Month: January 2015

Megan Mayhew Bergman, Heather Webb, Alison Jean Lester & Nellie Hermann on tonight’s #LitNewEngland Radio Show!

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Four fabulous women talk about four fabulous books! Tune in to the Literary New England Radio Show at 8 pm tonight for book giveaways and conversations with:

If you can’t listen live, be sure to download the episode as an iTunes podcast or stream from the Literary New England Radio Show archives.

The moving, bittersweet Sweetland (@MichaelCrummey @LiverightPub)

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I made two loaves of bread and a pot of vegetable soup today, inspired by both the snow and Michael Crummey’s novel Sweetland, which I finished around 1 am. At the time I interviewed him for last week’s Literary New England Radio Show, I hadn’t read more than the first dozen pages. I was waist-high in another book and am not someone who can read more than one at a time. But after talking with Crummey, and hearing Sweetland’s backstory, I decided to move it to the top of the to-reads. I’m so glad I did.

Set on a remote island off the coast of Newfoundland and sparsely–yet powerfully–written, Sweetland is a story about choices, family, truths, power, love, loyalty and secrets. It’s a story about a man named Moses Sweetland, who has nothing yet everything. Like Moses, most of those who live on the island of Sweetland (which Moses’ family settled) have never had any other home, or known life to be any other way. Among them are Queenie Coffin, who hasn’t stepped outside her house since 1970; the drug-addled Priddle brothers, who see Moses as a father; Duke Fewer, who keeps a barbershop but never gives a haircut; and Moses’ fragile young nephew Jesse, whose connection to the island is as primal and essential as Moses’. I’d love to spend a day there with all of them.

On Sweetland, stews made of rabbit, fish, potatoes and other island-borne ingredients make up a good part of Moses’ diet. So my dinner tonight is sort of an homage to him and Crummey’s terrific book. If Sweetland isn’t get on your reading radar, it should be. You can learn more about the book from its official website. You can also listen to my conversation with Crummey in the Literary New England Radio Show Archives. As Moses might say, I thinks yous be glad not to miss it.

– Cindy Wolfe Boynton @writercindywb

Taking a ride with The Girl On The Train (@PaulaHWrites @riverheadbooks)

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Laundry. The Christmas lights that should already be down. The article I needed to write. None of it gone done last Saturday, thanks to Paula Hawkins’ The Girl On The Train. I started it a few hours before I had to go to my son Steven’s fencing tournament, which was a mistake. I was so taken and infuriated with protagonist Rachel that there was no way I could leave her for the five or six hours I’d be at the high school. So I slid my iPad into my purse and hoped my son won’t notice me looking down at my lap in the bleachers. Of course, he did. And of course, I closed the iPad cover when he fenced. But otherwise, I could not put this book down. PR and advance reviews for The Girl On The Train say it’s a “chilling, assured debut,” “the most hotly anticipated thriller of 2015,” “better than Gone Girl.” One of the reasons I like it so much better than Gone Girl is because Rachel is so much more likeable than Amy. Both have been wronged by the men they love, and both are nuts. But while most of the time I wanted to give Amy several sharp slaps, what I wanted to give Rachel was a hug. And then maybe a gentle slap. And then take her to an AA meeting. Fast.

I’ll be interviewing Paula Hawkins in early February and airing our talk on the Monday, Feb. 9, Literary New England Radio Show. Listeners will have the chance to win a copy of the unputdownable The Girl On The Train, so please plan to tune in. In the meantime, if you’ve read it, tell me what you think. I just might weave your comments into the Feb. 9 show.  

– Cindy Wolfe Boynton @writercindywb

Louisa Treger, Michael Crummey, Priya Parmar & Henry Faulkner on the Jan 19 Literary New England Radio Show

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Virginia Woolf appears in two of the novels we’ll talk about on the Monday, Jan. 19, Literary New England Radio Show, with one chosen by Oprah’s O Magazine as a “mesmerizing” winter must-read. Another title on this episode has been likened to Annie Proulx’s most magnificent “The Shipping News.” Join us at 8 pm for conversations and book giveaways as we feature:

  • Louisa Treger  on The Lodger: A Novel
  • Michael Crummey by Sweetland
  • Priya Parmar on Vanessa and Her Sister
  • Henry Faulkner on Sprouting Wings

If you can’t listen live, be sure to download the episode as an iTunes podcast or stream from the Literary New England Radio Show archives.