a cruise during the week of Christmas. Will not be with family. This is a first. But this year we needed to do something special just for us. Since our anniversary cruise over the summer was cancelled due to the new travel restrictions on cruise ships in Cuba, we decided to go all out and so I booked this cruise never dreaming we would be buying a new house so soon. Man oh man. But we are looking forward to relaxing and having someone else pamper us. We’ve booked massages and special dinners and plan to spend Christmas Day on St. John exploring the island.

In the midst of all this excitement, I’m working diligently on my winter Book Talks. I have some fabulous books to present and am looking forward to seeing all my book friends. January is going to be a HUGE month for me. And for books. Some of my favorites are coming out in January. Can’t wait.

As I pack up the house and all the books, I have a helper: the Fabulous Miss Mimi.

Fabulous Miss Mimi

And Kiki is making sure all her favorite stuffed mice get packed. Every time I turn around I am finding another mouse in the bottom of a big box. So cute.

Edison

I want to mention a big book that just came out.

EDISON is the perfect book for gift-giving this year! It’s great for everyone. Thomas Edison lived here in our backyard. So much in this part of Florida is dedicated to this brilliant man who gave us so much technology. We have copies of EDISON at Copperfish and they are 20% off.  You need this book!

I hope you get the chance to visit us at Copperfish this holiday season. We have such unique and fun gifts and books. And we have the best booksellers  who can personally recommend books just for you.  And don’t forget that there are unique little shops right next to us as well as great little eateries. If I don’t see you during the holidays I hope to see you when I visit your club this winter.

Book Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. And, as always, I wish you all a good book!

Maurice’s August Musings

Ixora

Bright orange ixora plants are bursting with color this month.  I’ve been taking advantage of their multitude by keeping fresh cuttings on the kitchen counter.

August is being ushered in with storms that come at any given time of the day or night. Most mornings have arrived with distant rumblings and even great downpours. I truly feel as if I live in the tropics this summer.

I’m reading some great stuff.  Just posted my review of THE WOMEN OF THE COPPER COUNTRY by Mary Doria Russell.

The Women of the Copper Country

An absolutely stunning adaptation of life in Michigan in the copper mines. Loved it!

Olive, Again

OLIVE, AGAIN by Elizabeth Strout is coming in October. You are in for a treat. I love this cranky old woman named Olive Kitteridge and was happy to have her back!

My husband Jack and I took our six-year-old granddaughter, Alana, shopping for back to school supplies. How fun was that? I really am kicking myself for not getting a photo of her as her sisters had dressed her up and plopped a unicorn tiara on her lovely head.

Unicorn Backpack

I’ll be doing the back to school shopping again next week, this time with the Asheville grandkids.

Writing candle

 

 

 

 

 

My daughter gave me this lovely inspirational candle for Christmas. With its divine aroma it’s perfect for setting the tone. I’ve been lighting it a lot lately.

Have I put a book aside recently? I have. I am cringing even writing this. Ugh. Sadly, THE DUTCH HOUSE by Ann Patchett didn’t do it for me.  I carefully set it aside after 200 pages. To tell you the honest truth, I was bored to death.  I am a Patchett fan, but not of all her books. This one, not so much.

Jack and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary at an unlikely venue. Unlikely for a celebration. At 7:45 P.M. on July 23 we were at Viscaya-Prado Animal Hospital with our senior cat, Siena, who we call Tiny. She is twelve and very sweet. But she was sick and so off we went. They gave her a  shot to fix her up. Bladder infection. We got Chinese food and made a big cocktail and called it a successful night. Cheers! Priorities change over the years.

The Winemaker’s Wife

One of my favorite authors, Kristin Harmel, releases her new novel, THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE next week. I am wild about this book. In this year filled and overflowing with WW11 books, this is the stand out. Kristin has honed her craft and brings  a novel of France and its wine country to the table. Her ability to infuse her stories with memorable characters continues to shine here. Review next week.

Quasi Maximus

I tried to enlarge part of this photo so you could actually see the HUGE lizard behind our house near the canal. We have named him Quasi Maximus. He is deserving of the title since he’s so much larger than the smaller one from last year. My husband saw him first.  I ran to the lanai and got this picture. Honestly, he was  five feet long and fat. In our backyard. Ugly, too. And he sure can run.

We’ve been watching YELLOWSTONE on television this summer. Have fallen head over heels for it and now I am ready to visit cowboy country in a big way.

Summertime in S.W. Florida always seems to fly by. This summer is no exception. I already have bookclub leaders checking in making sure they are booked for the upcoming season.  You know I’m reading far ahead. You know you can count on me to bring you all the amazing information about great books.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

We, at Copperfish Books, are also working hard behind the scenes to bring you extraordinary events throughout the upcoming season. Just wait until you hear our line-up. Happy reading!

Is It Really Already July? Musings From Maurice

As I sit at the computer on this sultry Sunday afternoon in July, I can’t help wondering where the first half of the summer has disappeared. Holy cow. Our country has just celebrated Independence Day and that means we’re way into summer. The rumbling of a thunderstorm has already pierced the sky on the Cape where I live. Makes for a great reading day, though. You know me, always ready with a great book or books! I’m currently reading GIRLS LIKE US by Cristina Alger. I love her writing and have been following her through three novels. Now she’s penned this wonderful murder mystery. Perfect for summer.

Girls Like Us

The Critics Choice and Elaine Newton’s lecture series will soon be listed for the upcoming season. The six books have already been chosen and I have just been alerted by Elaine that there will be one more surprise. And it’s a good one! I will post on the blog when announced.

I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of THE NEW GIRL

The New Girl

by Daniel Silva. Let me tell you that it is truly a masterpiece. This thriller is amazing. Review to follow on pub day.

It’s hard to believe but bookings are still coming in for the upcoming season. And I am hard at reading to keep up so I can once again offer you the best books with the most complete information.  I’m reading far into the new year now and just had the pleasure of reading

A Good Neighborhood

A GOOD NEIGHBOR by Therese Anne Fowler. Comes out in February 2020. and you are going to want to hold onto your hat. This one is a real page-turner. Her best yet.

THE THROW DOWN: What did I toss lately? I can’t say I tossed it, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea,  FLEISHMAN IS IN TROUBLE had a great start. Quickly caught my interest. It’s being raved about in certain high circles and even by reviewers I really admire.  It’s a matter of taste. I don’t think it’s for most of my readers. Boom!

Fleishman Is In Trouble

We’ve had a bit of stress going on around our house. Our Wyatt has been dealing with some mysterious ailment.  He even had to undergo a kitty cat colonoscopy. Yes, very stressful. We’ve just recently been given a diagnosis. IBD. Wow, in a cat. Who knew? We are so relieved it isn’t something worse. Still, it’s something we will have to be on top of all the time. Wyatt is a big part of our family and we cherish him.

Like a lot of this country we’ve  been watching a wonderful series on TV this summer.  Outlander is a great show. I love that my husband also loves it. Some of it is harsh, but the story is wonderful and the characters divine. I know many of you know this story through the amazing series by Diana Gabaldon.

It is finally confirmed. I am flying to Asheville in August to lead Camp Mom Mom. I’m returning for the third summer. It’s exciting. I will make sure I visit as many of the bookstores with the kids as I possibly can.  French Broad Chocolate. The usual suspects. I never tire of this. Looking forward to a bear siting in the neighborhood.  And  maybe even a tea party on the deck overlooking those amazing mountains.

Last month I mentioned my husband and I would be traveling to Cuba this month to celebrate our anniversary. Well, low and behold, as things will happen, our cruise is not to be.  So, we put our heads together and decided we would go bigger…. And we did. We have booked a seven day cruise during Christmas week. Yes, not fooling around. Merry Christmas to us.

In the next few days I will be posting the last of the summer reading. Some great stuff!

Cheers!