Celebrating Barbara Delinsky’s Birthday

Barbara Delinsky is one of my favorite writers. Her birthday was yesterday. Sixteen of her books are on my shelves. I’ve loved every one and have read several more than once.

Her life is rich with experiences that I believe have informed her writing. I was amused to learn that she got kicked out of high school Honors English and that her first pen name was Bonnie Drake.

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Steps and Exes by Laura Kalpakian

Laura Kalpakian wrote my all-time favorite line in Steps and Exes:

“Bullshit,” said Eve,

but not too loud.

The book is set at Useless Point on Isadora Island, a fictional artistic enclave in the San Juan Islands of the Pacific Northwest. The heroine, Celia Henry, became a young widow before she realized her late husband was not Henry West ~ she had married Henry Westervelt, the scion of a lumber baron family. Her life is unconventional and filled with a tribe of step children and ex-spouses and lovers. She runs a bed and breakfast on property that belonged to Henry’s great aunt Sophia. (See Educating Waverly by Laura Kalpakian.)

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Great Books by Susan Wiggs

When life hands me lemons, I go on a search for someone good at making lemonade or margaritas at a profit. This is why Susan Wiggs is my favorite author. She’s brilliant ~ she’s got a degree in math from Harvard. She’s funny, gorgeous, and sexy. She’s independent and super-successful in her personal life as well as her professional life. Like the heroines in her books, she’s resourceful, resilient, and generous. She’s better than Oprah at surrounding herself with terrific friends and colleagues. All her books are great escapes that teach me something important.

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The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas

Marilyn Stanton, my guardian angel at the Watseka, IL Public Library, recommended this book to me. It is one of my favorites. I hope y’all will read it and decide to make lots of quilts for Shalom Bayit’s clients. “Persian pickle” is an old-fashioned term for paisley scraps used in making quilts, and the Persian Pickle Club is the name of the quilting bee at the heart of the story.

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Artist’s Date: Flower & Garden Show

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self by Julia Cameron is a fabulous book and a 12-week fantastic experience. I’ve done the course twice. At the end of my first course, the other participants created a protection circle for me. It was a life-altering experience to be in the middle of the circle surrounded by the strength of unconditional love and powerful prayers.

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Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen captured the heart and soul of every woman who has ever tasted the bitter fruit of abuse: “It’s like he stole my soul.” (page 219) She deftly navigated the undercurrents of domestic violence. She powerfully demonstrated how our society and legal system enable both the abuser and his/her victim to continue destructive behavior patterns. She turned a bright spotlight on the Patty Bancrofts of the world who seek to control rather than empower women. She threw down the gauntlet to families everywhere who rear women to be helpless doormats and condone the vicious conduct of men through their silence. She painted a sensitive portrait of the shattered innocence of a child caught in the crossfire. In short, Anna Quindlen turned over every rock and examined the mass of maggots hiding underneath.

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