Book Club



More from Margaret

I thought you’d get a kick out of this:

In her Masterclass, Margaret Atwood says, “I think it’s a good idea, especially when you’re younger, to keep your hand in by writing something every day. So I recommend it. But, it’s another of those recommendations that I, myself, have been unable to follow.”.

Atwood doesn’t write daily and she seems to be doing just fine, thank you very much. (I bet she doesn’t miss too many days though.)

So why do I think that writing every day is so important? If a Master like Atwood doesn’t do it, why should we? It’s simply this: it turns writing into a habit.

When we’re starting out, we have everything to learn. We have everything to develop. Our proficiency as storytellers is pretty poor. Not because we lack the ability, but because we lack the experience. Remember the 10,000 hour rule? If we write every day we churn through those 10,000 hours much faster than if we only write once a week or merely every now and then. As it is, even with daily practice 10,000 hours equates to approximately 10 years.

If we read Atwood’s words without thinking about them, we might fool ourselves into believing we can achieve her level of skill with an I-write-when-the-Muse-strikes attitude. We risk forgetting that she’s been publishing for nearly 60 years, and writing for much longer than that.

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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