Author: Betty Hafner

‘A Celebration of the Written Word’

My radio alarm sounded at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 21 and woke me to the mellow voice of NPR’s Scott Simon quoting from a graduation speech he delivered. “How nice,” I thought, “I’ll be able to tell him this…

Reader’s Choice

“Noah’s Compass” Written by Anne Tyler I’ve been thinking a lot about Liam Pennywell over the last few days. Wondering how he’s getting along. Whether he and Barbara will be spending any holidays with the kids over the next months…

Reader’s Choice

“The Paris Wife” Written by Paula McLain I’m downright dizzy from the hours I’ve just spent with young Ernest Hemingway and his appealing wife, Hadley, in the apartments and cafés of the Left Bank of Paris in the 1920s. It’s…

“The Glass Room” Written by Simon Mawer

Simon Mawer’s latest novel “The Glass Room” (2009) will keep any book club talking for hours on end. In my group we didn’t even wait to get our coats off before we began an animated discussion. The story is set…

Reader’s Choice

“Mudbound” Written by Hillary Jordan When I looked at the title of Hillary Jordan’s “Mudbound” (2009) on my book club list, my heart sank. It sounded like the last book in the world I’d like to read during the excessively…

Reader’s Choice

“Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” Written by Helen Simonson After many false starts, Helen Simonson finally discovered the winning ticket to writing her first published novel. She tells an interviewer she put aside her early efforts at an edgy sort of…

Reader’s Choice

“Labor Day” Written by Joyce Maynard Joyce Maynard. Just her name conjures up so many images for me that my curiosity impelled me to pick up her recently released paperback, “Labor Day.” In the 1980s Maynard wrote a syndicated column,…

Reader’s Choice (By Augie the dog)

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” Written by Garth Stein I wanted to give this writing business a try because some guy named Garth Stein, who wrote a couple of books, let a dog tell the story in his…

“1000 Places To See Before You Die: A Traveler’s Life List”

“1000 Places To See Before You Die: A Traveler’s Life List” Written by Patricia Schultz During a Christmas shopping trip to a mega-bookseller in 2003, I noticed a display promoting the newly published “1,000 Places To See Before You Die:…

“Eva Moves the Furniture”

“Eva Moves the Furniture” Written by Margot Livesey Margot Livesey has explained how “Eva Moves the Furniture” (2001) came about again and again, because interviewers invariably ask her about its genesis. The story is quite unlike anything Livesey has written…