Book descriptions

Agatha Whiskey by Colleen Mullaney (+ a Q & A with the author)

From the author of Gin Austen, Colleen Mullaney’s new book, Agatha Whiskey, is a delicious and mysterious collection of cocktails and mocktails. 

The perfect gift for mystery fans, Agatha Christie fans, amateur mixologists, and anyone who wants a fun drink to sip on all year round.

A celebration of Christie’s timeless murder mysteries, killer short stories, suspenseful plays, and unmatched characters—with cocktails that are so tantalizingly delicious, it must be a crime. Read More→

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Dusty Answer by Rosamond Lehmann (1927)

The Well of Loneliness (1928) by Radclyffe Hall is often cited as the first published lesbian novel written in English, but Dusty Answer by Rosamond Lehmann (1927) preceded it by a year.

As in Hall’s novel there is no explicit lesbianism but a strongly implied relationship between two girls at college. This was noted by outraged critics of the time, one of whom wrote an article in the London Evening Standard titled “The Perils of Youth,” addressing what he presumed to be the degenerate readers of Lehman’s novel: Read More→

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10 Unforgettable Books by South African Women Authors

Presented here is a survey of ten unforgettable books by South African women authors, including novels, narrative nonfiction, poetry, and more. 

From The Story of an African Farm set in the nineteenth century to Circles in a Forest from the Knysna forests, South Africa has long been an interesting place for authors to situate fiction and nonfiction.

Rich with history and exploring both the good and evil in humanity, works from Southern Africa can take the reader on an unforgettable journey through space and time. Read More→

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Five Novels by Carson McCullers: Classic Southern Gothic Fiction

Presented here is an overview of five novels by Carson McCullers (1917 – 1967), representing her body of long form fiction. Though known primarily for these books, she also wrote two plays, a number of short stories, children’s poetry, and other works.

Carson McCullers has earned a place among classic southern writers, along with William FaulknerFlannery O’Connor, and Tennessee Williams. Following each brief overview of these major works is a link to more in-depth reviews or analyses.

Most of McCullers’ work is set in the American South, centering on characters who struggle with loneliness and isolation. Her writing is associated with the genre known as Southern Gothic, defined by the Oxford Research Encyclopedia: Read More→

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Six Novels by Shirley Jackson: Psychological Thrillers by a Master

American author Shirley Jackson (1916 – 1965) was known for fiction and nonfiction works that have influenced generations of writers who came after her. Presented here are the six novels by Shirley Jackson that were published in her lifetime. If you’re looking for where to begin with Shirley Jackson’s books, start anywhere — they’re all engrossing reads.

Jackson remains best known for “The Lottery” (1948), her widely anthologized (and also widely banned) short story. This controversial work, published the same year as her first novel, put her on the literary map.

It’s not easy to categorize Jackson’s work. Psychological terror or thriller may come close, if one considers that Stephen King and Neil Gaiman have cited her as an influence. Her six novels and scores of short stories uncover the evil and ugliness that lurk just under the surface of propriety and social mores. Read More→

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