Book Club



Play Acting

As I write this, I’m sitting in Starbucks. I work here twice a week while my daughter attends dance class at the studio across the street.

At the next table are two girls who are supposed to be in the dance class with her. They were here when I arrived an hour and a half ago and they’re showing no signs of leaving. I’m guessing they’ve decided to skip.

It’s easy for us as adults to roll our eyes and mutter “kids today”. They’re wasting an amazing opportunity (not to mention their parents’ money) because they don’t see the value in it. They’re sitting there on their phones, drinking $8 coffee, playing grownup. That’s not meant as a criticism. It’s an observation that, in fact, they’re right on schedule. That’s how people, who are just beginning to enter adulthood, behave.

When we’re just beginning to enter the creative life, we behave that way too. We play at being authors. We let opportunities pass us by because we don’t yet recognize the value in them. We say that we don’t have the money or the need, to invest in a course, or the time to commit to a regular writing routine.

Sooner or later, those girls will grow up. They’ll realize that being an adult is much more than sitting in Starbucks. And sooner or later, we’ll turn pro. We’ll realize that professional writers practice their craft. We’ll start to invest time and money, we’ll study and we’ll improve.

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,

Read More »
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.

Read More »
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

Read More »