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"...the last act of secular prayer"

Sophie, the bride-to-be and avid reader, has no time for books lately – she’s getting married next Saturday.

We’re all in a tizzy!

Despite so much humming and buzzing and whirling surrounding me, Autumn is upon us—a beautiful time to curl up with a good book when you’re not grasping those last rays of lazy summer sunshine.

Besides the frenzy and the joy of the upcoming family wedding, I’m feeling a chill in the air and pull to my favorite reading chair. There’s something about this time of year that makes me want to immerse myself in a compelling read.

Writers hang out with writers so no big surprise that I want to recommend two books written by my friends:

"This enchanting memoir is both a hymn to the open sea and a homage to the human heart. In lyrical passages Redmond shares inspirational moments that touch upon wonders beyond reason...If you've ever wanted to leave everything behind and sail off into the sunset (and who hasn't?), 'Honeymoon at Sea' welcomes you aboard."

And about Judy Reeves, my longtime writing mentor and author of multiple books, her newest - When Your Heart Says Go — My Year of Traveling Beyond Loss and Loneliness, is full of romance and emotion and travel.

Click on this link to see what the San Diego Union Tribune had to say in its’ feature on Judy.

Not all writers are my friends, (not all my friends are writers either!) but I do want to recommend these really good reads:

The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store – If you liked Deacon King Kong, you’re gonna’ really love James McBride’s newest – an endlessly rich saga which highlights the different ways in which people look out for one another. Brilliant concept, right?

McBride tells a vibrant tale of Chicken Hill, a working-class neighborhood of Jewish, Black, and European immigrant families in Pottstown, Pa., where the 1972 discovery of a human skeleton unearths events that took place several decades earlier.

How to Find Your Way into the Dark by Derek B. Miller – I’m only halfway through this one, but finding it compelling. Here’s The New York Times review:

"It's 1936, war is brewing, tempers are running high, and by his thirteenth birthday, Sheldon Horowitz has been orphaned - twice. While a terrible accident took his mother, Sheldon is convinced that his father was murdered. But no-one else thinks so, least of all the police.

'Miller juggles each element effortlessly. His character portraits are indelible, often heartbreaking. At times this novel moved me to tears."

Lastly, without a doubt, the best book of my summer—Tom Lake by one of my favorite writers, Anne Patchett. I must confess I did NOT read it; I listened to the magnificent Meryl Streep tell the store on However, I liked it so much that I also bought the hardcover.

And, I just bought tickets to hear her speak in November. Here’s the link if you’re in San Diego and they’re not sold out. When I heard her last time, I was surprised by how funny she is. A brilliant writer and a stand-up comedienne too!

Here’s wishing you a good read.

Reading is the last act of secular prayer.

Even if you’re reading in an airport, you’re making a womb unto yourself…you are also outside the realm of the time.

Richard Powers, Paris Review

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1 Comment

Oh Sophie--the bride! How exciting is this, Marilyn. I can feel your excitement in your words and well, maybe that's what's making the leaves shimmy on the trees in my yard. A lovely October wedding. That golden light and blessed by Venus, goddess of love and beauty, and the ruling planet of Libra. And thank you for the beautiful blessing of my book, too. Your attention to me and my book (and Jenny's too) in the same post as more about your granddaughter's wedding feels really special Thank you.

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