May 2020

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The Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

The Crawdads Sing

  • By Debbie Emery

One of the few unexpected benefits of the coronavirus lockdown is that many of us have more time to immerse ourselves in literature. Whether you read Delia Owens New York Times bestseller or listen to the audio version read by Cassandra Campbell, it’s impossible not to get lost in the isolated world of Kya Clark. Cruelly dubbed “Marsh Girl” by wealthier townsfolk in Barkley Cove, North Carolina, Kya survives alone in a rundown cabin after her older siblings flee to escape their alcoholic and abusive father.

Having only lasted one day in school before being driven out by bullying kids, she learns to live off all the riches the marsh offers and often trades her catch in exchange for gasoline or used clothes. The scrappy teenager eventually forms a seemingly unbreakable bond with Tate Walker … unbreakable that is until he leaves the quiet coastal town to become of Tar Heel at the University of North Carolina. The powerful prose in Where the Crawdads Sing ebbs and flows like the marsh water itself, in a cyclic rhythm like the seasons alternating between the early 1950s when Kya is just a kid, and 1965 in the aftermath of a horrifying murder. When Chase Andrews, star quarterback and town playboy, is found dead beneath a fire tower, fingers of accusation are immediately pointed at the mysterious Marsh Girl.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” can be purchased in all formats here.

Heart’s Invisible…

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Heart’s Invisible…

  • By Debbie Emery

Named Amazon’s best book of August 2017, John Boyne’s literary journey takes us back to 1945 when a 16-year-old girl is banished from her village in West Cork, Ireland, and shamed during mass for getting pregnant. With her Catholic family also turning their back on her, Catherine Grogan heads to Dublin to try to earn a living, where she also gives her newborn baby up for adoption. The Heart’s Invisible Furies tracks the parallel lives of Catherine as she evolves into womanhood, and, Cyril, her biological son who grows up in a household with successful but dysfunctional adoptive parents. The child is constantly told that he’s “not really an Avery” and treated more like a temporary lodger than a son, especially by his famous novelist “mother.”

Boyne, the highly acclaimed author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, knows first-hand what it is like to grow up gay in strictly Catholic Ireland and those struggles are passed on to his protagonist. “Even at that tender age I knew that there was something about me that was different and that it would be impossible ever to put right,” then-seven-year-old Cyril says. As Cyril grows up, Ireland itself evolves both culturally and in terms of sexual acceptance as the strict post-war era flows into the late the twentieth century. Along the way, Cyril is unknowingly reunited with Catherine in chance encounters — often over tea and biscuits.

Find “The Heart’s Invisible Furies” on Amazon here.


The Empty Stage by Alan Roderick-Jones



The Empty Stage: A Memoir by Alan Roderick-Jones is an expansive and captivating autobiography that tells the life story of this well known, prolific, and talented artist. This memoir is an exciting and entertaining tome offering readers much to learn about the author and his Hollywood life. There are riveting behind-the-scenes tales about popular and iconic films. Roderick-Jones also gives you glimpses of some of the greats — Sophia Loren, Charlie Chaplin, Raquel Welch, Peter O’Toole, Pierce Brosnan, The Beatles, and many more. Throughout the book, photos accompany the magical journey, complex history, and wonderful stories of his life as an artist, painter, art director, production designer, screenwriter, and director. Active in the industry since 1961, Roderick-Jones’s illustrations helped get the legendary Star Wars made, and ultimately shaped the overall look and feel of the Star Wars universe.

“Having been asked so many times to put on paper the thoughts that would recall my extraordinary journey of 79 years on Mother Earth, I strive to make them cogent and clear and blessed with some sense of perspective. And so, we begin, ” says Roderick-Jones. ” In every nook and cranny there awaits a surprise for you!” As he has done so successfully in the past, he leaves you feeling impressed and inspired.

Find “The Empty Stage: A Memoir” on Amazon here.


UNTAMED by Glennon Doyle


  • By AC Remler

When Christian blogger Glennon Doyle saw Olympian Abby Wambach at a book conference, it was love at first sight. The award-winning, Oprah-adored author was then married with two kids and in the midst of launching her second memoir “Love Warrior.” The book painstakingly detailed her husband’s infidelity and her soul-baring journey back to matrimony. But a funny thing happened on the way back to the altar, she fell in love with a woman. Her new memoir “Untamed” released in March by The Dial Press, is less about coming out as gay and more a cautionary tale about the self destructive forces at play when, as a woman, you normalize in a misogynistic society. Doyle is an unlikely feminist — after all, she built a following around her Christian philosophies on her Momastery blog. Yet in “Untamed,” Doyle reveals that many of those “Christian” values she was taught are contemporary constructs passed down by greed-driven men.

Doyle’s prose is thoughtful, honest and funny recounting her harrowing journey into bulimia and drug abuse (a more detailed account is in her 2013 memoir “Carry On, Warrior” and this TEDx talk), and ultimately her decision to uproot her family for true love. Every chapter of “Untamed” signals Doyle’s growth into a more enlightened human, mother and wife and we relish in her strength and her emotional intelligence. “Untamed” is everywoman’s hymnal for reclaiming their true selves, like an untethered tiger in the wild.

Find “UNTAMED” on Amazon here.

What's Hot!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve adjusted our content this month.

LAArtsOnline now features two NEW pages: BOOKS and EXTRA! We’ll look at what’s hot in the world of books and reading along with some suggestions of EXTRA! things to check out, read about, and do!

Stay positive, stay safe.

Paige Petrone
Founder / Publisher


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