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FEATURED AUTHOR:

ELIZABETH BERG
I was recently on vacation with my sister and we were discussing some of our favorite authors.  We have similar taste in books and enjoy recommending authors to each other.  We discovered that we both enjoy the novels of Anne Tyler, Alice Hoffman and Elizabeth Berg.  Soon after our discussion I decided to look up and see just how many of Elizabeth Berg's books I had read.  I discovered that I had read ten of her twenty six books.  At that time I came across a quote from the Chicago Sun-Times:  "...Berg sits somewhere between Anne Tyler and Alice Hoffman." It is no wonder that I find all three authors appealing!
 
On her website, www.elizabeth-berg.net, Berg states that working as a nurse for 10 years taught her "...about human nature, about hope and fear and love and loss and regret and ....especially about relationships--all things that I tend to focus on in my work."  That quote gets to the heart of what you can expect when you dive into an Elizabeth Berg novel. 
 
Home Safe:  This is one of my favorites.  Even though critics gave mixed reviews I feel Berg does a great job writing the story of a recent widow, Helen, who is a successful author now suffering a bad case of writer's block.  As she is grieving for a wonderful husband who handled "everything" she makes a surprising discovery that makes her question how well she knew him.  Helen becomes overly involved in her grown daughter's life and meddles and offers unsolicited advise.  Berg's writing is kind, insightful and always displays a gentle humor.  On her website she gives a very short synopsis of each of her books and then tells her inspiration for the story.  This novel was inspired by Berg's own writer's block.
 
The Pull of the Moon:  One of her earlier novels that I definitely related to and enjoyed.  This novel, written as a journal and letters, features Nan who turns 50 and experiences a mid life crisis.  She leaves her husband and home and takes a road trip to rediscover who she is.  One funny bit is when she is trying to decide what to eat and she realizes she has been cooking what her family wanted for so long that she can no longer remember what SHE likes. Anne Tyler has written a novel with a very similar plot called Ladder of Years.  I also enjoyed Tyler's book but don't expect the happy ending that Elizabeth Berg supplies.  Berg's inspiration for this novel came from her trying to decide whether or not to buy an expensive journal.  She asked herself the question, who would buy this?, and the character of Nan and her story came to her.
 
Durable Goods, Joy School and True to Form:  I listed these titles together because they all feature the same character.  I really loved these books but they may not appeal to you if you are not a fan of coming of age stories.  The novels all feature 12-13 year old Katie Nash who is an "Army brat" who has lost her mother to cancer and is being brought up by an abusive father.  The story is told from Katie's perspective and you experience the joys and heartbreak of a young teenager through her experiences.  Elizabeth Berg's inspiration for these novels was her own life, moving around frequently and growing up afraid of her military officer father.  Durable Goods was Berg's first novel and it remains her favorite of all the books she has written.
 
I also loved Talk Before Sleep, a story of cancer and female friendships.  A sad story line but inspiring and heartwarming.  What We Keep, a novel about two sisters visiting their mother for the first time in 35 years, is another excellent novel.  Open House, an Oprah book club pick, was one of her most popular books but not one of my personal favorites.
 
I hope you will give Elizabeth Berg a try.  A regular customer at the bookstore recently discovered her and keeps coming back and buying several of her books on each visit.  If you find you do like her writing then you will have an enjoyable dilemma trying to figure out which of her books to buy next!
 
Jill B.
 
 

Loss
November is usually a time of Giving Thanks.  This year our hearts are heavy for all of you who have suffered loss during the horrible wildfires that swept through our county.  We are thankful for all who survived, the way the community has come together & for all of the amazing first responders who helped keep us safe.  As we all begin to adjust to the “new normal”, we want to be there for you.  If you have suffered losses during this time, please let us know.  We would love to provide you with free reading material to help take a moment away from your troubles, and to help you begin to rebuild your lives.  We have many books available on grief & dealing with loss as well as light reading to transport you to a different place.  Please let us know if we can help you in this way.  Also, if you lost your store credit during the fire, we will gladly replace it for you.  Peace.

Hours
We are once again open our regular hours: 

Mon-Sat 10-5:30
Sun 12-4:00


We will be closed
November 23rd
in honor of
Thanksgiving
Are you a Writer at Heart?
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