Archive for the ‘Reading Choices’ category

A Thoughtful Critique

October 28, 2013

Bountiful Woman

Bountiful Woman

Last week I had the good fortune to find a few free hours in my hectic schedule. I used them to have lunch with a writer friend and colleague who lives maybe 10 miles away from me. We chose a fabulous spot, one actually pretty much surrounded by the waters of Lake Michigan and a marina, rather empty this time of year as owners are putting their boats into storage for the coming winter.

But the day was a lovely autumn day. The food was fantastic and so were the Bloody Marys.

As for the conversation? Lengthy, thoughtful, stimulating, and writing oriented. She brought up my most recent releases, the novellas comprising Soul String Saga. And she raved about the whole series and what it meant to her as she read it. After listening to her enthusiasm, I commented that I wished more readers were finding this book. I carried the essence of its theme, plot and characters in my heart for more than twenty years.

Well, she blogged about her thoughts regarding Soul String. I’m humbled by her comparison and her feelings regarding this work. Somehow her words became more powerful once she put them in print. So with her permission, I share them with you. Perhaps, you might find this series interesting too.


by Anne Parent

Posted on October 27, 2013
Free to Fly

Free to Fly

I am a feminist. I read Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystic and my life was forever changed. I’m also a romantic and a traditionalist. I know these seem at odds, but I learned that a woman is a product of her many desires. I love a happily ever after ending to a story, my love of romantic fiction. I love powerful women that I find in fiction and I especially love it when they come together.

In the early ‘80s I read Barbara Taylor Bradford’sWoman of Substance and discovered Emma Harte. I was enthralled with the entire Emma Harte saga. I can still see her struggles in building her empire. Emma Harte is symbolic of the feminist movement, but she was more about the costs for a powerful woman.

I have recently discovered another series that has reawakened my past, Casey Clifford’s Soul String Saga. B.J. Kelly spoke to me, as did Emma Harte. B.J. was of my generation, a woman of the ‘70s. Clifford reminded me of what life was like as we opened opportunities for women who came after us. She has so perfectly depicted the choices women were faced with and what they had to give up to step into a man’s world.

However, this is also the story of B.J.’s soul mate and the struggles each of them faced in finding their paths. Every woman should read this series of books to understand why she has the opportunities of today and what women before her endured.

This is the ultimate book of feminism. It is also the ultimate love story.

Feminism is a word that carries strong emotional baggage. Throughout the years it has evolved, sometimes for the good, but not always. For me, it’s about having choices, not having it all. What does it mean to you?

Serene Harbor

Serene Harbor

A Conundrum

August 21, 2010

Two Choices

A few weeks ago I pulled off my bookshelf, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  Now the first time I read this was many years ago, before Oprah found it, and I borrowed it from the college library where I worked.  Now this was a very good thing because as a faculty member I didn’t have to return the book in two weeks.

It’s a huge book but I was teaching full time, being busy as a wife and mother and all the tasks that was part of those roles.  And while I read every day, my reading time was limited—so I needed more than two weeks to finish the book.

Because I loved the book so much the concept and the general plot stayed with me all these years.  A few years ago I purchased the soft cover version as I knew I wanted to read it again.  I pulled it off my shelf and started reading it, discovering all over again why I remembered this book.

But my hands objected.  My hands have developed some arthritis and holding that large book became very difficult.  Because it’s so heavy.  And the print is small.  Instead of becoming engrossed once again in the story, all I could think about was how much my hands hurt, how heavy the book was, and the eye strain.

You guessed it; I set the book aside.  Fear not, my hubby picked it up and is reading Pillars now. But I wanted to read it.  So I checked to see if it was available on Kindle.  You guessed it.  I’m happy because now I have it on my lightweight Kindle where I can adjust the font to the best size for me.  Sure Pillars will take me a while to read it, but it will be so much easier.

The situation brought home to me a very important concept.  Any books I buy in the future will have to be light weight and NOT in incredibly small print.  I guess that’s a reason why I’ve been drawn to trade size paperbacks—the print is generally larger, darker and the book while larger than the usual size paperback still fits in my purse but is easier for me to hold.

Anyway, I’m very happy with my Kindle and today I was at my writers’ group picnic meeting and a spontaneous discussion evolved about e-readers, who has them, what they like and don’t like about them.  I’m not quite sure how this discussion developed but I added why I liked my Kindle.  Others were talking about the ones they have.  So here’s a group of writers who are also talking about digital book readers of various kinds and investing in them.

Which brings me to a few news items I’ve read in the last few weeks. For example two print publishers, Dorchester and Medallion, are going to digital versions of all books first and after a few months, then maybe a print cover book.  Amazon’s Kindle books outsold hardcover books for the first time.  The publishing world as it was twenty years ago, even ten years ago, is changing.  Even Barnes and Noble appears to have its problems.

Sailing Choices

What does all this mean to me as a writer?  I suspect I’ll be learning new ways of doing things.  The process for getting published may be an even more difficult journey than it is now.  The steps are likely also to have changes.  And that’s just what I think at the moment without deep thought.  But I know I will find excitement in the journey.

What I know will stay the same?  That writers will still write great stories.  We will find our readers.  And we will find new methods of connecting our stories with them.

What do I know as a reader?  Whether I read a book or a digital version, I can depend on the writers in this world to keep those books coming in whatever format evolves.  I will be waiting.  I know others will also.