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RAISING THE BARRE

An award-winning author’s journey to break out of the expectations of midlife and reclaim the daring of her girlhood by dancing in the world’s most popular ballet, The Nutcracker, with a professional company

Like generations of little girls, Lauren Kessler fell in love with ballet the first time she saw The Nutcracker, and from that day, at age five, she dreamed of becoming a ballerina. But when she was twelve, her very famous ballet instructor crushed those dreams-along with her youthful self-assurance-and she stepped away from the barre.

Fast forward four decades.

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DUST BOWL GIRLS

The Boys in the Boat meets A League of Their Own in this true story of a Depression-era championship women’s team.

In the early 1930s, during the worst drought and financial depression in American history, Sam Babb began to dream. Like so many others, this charismatic Midwestern basketball coach wanted a reason to have hope. Traveling from farm to farm near the tiny Oklahoma college where he coached, Babb recruited talented, hardworking young women and offered them a chance at a better life: a free college education in exchange for playing on his basketball team,

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NO TIME TO SPARE

Ursula K. Le Guin on the absurdity of denying your age: “If I’m ninety and believe I’m forty-five, I’m headed for a very bad time trying to get out of the bathtub.” 

On cultural perceptions of fantasy: “The direction of escape is toward freedom. So what is ‘escapism’ an accusation of?” 

On breakfast: “Eating an egg from the shell takes not only practice, but resolution, even courage, possibly willingness to commit crime.”

Ursula K. Le Guin has taken readers to imaginary worlds for decades. Now she’s in the last great frontier of life,

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A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN

Virginia Woolf’s landmark inquiry into women’s role in society

In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf imagines that Shakespeare had a sister—a sister equal to Shakespeare in talent, and equal in genius, but whose legacy is radically different. This imaginary woman never writes a word and dies by her own hand, her genius unexpressed. If only she had found the means to create, argues Woolf, she would have reached the same heights as her immortal sibling. In this classic essay, she takes on the establishment, using her gift of language to dissect the world around her and give voice to those who are without.

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BLUE RIDGE SUNRISE

Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe–a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

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GARDEN OF THE LOST AND ABANDONED

The problem by most lights is overwhelming: at least 5,000 children live on the streets of Uganda’s capital city of Kampala. Some forget the names of their villages. The youngest may not know the names of their parents. But Gladys Kalibbala—part journalist, part detective, part Good Samaritan—does not hesitate to dive into difficult or even dangerous situations to aid a child. Author of a newspaper column called “Lost and Abandoned,” she is a resource that police and others turn to when they stumble across a stranded kid with a hidden history.

Jessica Yu delivers an acutely observed story of this hard-nosed and warmhearted woman,

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