Who’s That Author? Truman Capote

I just finished reading In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, a book Capote termed a “nonfiction novel,” based on the 1959 murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas. Capote, with his childhood friend, Harper Lee, researched the story and Capote wrote what is considered his masterpiece. While I work on my review, here’s some background information about Truman Capote.

Book Club Mom

Truman Capote/Image: Wikipedia

Which Truman Capote do you know? The author who wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood? The life of the party and confidante of New York socialites? The host of the famous 1966 Black and White Ball in New York? The frequent guest on The Dick Cavett Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and The Mike Douglas Show? He was all of these.

Truman Capote (1924 – 1984) was an American author who wrote fiction, nonfiction and plays. Capote had a big personality and loved to mingle and gossip with high society. A flamboyant dresser with eccentric taste, Capote was open about his homosexuality. He was also a serious writer, dedicated to his craft.

Capote was born in New Orleans. His father was a con-man and his parents separated when he was a toddler. He spent his early years with relatives…

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I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan

I just finished reading The Library Book by Susan Orlean and I’m working on a review. Meantime, to get you in the library mood, here’s a great book about what it’s like to work at a public library.

Book Club Mom

I Work at a Public Library
Gina Sheridan


Here’s a great collection of library stories straight “from the stacks.” Gina Sheridan, a public librarian in St. Louis, Missouri, has seen it all at her job.  From unusual requests and confused questions to lonesome souls looking for conversation, she uses more than her library degree to guide her patrons. At my library job, I field a lot of questions, particularly about how to use the public computers, so I can definitely relate to this one:

A man using the public computer asked me for help.

MAN:  Yeah, what’s the difference between Microsoft Word, Google Chrome and a website?

ME:  Well Word is a program you use to type something up, like a letter or a resume. Chrome is an Internet browser you’d use to look at website. And a website is a space on the Internet to exchange information.

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School Days, Reminiscences of Barbara Vitelli

What are your earliest memories of school? What were your favorite subjects? I’m answering these and other questions today Norah Colvin’s blog, as part of her School Days, Reminiscences series. I hope you’ll hop over and take a look!

Norah Colvin

Welcome to the School Days, Reminiscences series in which my champion bloggers and authors share reminiscences of their school days. It’s my small way of thanking them for their support and of letting you know about their services and publications.

This week, I am pleased to introduce Book Club MomBarbara Vitelli, fellow book lover, librarian, blogger and fiction writer. We’ve been following each other’s blogs for a few years now. I enjoy reading Barbara’s book reviews and have read the occasional book as a result of Barbara’s recommendation. In fact, I’m currently listening to The Other Wes Moore One Name Two Fates, a memoir and New York Times Bestseller that Barbara reviewed. What a fascinating story with a strong theme of ‘that could have been me’ and how circumstances influence life’s outcomes. What makes the audiobook even more special is that Wes reads it. A great…

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Joy in the Morning by P.G. Wodehouse

From the archives – I always laugh when I read P.G. Wodehouse – if you’ve never read one of his ridiculous stories, try Joy in the Morning. I bet you’ll become a fan!

Book Club Mom

Just Enough Jeeves

Joy in the Morning
Just Enough Jeeves
P.G. Wodehouse

5 book marks

Imagine a scenario in which ridiculous characters bumble through a series of hilarious coincidences and an equal number of snafus, all in the name of love, marriage and a big business deal. That’s the main idea in Joy in the Morning, the first of three short novels included in Just Enough Jeeves, a great introduction to P.G. Wodehouse’s famous characters, a twenty-something Bertie Wooster and his manservant Jeeves.

In this story, Bertie and Jeeves leave London and head for the quiet hamlet of Steeple Bumpleigh. To anyone wishing to escape a hectic metropolis, Steeple Bumpleigh sounds great. Bertie describes it as located “in the midst of smiling fields and leafy woods, hard by a willow-fringed river.” It’s a place where “you couldn’t have thrown a brick in it without hitting a honeysuckle-covered cottage or beaning an…

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Who’s That Indie Author? Diana Stevan

Hello, I’m reblogging Diana Stevan’s author profile to coincide with the release of her newest book, Sunflowers Under Fire. Take a look!

Book Club Mom

Author name:  Diana Stevan

Genre:  Women’s Fiction

Books:  A Cry From The Deep and The Rubber Fence


Stevan’s latest book, Sunflowers Under Fire, will be published in May 2019.

When did you begin your writing career?  I seriously took up writing after I retired from my psychotherapy private practice about twenty-five years ago.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I’m a bit of both, but mostly a pantser. I’m not great at mapping everything out ahead of time. I like the characters to take me on unexpected journeys which lead me to re-imagining my story.

What’s your working style – morning or late-night writer?  I get up early and write throughout the day.

Do you work at a computer or write long-hand?  I use a computer to write. I’m afraid if I used long-hand, I’d have difficulty reading my…

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The Ha Ha by Dave King

From the archives, a review of The Ha Ha by Dave King. I’m not sure why this book didn’t receive more attention, but I thought it was very good, so I’m sharing it again. My book club read it years ago and we had a great discussion about it. And, in case you’re wondering, a ha ha has nothing to do with laughter, it’s a ditch with a wall on its inner side!

Book Club Mom

the ha ha picThe Ha Ha
Dave King


The Ha Ha is an excellent novel about a Viet Nam vet with a severe brain injury, leaving him unable to speak. Thirty years after returning from Viet Nam, Howard Kapostash suddenly finds himself taking care of 9-year-old Ryan, whose mother Sylvia (Howard’s high school girlfriend) is in rehab for a cocaine addiction. Howard is middle-aged. His parents are dead. He lives in the house he grew up in with a detached group of boarders. Laurel, the only female, is a 30-something owner of a small gourmet soup business and helps Howard maintain the house. Two 30ish house painters, Steve and Harrison are new boarders.

Written through Howard’s viewpoint, this is a story of how Ryan comes to be the force that joins these people together, how Howard struggles to care for Ryan and how all the characters assume new roles. Howard’s actions…

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What’s That Book? Leaving the Beach by Mary Rowen

Hi, Happy Tuesday! I’m reblogging yesterday’s post because I have new information. I was so pleased to receive a message from Mary Rowen, author of Leaving the Beach. She wanted to let readers know that, although her book is currently out of print, a newly edited version of the book should be available again in June 2019.

Learn more about Mary at MaryRowen.com and on Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Club Mom

TitleLeaving the Beach

Author:  Mary Rowen

Genre: Fiction

Rating:  4 stars

What’s it about?  The story of Erin Reardon and her search for happiness. Told in the first person and set in the working class town of Winthrop, Massachusetts, readers get to know Erin in alternating time periods—in the 1970s and ‘80s as an awkward teenager and college student, and in the 1990s as a young adult. As a slightly overweight teenager, Erin struggles to fit in, but finds comfort in music, to the point of obsession, as she latches on to a string of rock stars, certain that they are the only ones who understand her: Jim Morrison, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and the fictional grunge rocker, Lenny Weir, Erin’s main obsession. But Erin has major problems. Trouble at home and feelings of guilt and inadequacy lead to an eating disorder, alcohol…

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Blog views and other obsessions – back up that blog!

One of the first blog posts I read this morning was by my author friend, Jill Weatherholt, in which she related how her hard drive was wiped out due to a Windows update. (You can read her post here: https://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com/) Just like Jill’s romance stories, she had a happy ending because she had a back-up!

That got me asking myself, “When’s the last time I backed up my hard drive?” Well it had been a while so as soon as I got home from work today, I backed it up. Then I backed up my blog! You can do that for free using a WordPress tool, available on the Dashboard. Thanks to Hugh’s Views and News (click here: http://linkis.com/hughsviewsandnews.com/ZLsj4) for telling me how! I wrote a post about it a couple years ago, so I’m sharing it again in case you want to do the same.

I feel better now. Happy blogging! 🙂

Book Club Mom

Updated 1/25/19

Source: brainsonfire.com

“You’d better make a back-up.” How many times have you given and received that worthy piece of advice? Backing up important things is always a good idea, but did you ever think about backing up your blog?


Think about all the time you have invested in your blog. Would you want to lose that? Although WordPress already backs up your blog, lots of unusual things can happen. Think hacking and crashes. I like to be in charge of my files and I feel better when I know I have a backup right here at home.

WordPress has a built-in tool to export and download a backup to your computer, so why not take advantage of this free utility?  If you ever switch to a different blog, you can also use this tool to export your content to your new blog.

Here’s how:

  • Go to your…

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Five-Star Short Fiction

It’s a busy time of the year and we all have long lists of things to do. This list of great short fiction is the kind of list to enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Book Club Mom

I think short fiction is one of the greatest types of literature. The compressed stories, intense situations, surprising ironic twists and abrupt finishes are some of the things I love about short stories. They always leave me thinking! Here’s a list of my favorites. What are yours?

a rose for emily pic

“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner

Best American Short Stories 1993

“An Angel on the Porch” by Thomas Wolfe

Babylon Revisited

“Babylon Revisited” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Best American Short Stories 1994

“Cold Snap” by Thom Jones

Scribner Anthology big

“Death by Landscape” by Margaret Atwood

Scribner Anthology big

“Gryphon” by Charles Baxter

in the gloaming

“In the Gloaming” by Alice Elliott Dark

Best American Short Stories 1993

“Red Moccasins” by Susan Power

Scribner Anthology big

“Same Place, Same Things” by Tim Gautreaux

the chrysanthemums pic

“The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck

The Horse Dealer's Daughter new

“The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” by D. H. Lawrence

The Most Dangerous Game

“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell

The Necklace pic

“The Necklace”
by Guy de Maupassant

The Oblong Box

“The Oblong Box” by Edgar Allan Poe

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty new

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

“The Short Happy Life of Francis…

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What to read while you wait for the trick-or-treaters

Halloween is almost here and I haven’t bought my candy yet. But I’d rather put that off until the last minute and re-read one of these Halloween-ish books instead!

Book Club Mom

Image: Pixabay

While you wait for trick-or-treaters tonight, why not pick up a spooky read? Take a look at these stories about creepy boxes, monsters, spirits, witchcraft and haunted houses:

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein – A family is trapped in generations of dysfunction, haunted by unsettled ghosts and spirits.

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – A risky experiment to create life. The result? A grotesque monster that escapes and must deal with a world in which he has no place.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – This classic fits into several categories and gothic is one of them! What is the secret behind those noises upstairs?

The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni – Caged graves outside a cemetery, mystery, romance and witchcraft fill the pages of this excellent 1800s story about a seventeen-year-old girl who returns to her home town to marry.

“The Oblong Box” by Edgar…

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