January 2009

Please stop by our tour stops this week and check out these great books and blogs!


The Memorist by MJ Rose

Monday, January 26th:  Savvy Verse and Wit- includes author interview!

img234724751a5bc2f800Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt

Monday, January 26th: Catootes

Author Guest Post “The Perils of Plot” on Catootes

Wednesday, January 28th: Bloody Hell, it’s a Book Barrage!


The Vigorous Mind: Cross-Train Your Brain to Break Through Mental, Emotional, and Professional Boundaries by Ingrid Cummings

Monday, January 26th: A Novel Menagerie

Tuesday, January 27th: Anniegirl1138

Wednesday, January 28th: She is Too Fond of Books

Friday, January 30th: So Not Zen



About Eleanor Bluestein

Tea and Other Ayama Na Tales won the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction in 2007. “In the tradition of Robert Olen Butler and Bob Shacochis,” writes Marly Swick, O. Henry Award winner who selected this book for the prize, “Bluestein is a writer who illuminates our cultural differences, while exploring the intricacies of the human condition.”

Publisher’s Weekly calls Bluestein’s voice “captivating,” and Al Christman, author of Target Hiroshima writes, “These Ayama Na tales are sly, sensuous and sagacious-profoundly funny and profoundly serious.”

Eleanor Bluestein has worked as a science teacher, editor of science textbooks, and designer of multimedia educational materials for Internet delivery. For a decade she co-edited Crawl Out Your Window, a San Diego based literary journal featuring the work of local writers and artists. She wrote fiction and studied French language in Paris, France, in 1989-90. Currently, she lives with her husband in La Jolla, California, where she writes, tends a vegetable garden, and volunteers as a court appointed special advocate for foster children. She has a son and a daughter.

About Tea and other Ayama Na Tales


The ten stories in Tea and other Ayama Na Tales take place in the fictional country of Ayama Na, a small Southeast Asian nation recovering from a devastating internal coup and a long drought, both of which have left the population reeling.

During the coup and its aftermath, roughly a quarter of the population died, including (because they were targeted for extinction) almost all of the country’s artists, intellectuals, musicians, writers, poets and teachers. Land mines pock the countryside, amputees beg on the streets, and in this fledgling democracy, graft and corruption infect every level of government.

Against this backdrop of sorrow and loss, as the ordinary citizens of Ayama Na struggle to rebuild their nation and their personal lives, westernization and pop culture are rushing in, threatening whatever cultural traditions have survived. The characters pulsate with the tension between the modern and the traditional, between personal desire and the impulse to sacrifice for family or country.

Yet, with open hearts and minds, and a huge will to thrive, the gritty characters in these stories go about their daily lives. They cook burgers in McDonald’s, work the streets as prostitutes, run car dealerships, or compete for the Miss Universe title-just some of the circumstances in which the reader encounters them-and they yearn for, strive for, and ache for meaningful lives. Whether kind or cruel, resilient or crushed by their problems, the people of Ayama Na exhibit the tragic and comic elements of people everywhere.

The fictional country of Ayama Na is inspired by the sights and sounds of Southeast Asia.  A street of fortune tellers in Ayama Na borrows details from one in Singapore; royal palaces, Buddha shrines, and hill tribes echo their counterparts in Thailand; sidewalk cafes in Ayama Na’s capital roll up corrugated metal exteriors and blare music to the street as they do in Viet Nam. But in emotional content and historical detail, Ayama Na most closely resembles Cambodia, where a brave young population, still rebuilding both country and culture in the wake of the Khmer Rouge genocide, operates with a seriousness of purpose and good humor that fills the author of this collection with awe and admiration.

She could only imagine these people’s lives….

Please stop by our tour stops this week and check out these great books and blogs!

33927987-1 The Vigorous Mind: Cross-Train Your Brain to Break Through Mental, Emotional, and Professional Boundaries by Ingrid Cummings

Tuesday, January 20th: A Garden Carried In My Pocket

Wednesday, January 21st: 8Asians

cover_memorist_sm1 The Memorist by MJ Rose

Monday, January 19th: The Bluestocking Society

Tuesday, January 20th: She is Too Fond of Books

Wednesday, January 21st: Chain Reading

Thursday, January 22nd: A Striped Armchair

img234724751a5bc2f800 Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt

Monday, January 19th: Caribou’s Mom review and guest post

Tuesday, January 20th: Lost in Lima, Ohio

Wednesday, January 21st: A Novel Menagerie

tom-wilson-150About Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson is the author of the phenomenally popular cartoon Ziggy, which is syndicated internationally in more than 600 newspapers. As President of Ziggy and Friends, Inc., and founder of Character Matters (www.charactermatters.net), Wilson has worked extensively with national organizations, non-profits, and corporations. A frequent speaker, branding consultant, artist, and father of two, Tom continues to write.

3848About Zig-Zagging: Loving Madly, Losing Badly- How Ziggy Saved My Life

An Intersection of Lives, Love, and Loss Throughout a Cartoonist’s Artful Life Journey

For decades Ziggy has fostered a strong, personal connection with millions of readers, and now the man who has been the driving force behind Ziggy for more than two decades shares the dramatic and multidimensional story behind the enigmatic and complex world of cartooning. In this compelling narrative filled with humor, heartache, hope, original artwork, and family photos, Wilson shares his personal recollections as a boy who witnessed the whimsical creation of a future American icon, until adulthood thrusts him into the position of clandestine creative caretaker for Ziggy after his brilliant father, Tom Wilson Sr., becomes chronically ill. When his wife is taken by cancer and leaves him alone to raise two young sons, Wilson must reconcile his anger and paralyzing depression over his devastating loss, while continuing to bring smiles to others around the world in his daily comics.

It is through the process of grieving, reaching the depths of raw despair, that Wilson realizes the meaning of life’s journey. The role Ziggy plays in Wilson’s transformative experience brings clarity and comfort to his creator as together they navigate the tragedies and triumphs of life.

Wilson’s message is that every detour is a destination unto itself, and regardless of our plans, it is what we don’t see coming that often affects us most. Our journeys are a zig-zagging series of unexpected events and it’s up to us to turn them into meaningful destinations with a purpose. Through this book, readers will find humor, and heartache turned to hope, with a familiar and trusted friend, and discover a new one in Tom Wilson.

Tom Wilson’s TLC BOOK TOURS Tour Stops:

Wednesday, March 4th: Traveling Through Time and Space

Thursday, March 5th: Anniegirl1138

Monday, March 9th: Bookfoolery and Babble

Tuesday, March 10th: Widows Quest

Wednesday, March 11th: Not Quite What I Had Planned

Thursday, March 12th: Reading, Writing, and Retirement

Monday, March 16th: Learning to Live

Tuesday, March 17th: Book Addiction

Wednesday, March 18th: Confessions of a Book-a-Holic

Thursday, March 19th: Peeking Between the Pages

Friday, March 20th: Beth Fish Reads

Monday, March 23rd: Literary Menagerie

Tuesday, March 24th:  Joyfully Retired

Wednesday, March 25th: Madeleine’s Book Blog

Thursday, March 26th: Texas Red Books

Friday, March 27th: Bermuda Onion

Monday, March 30th: Should Be Reading

img234724751a5bc2f800 Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt

Monday, January 12th: Savvy Verse and Wit (giveaway and interview!)

Tuesday, January 13th: Educating Petunia

Wednesday, January 14th: Michele- Only One ‘L’

Thursday, January 15th: Book Nut

Friday, January 16th: Anniegirl1138

catherine-bradyAbout Catherine Brady

Catherine Brady’s second short story collection, Curled in the Bed of Love, was the co-winner of the 2002 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and a finalist for the 2003 Binghamton John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Brady’s first collection of short stories, The End of the Class War, was a finalist for the 2000 Western States Book Award in Fiction. Her short story Written in Stone was selected by Lorrie Moore for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2004. Other stories have appeared in numerous journals, including Missouri Review, Ontario Review, Cimarron Review, Kenyon Review, and Redbook, and in anthologies, including Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Loving a Child with Special Needs (forthcoming), I Know Some Things: Stories about Childhood by Contemporary Writers, and The Next Parish Over: A Collection of Irish American Writing. A past winner of the Redbook Young Writers Award, Brady is the recipient of the 2001 Zoetrope: All Story Short Fiction Prize and the Brenda Ueland Prose Prize.

Brady is also the author of a biography of a molecular biologist, Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA. Her critical essays on the craft of fiction have appeared in the Writer’s Chronicle.

Brady received an MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Hollins College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts. She was elected to the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs in 2005 and served as Vice-President (2006) and President (2007). She teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.

About The Mechanics of Falling and Other Stories

mechanics-of-fallingThis book presents eleven new stories that are set in and around San Francisco by an award-winning author. The stories in this collection explore those moments when the seemingly fixed coordinates of our lives abruptly give way – when mother love fractures, a faithful husband abandons his family, a conscientious middle-class life implodes, or loyalty demands an excruciating sacrifice. The characters share a fundamental predicament, the struggle to name and embrace some faith that can break their fall. In equal measure, they hunger for and resist this elusive possibility and what it demands of them. “The Mechanics of Falling and Other Stories” deals with a range of circumstances and relationships, and with characters who must decide what they are willing to risk for the sake of transformation, or for the right to refuse it. The stories trace the effort to traverse the boundaries between one state and another – between conviction and self-doubt, recklessness and despair, resignation and rebellion. And each story propels the reader to imagine what will happen next, to register the unfinished and always precarious quality of every life.

Catherine Brady’s TLC BOOK TOUR Stops:

Wednesday, April 1st: Diary of an Eccentric

Thursday, April 2nd: Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Friday, April 3rd: S. Krishna’s Books

Monday, April 6th: Caribou’s Mom

Wednesday, April 8th: A Simple Walk

Friday, April 10th: Book Club Classics!

Monday, April 13th: …and hijinks ensued.

Wednesday, April 15th: A Blog of Her Own

Thursday, April 16th: Tomorrow is Another Day

Monday, April 20th: The State I Am In

Date TBD: Maw Books Blog

Date TBD: Books on the Brain

Date TBD: Estella’s Revenge

Date TBD: Eleanor’s Trousers

Date TBD: Clever Girl Goes Blog

Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt

img234724751a5bc2f800Monday, January 5th: Diary of an Eccentric includes a giveaway!

Tuesday, January 6th: Ramya’s Bookshelf review and Guest Post by the author

Wednesday, January 7th: The Sleepy Reader

Thursday, January 8th: Crime Ne.ws, formerly Trenchcoat Chronicles