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Sunday 02/07/2016
Posted: February 07, 2016 - 12:00 am
Book review: Drift along the story of 'Noah's Wife'

Everyone knows the story of Noah and his ark: God sent the rain, Noah built the boat, and the animals marched two by two and conveniently didn’t devour one another during their 40 days at sea.

Posted: February 07, 2016 - 12:00 am
Book review: So black WWII veterans may not be 'Forgotten'

This is a truly astonishing story. In effect, it is two stories in one, the first being a painstakingly (and painfully) researched view of the plight of black soldiers, men and women who wore their...

Tuesday 02/02/2016
Posted: February 02, 2016 - 6:00 am
Book giveaway: 'Morning Star,' by Pierce Brown

"Red Rising" by Pierce Brown came out in 2014 fast became a hit. It's the start of another dystopian trilogy and has been compared to "The Hunger Games," but more layered and co...

Monday 02/01/2016
Posted: February 01, 2016 - 6:00 am
February 2016 Monday open book stuff

Feb. 1 — Most of us grew up with some Beatrix Potter. Peter Rabbit is her best-known figure, but my favorite was always cheeky Squirrel Nutkin. Those little rafts with tails for sails are adorable....

Posted: February 01, 2016 - 3:25 am
The 2016 couch to 10K reading challenge

Be honest: How long do you keep your New Year's resolutions?

Sunday 01/31/2016
Posted: January 31, 2016 - 12:00 am
Book review: Fishing, and getting to know family, with RayAnne

Fresh off the pro-fishing circuit, RayAnne Dahl lands a job on a PBS-produced talk/fishing show as a consultant. When the host stomps off the set and out of her contract, RayAnne steps in as a subs...

Posted: January 31, 2016 - 12:00 am
Book review: A personal look at House Mountain in Rockbridge County

Picturesque Rockbridge County and its mountains have inspired another publication — a personal testimony by Harry Warner of his longtime affection for House Mountain.

Thursday 01/28/2016
Posted: January 28, 2016 - 6:00 am
Make a dent in the 2016 couch to 10K reading challenge

At the beginning of the year, I introduced a reading challenge that at first glance appears daunting: Read 10,000 pages by Jan. 1, 2017. One upside to the challenge I emphasized is that you can com...

Monday 01/25/2016
Posted: January 25, 2016 - 6:00 am
January 2016 Monday open book stuff

Jan. 25 — I'm currently listening to two co-workers debate the value of publicizing details about characters after the series has ended. Yes, this was inspired by J.K. Rowling's news that Albus Dum...

Sunday 01/24/2016
Posted: January 24, 2016 - 12:00 am
Book review: 'Cleaning Women' breathes life into characters of short stories

There are many reasons to read Lucia Berlin’s selected stories “A Manual for Cleaning Women,” including her striking opening paragraphs, her focus on women and the working class, her spot-on sense ...

Sunday 01/17/2016
Posted: January 17, 2016 - 12:00 am
Book review: Dressmaker fights war on personal, social fronts

Ada Vaughn, an 18-year-old girl living in one of the poorer sections of London in 1939, has ambition, beauty and a developing talent as a dressmaker, a modiste as she often reminds herself. Clothes...

Posted: January 17, 2016 - 12:00 am
Book review: 'City on a Grid' shows one thing New York, Roanoke have in common

New York City and Roanoke, Virginia, share a common heritage. More about that later.

Thursday 01/14/2016
Posted: January 14, 2016 - 6:00 am
And the winner is ... Book giveaway: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

Wow, this was one of the most popular giveaways yet! I wish I had more books to give, but my lone copy is going to Danny Adams. Danny, please e-mail a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com ...

Sunday 01/10/2016
Posted: January 10, 2016 - 12:00 am
Book review: 'Money Makers' is natural segue from Lincoln's 'Just and Generous Nation'

Abraham Lincoln was not just president of the United States, he was first and foremost a “self-made man.” In that role, he is the epitome of the American dream. He was born into poverty and investe...

Posted: January 10, 2016 - 12:00 am
Book review: A remarkable tale of survival over 438 days at sea

As this old world pursues its endless journey round the sun, many are the tales of death and disaster on the high seas. Few indeed are those that tell of near-miraculous survival, fed by human cour...

Sunday 01/03/2016
Posted: January 03, 2016 - 12:00 am
Book review: 'Children of Monsters' raised by dictators

Ask 10 people to define strict parents and you’ll get 10 different answers. Some would include mothers and fathers who say you can go out, just not dressed like that. For others, strict parents are...

Monday 12/28/2015
Posted: December 28, 2015 - 6:00 am
December Monday open book stuff

Dec. 28. — It's the last book stuff post of 2015. Are you ready for what the new year will bring?

Sunday 12/27/2015
Posted: December 27, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: 'Zodiac' is the ultimate in young adult fantasy

Romina Russell creates a whole new world in “Zodiac,” the first in her new series. It’s a daunting task for even a seasoned writer, but one that Russell does with such finesse and ease it seems as ...

Posted: December 27, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: Take a grand tour of the human body and its story

For 18 chapters, we are treated to a grand tour of our bodily anatomy from the brain, where there is a brief digression to search for the soul, to the foot and its toes, where there is another clev...

Tuesday 12/22/2015
Posted: December 22, 2015 - 6:00 am
Cheap books for sale as Paperback Phoenix closes

On Williamson Road, just north of Hershberger, there's a nondescript little store called Paperback Phoenix. The clues are in the name: Paperback books gain new life in the secondhand shop.

Monday 12/21/2015
Posted: December 21, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... Book giveaway: 'Inherit the Stars' by Tony Peak

Thanks to everyone who came out to support a local author. Brooke Summerlin, you are the lucky winner of "Inherit the Stars" signed by Tony Peak. Please e-mail a mailing address to suzann...

Posted: December 21, 2015 - 2:35 am
2015 is the year to expand your reading

One of my colleagues enjoys American history. He reads a lot of books about the Civil War and biographies of presidents — material in which I have no interest. He has no taste for the literature I ...

Sunday 12/20/2015
Posted: December 20, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: 'Concussion' shows doctor ahead of his game

Once you read the title and the subtitle of Jeanne Marie Laskas’ new book, you know the basic structure of the story. If you are a football player, or a parent or a coach of a football player, you ...

Thursday 12/17/2015
Posted: December 17, 2015 - 6:00 am
Christmas gifts are easy when they are books

It's a week till Christmas and most of your gifts are sorted. The cook in the family is getting that nifty gizmo, the handy person will be thrilled with that cool tool, and the movie lover is going...

Sunday 12/13/2015
Posted: December 13, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: 'Many Faces of Christ' discusses evolution of church

We know Christ from the paintings and writings of Europeans. We also know him from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Pauline letters and other books in the New Testament. After the C...

Posted: December 13, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: Wytheville author sends readers into outer space in 'Inherit the Stars'

You’ll know if this book is for you before you’ve read 10 pages.

Posted: December 13, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: Explore the architecture of historic Rockbridge County

Architectural historian Dan Pezzoni has written a splendid book about the rich architectural heritage of Rockbridge County from 18th-century structures up to current preservation efforts. This is a...

Saturday 12/12/2015
Posted: December 12, 2015 - 10:07 pm
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'Jack Frost'

It took me a while to get this up, bu the winner is Paula Mallin. Paula, e-mail a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com and I will get this book out to you ASAP.

Friday 12/11/2015
Posted: December 11, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat'

Hot diggity dog, the winner of this one is Jen Fraley. Jen, send me a mailing address at suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com and I will get this book out to you as soon as I can.

Posted: December 11, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'A Very Nantucket Christmas'

Jeri Dickinson, I don't know if you've ever been to New England, but you can read about it. You've won this book. Please send a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com and I will get this boo...

Thursday 12/10/2015
Posted: December 10, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'All I Want for Christmas Is You'

Let him win, let him win, let him win — Jerry L. Haynes, you've won the giveaway! Please send a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com and I will get this book out to you ASAP.

Wednesday 12/09/2015
Posted: December 09, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'Dashing Through the Snow'

Maybe "Dashing Through the Snow" will be your new holiday movie, Fred Way. Or maybe the book will be — you're the winner. Send a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com and I will g...

Posted: December 09, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'Naughtier Than Nice'

Amy Marston Thisdell, I can't give you jewelry, but I can give you a book. All I need is for you to e-mail a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com.

Tuesday 12/08/2015
Posted: December 08, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus'

Sydney Anderson Incandela, if you need a book to take to your cousin's house, this is it. You are the winner! Please e-mail a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com.

Sunday 12/06/2015
Posted: December 06, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: 'Pea Soup and the Seafood Feast' teaches compassion

Pea soup for dinner? That doesn’t sound appealing to Jack, the main character in “Pea Soup and the Seafood Feast.”

Posted: December 06, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: Richard Dawkins sheds light in dark with memoir

In Richard Dawkins’ latest memoir, “Brief Candle in the Dark,” readers will find a man who has paid his scientific dues and has reached the pinnacle of his career. This leads him on several enterta...

Saturday 12/05/2015
Posted: December 05, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'When Santa Was a Baby'

Who's about to find out what Santa was like as a baby? Vicky Agnor, that's who! Vicky, please e-mail a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com and I'll get this book out to you ASAP.

Posted: December 05, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'The Penguin Lessons'

Matthew Lohmeyer, I hope you're ready to pick up a penguin, because you've won this book. Send a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com and it'll be on its way ASAP.

Friday 12/04/2015
Posted: December 04, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'An Invisible Thread'

Melissa Hobbs Davis, I hope you like the sound of this book because you're the winner! Please e-mail a mailing address is suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com.

Posted: December 04, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'Two Deadly Doves'

Sorry, mystery lovers, there can be only one winner. That's Heather Burdette Quinn. Heather, please e-mail a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com and I will get this book out to you ASAP.

Thursday 12/03/2015
Posted: December 03, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'The Great Christmas Knit-Off'

Rena DeBerry, I hope you like love and/or knitting. You have won the giveaway! Please email a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com.

Wednesday 12/02/2015
Posted: December 02, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways: 'Toys Meet Snow'

Congratulations to winner Gina Rock. Gina, send a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com and I'll get this book out to you ASAP.

Monday 11/30/2015
Posted: November 30, 2015 - 6:05 am
12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways begins tomorrow

Imagine a person who wants to give you books. Free, new, Christmas-themed books for you to read as you snuggle with your child or by yourself. This person can't wait to disperse these festive books...

Posted: November 30, 2015 - 6:00 am
November Monday open book stuff

Nov. 30. — It's the last day of November. Time to bust out the Christmas tree and start planning for gifts. You'll want to check out the blog over the next few weeks. I have book giveaways planned,...

Sunday 11/29/2015
Posted: November 29, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: 'Oscar Wao' is like walking through a storm of feathers

Imagine walking down the street through a storm of feathers. They swirl down from the sky and create a fluffy layer beneath your feet. The feathers are of different sizes and textures — some of the...

Posted: November 29, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: 'Cherokee Diaspora' an in-depth look at part of Appalachian history

The Cherokee are familiar to people in the southern Appalachians because they maintain a significant presence in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. The Cherokee are also familiar to read...

Friday 11/27/2015
Posted: November 27, 2015 - 12:05 am
And the winner is ... Book giveaway: 'Concussion'

Crystal Brant, take "Concussion" off your list of books to buy this year. You're the winner! Please send a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com and I'll get this book out to you ...

Sunday 11/22/2015
Posted: November 22, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: A football coach during divisive times

“Champion of the Barrio” should begin with a disclaimer that some movies contain: inspired by true events. It’s a signal the story is not exactly fiction and not exactly fact. Sometimes a little ad...

Posted: November 22, 2015 - 12:00 am
Book review: Black soldiers were 'roughest riders' in Spanish-American War

Although Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt won prominent press coverage with his Rough Riders in their attack in the Spanish-American War just over a century ago, Jerome Tuccille’s military history gives...

Thursday 11/19/2015
Posted: November 19, 2015 - 5:45 am
And the winner is ... Book giveaway: 'Star Wars Psychology'

Thanks to everyone who participated, but the winner is Dusty Wallace, who a) has a valid point and b) made me chuckle. Dusty, e-mail a mailing address to suzanne.wardle@roanoke.com and I will get t...

Suzanne Wardle
  • Suzanne Wardle
  • Books editor Suzanne Wardle read cereal boxes, lists of ingredients and just about anything when she was a child, so it’s no wonder she grew up to read for a living at a newspaper. She posts reviews, news, discussion topics and musings on literature of all types. When she’s not reading, she’s out on the greenway with the dog, testing recipes in the kitchen and trying to persuade friends to watch bad monster movies with her.
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