About this Site
This is the OLD About page... for new one please go here...
Part of my obsession with book reading is to scour used bookstores, tag sales and discount shelves for good books at a good price. This habit comes from living on a boat for two years. Sailors recycle books. They look for book swaps, other sailors and used bookstores to exchange their accumulating books for fresh reads. Now that Carl and I are back on land, I purchase new books - but I still love a "good find." I have more space now and I have a hard time turning the books over to the used bookstores. On the other hand, when I lend books, they tend to come back to me again. Lend a book to a sailor and there is sure to be an interesting story if you get it back! ñ
Out of this habit, I often ran across books that were not in a current promotion cycle, but an excellent read none the less. With thousands of books published each year, it is easy for a book to become obscure and unfortunately, out of print, in a very short time. Back then, I kept a list of books that I enjoyed and thought my friends might also. Then, when I needed an exercise to learn HTML, I decided to convert my book list to a web page. Well, as you can see, this notion has grown into a regular web site with its own domain name and thousands of visitors.
And now I regularly receive novels from book publishers, publicists and authors for review. I find this amazing! So now, I don't have as much time for the books I find in used bookstores. In fact, if I take a step back, I realize that MostlyFiction.com has become a cog in the promotion machine. But, I accept that, because it still gives me a chance to introduce my audience to some first time writers that I run across and other lesser known novels.
I still maintain simple lists of the books if you need a list of titles and/or authors for which to search your local library, new or used bookstore. Just go to the Print List Index, select a "bookshelf" title, and you will be brought to a list that you can print and make notes on. (Note this has not been updated in some time-- sorry -- but perhaps the Alphabetical by book Title page can help).
At the suggestion of the first few viewers of my Web pages, I started to sell books in association with Amazon.com. Although it's not the main purpose of creating this web site, I do appreciate any purchases as it helps defray some of the cost of maintaining the site.
Finally, over the past few years I have had the benefit of getting help from volunteers who like to also share their book experience. So at any time there are usually about ten reviewers that are contributing book reviews. I am grateful for their contributions as they have broaden the range of books recommended at MostlyFiction.com.
|About our reviewers...|
Mary Whipple worked for many years as an English teacher and International Student Advisor at a Massachusetts college, where she worked to promote international understanding and bridge the gaps between American culture and other cultures from around the world. She is a Top 50 Reviewer on Amazon.com who also contributes to www.desijournal.com, a web site for Indian-Americans in the United States. Her interest in authors from other cultures is broad, and many of her reviews reflect that interest.
Poornima Apte loves to read, write, and listen to NPR. She lives in the greater Boston area with her husband and two daughters.(back to top)
Eleanor Bukowsky was an English major in college and is now a public librarian. Her library patrons often ask her to help them select enjoyable books for recreational reading. In addition, she conducts and participates in book discussions regularly. Eleanor also reviews books on Amazon.com as booklover10.(back to top)
Guy Savage: "The internet is a world without borders, and as such it offers readers the perfect opportunity to expand reading horizons. Both the methods we use to select books and the manner in which we can connect with fellow readers have radically changed. In many ways, thanks to corporate culture, the choices in our lives have become homogenized--but the internet allows the opposite approach and allows access to highly specialized markets and tastes. Readers can only benefit from the expanded horizons the internet offers." Guy Savage is also an occasional contributor to www.noiroftheweek.blogspot.com.(back to top)
Chuck Barksdale has spent all of his life in the Philadelphia area where he met his wife while attending Drexel University in the late 1970's. Chuck is a professional engineer who provides corporate environmental support for a petrochemical company based in Philadelphia. While not reading mysteries or spending time with his wife and three teenage children, Chuck scores Phillies games in the press box at Veteran's Stadium for a sports
Hagen Baye is the pen name used by a practicing attorney in New York City.
Kirstin Merrihew - Kirstin is a native Californian with a degree in economics and experience in financial fields. But literary pursuits are much preferred and indeed constitute a lifelong love, leading among other things, to a library too large for the home shelves and covering a jumble of subjects. She also writes reviews on amazon.com as "K. M."
Terez Rose - Terez also writes reviews for Peace Corps Writers, Midwest Book Reviews and Backspace - the Writers' Place. Additionally, her essays have appeared in several publications, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the San Jose Mercury-News. Anthology credits include Women Who Eat: A New Generation on the Glory of Food (Seal Press, November 2003), A Woman’s Europe (Travelers’ Tales, June 2004) and Italy, a Love Story: Women Write about the Italian Experience (Seal Press, June 2005). Her short fiction has appeared in Literary Mama, Espresso Fiction and Unbound Press—an international journal of words and images. She is at work on her second novel and keeps a music related blog at Violinist.com.
Danielle Bullen is a resident of the Philadelphia area. She earned her B.A. in English at Saint Joseph’s University and is also a graduate of Saint Joseph’s masters of writing studies program. Her writing has appeared in various print and online publications, such as Campus Philly, News@Haverford, and Making Bread magazine. She is the fashion editor at Philadelphia Maven magazine and works in marketing in the non-profit sector. Danielle reads almost anything she can get her hands on.
Lori Lamothe is the author of Camera Obscura, a chapbook of poems (Finishing Line Press), and has published individual poems in Alaska Quarterly Review, Seattle Review, Third Coast, Notre Dame Review, 42 Opus, and other magazines. She has traveled in Europe, Russia and Pakistan and now teaches English in central Massachusetts.
Ann Wilkes' first book, Awesome Lavratt (2008, Unlimited Publishing) is a tongue-in-cheek space opera with mind control, passion and adventure -- and lots of puns. Her stories have appeared in online zines and anthologies. She lives in California's wine country with her husband, Patrick and their youngest son. She's working on two novels while still cranking out the short funny stories that characterize her writing style. Visit her website, www.annwilkes.com, for a full bio, her blog and links to online stories.
Katherine Petersen - Katherine is a huge reader of all types of fiction, but mysteries and science
Daniel Luft has been married for five years and a father for one. He says, "my wife and I are considering another kid but we're both too freaking busy looking for better jobs." As far as writing goes: "I used to publish poetry back in the 90's but that dried up (I can barely read my old stuff now). I spent a decade working on 'the novel' and finally woke up last January and deleted it. Since then I've been having fun reading". Recently Dan was a copy-editor for a website dedicated to literature of the Soviet Union, sovlit.com.
Jana L. Perskie has been an avid reader, with an eclectic taste in literature, since childhood and is a Top 100 Reviewer for Amazon.com. She lived and worked in Mexico and Latin America for 15 years, and in Iran for 3. She speaks Spanish fluently and loves Latin American/Spanish literature, music, dance and food. Collecting first edition, signed, 20th century American fiction is a passion she is trying to wean herself away from - a very expensive hobby. Other interests include sailing, painting (has a MFA), listening to jazz and classical music...and READING! She presently works as a Human Resource Consultant and resides in Manhattan.
Beth Chariton is originally from New York and has lived in the Boston area for 18 years. She's a hairdresser, an art appreciation instructor, and an aspiring freelance writer and editor. In her spare time she reads and writes fiction. She lives in the Boston 'burbs with her boyfriend and three children.
Mike Frechette - Mike lives in Chicago with his wife Michelle and their dog Zoey. He holds two degrees in English and now works in higher education administration. He has also reviewed fiction for the Midwest Book Review and Contrary Magazine.
Stephanie Velasco - Stephanie is currently a student at Columbia College Chicago and is studying fiction writing.
Neil Chapman - Neil is a 39-year-old single guy living in the UK. He is a CAD draughtsman by trade but no longer works due to being disabled with Arthritis and a few other related problems. Obviously reading is a nice, easy and not to mention cheap form of entertainment. He likes to pick up books from charity shops but will buy books that he really wants to read. He is more of a people person than an academic, politics and law leave him cold. He can bring a smile to most faces. His thinking is a little bit spiritual and left field, and finds cutting his own path both rewarding and exciting.
Clint Hunter - Clint recently retired from a Texas community college where he taught English and developmental writing. He and his beautiful wife live in a quiet little community near the Gulf of Mexico and enjoy all the amenities of the Texas gulf coast. (Though, they admit they aren't fond of hurricanes.) As a hobby, he dabbles as a freelance writer and reviewer. His writing has appeared in a variety of national and regional publications including The Wall Street Journal, Ozark Senior Living, Fabjob.com, Crescent Blues Book Views, Grit, and Brave Hearts Magazine.
Nora Kathleen Reilly - Nora was an English and Spanish major at college, and is now on her way to becoming a public librarian in New York City. She is 24 years old, grew up in New Jersey, and is the daughter of an Irish father and Puerto Rican mother; making her family parties quite interesting and her family vacations actually enjoyable. An avid reader from an early age, her tastes range from science fiction to beat poetry. Now residing in Brooklyn, she has always dreamed of moving to California, living on the beach with her boyfriend and dogs, and never looking back.(back to top)
Leland Cheuk is currently attending the Lesley University Creative Writing MFA program. He has attended several prestigious conferences including the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and the Tin House Writers Workshop. He also works as the head of marketing at a technology company in San Francisco. He is working on his first novel.
Sudheer Apte lives in the Boston area with his wife, Poornima, and their two daughters.
Shanna Shadowfax - is a children's librarian who delights as much in being a book pusher as a book reader. Her favorite reading is that which delves into the fantastic and futuristic and explores worlds that only live in the imagination. Shanna prefers to read off the beaten path whenever possible and whet others appetites for the same! She writes reviews on amazon.com also as "ShanShad"
Pat Neuman - Pat is from a very large family of book lovers who needed two cars to all go to the library together every week. Besides growing up with her nose in a book, Pat's main interests are classical music and art. Since moving to "paradise" in 1998, gardening has become a close rival. Pat works in the Graduate Division of the University of California, Santa Barbara.(back to top)
Debbie Lee Wesselmann is the author of two novels, Captivity and Trutor and The Balloonist, and a collection of short fiction, The Earth and the Sky. She teaches creative writing to private students and as a member of the faculty at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey. Her reading tastes are decidedly eclectic, with a preference for literary and international fiction, although she loves to dig into a good thriller or mystery from time to time. As a top 100 reviewer for Amazon, ghostwriter, editor, and novelist, she spends most of her days at the keyboard, although she does find time for her other interests - gardening, cooking, tennis, and traveling.
Chris "C.T." Terry was born in 1979 and grew up on the East Coast. He now lives in Chicago, IL, where he is in the Fiction Writing MFA program at Columbia College. He has been publishing Gullible Zine since 1995.
Dean Murphy has reviewed books since correctly predicting SCRUPLES to be the number one bestseller for 1977, and later published an exclusive interview with Judith Krantz in Writer’s Digest. Murphy is an Orlando-based writer completing his first novel, THE ART OF MURDER.
Amanda Richards - Amanda has lived in Guyana, South America all her life. She has been married for eighteen years and has a six year old son. She has qualifications in banking and marketing, and sells chainsaws for a living. Actually she's the Customer Service Manager for a firm that sells Agricultural, Woodworking, Metalworking, Alternative Energy and Hardware items, but saying that she sells chainsaws is much more interesting! Amanda also reviews books and DVDs on Amazon.com often writing very clever and entertaining doggerels.
Tony Ross was born and raised in the Middle East before moving to Washington, D.C. He has worked in book and magazine publishing in both editorial and design capacities, and has recently completed his Masters in Library Science at the University of Maryland, where he currently lives with his wife and new daughter. After his wife and daughter, his main passions are reading, being with friends and family, and playing soccer.
Brian Farrey lives in Brooklyn Park, MN where he is enrolled in the MFA in Writing Program at Hamline University.
Peggy Lindsey - Peggy teaches writing, literature and English as a Second Language in Dayton, Ohio where she lives with her husband and three large dogs in a rambling Victorian. Her dream is to invent a device that repels dog hair from clothing. In the meantime, she spends her days reading fiction, writing a dissertation on Northern Irish novels, and removing very ugly wallpaper. In a pinch, she will read any text from toothpaste labels to car manuals, but prefers literary fiction and mysteries.
Josh Aterovis, a twenty-something artist, author, columnist, and reviewer, was born and bred on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and lives there with his husband, Jon. He has published two books in the award-winning Killian Kendall Mystery Series, Bleeding Hearts (see our review) and Reap the Whirlwind. He is currently working on the fifth Killian Kendall book, and co-authoring a romantic-comedy spin-off, while preparing the third for publication. His columns, artwork, and books can be found at his website, Black Sheep Productions. (Aterovis is a Latin pseudonym meaning "black sheep.")
Carisa Richner lives just outside of St. Paul Minnesota. She is a full-time mother of a kindergartener and a third grader. She holds a Masters degree in literature, runs a book club and participates in another, and constantly pushes books on her daughters (“Here, read this, I loved it when I was a kid!).(back to top)
Cindy Lynn Speer - Cindy is the writer of two soon-to-be-published novels and some short fiction. She loves reading pretty much everything, but specializes in mystery and fantasy novels. She is known for carrying books around with her everywhere --- and pulling them out to read while standing in line. She has since learned that while walking and reading are ok, reading and cross-stitch don't mix. You can learn all sorts of things about her and see sample of her writing at her home page. Also check out her recent Essay on Neil Gaiman and Comics. (back to top)
Kam (White) Aures Kam (White) Aures is a former corporate trainer who currently resides in Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a double major in Public Administration and Political Science. After college, she relocated to Florida and then back up to "the Northwoods" of Wisconsin where she got married and started a family. (back to top)
Sebastian Fernandez works as a consultant in statistics in Tampa, FL. He was born in Uruguay and has been living in the United States since 2000, when he came to Miami for his MBA. He spends a good portion of his free time reading, and carries a book everywhere he goes. He reads whenever he has to wait, like in the doctor's office, waiting in line someplace or even while walking or riding an elevator. His interests in books are broad and he enjoys a myriad of different genres and authors. His other hobbies include chess, tennis and swimming.(back to top)
Olivia Boler published her first novel, Year of the Smoke Girl (Dry Bones Press, Inc.), in 2000. She lives in San Francisco and writes freelance articles for publications including San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, Poets & Writers, and ForeWord magazine. She's currently working on her second novel, and hopes to have it out in the world really, really soon.(back to top)
Jennifer Leblanc is 24 years old and has an English degree from Rhode Island College.
Bill Robinson is a commercial freelance writer and editor. He writes a regular column, DesignLink, for office furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, Inc. The newsletter focuses on architecture and design. Bill and Nancy, his wife, and Gracie, their standard poodle, live a short walk from Lake Michigan.
Jenny Dressel is a mom of elementary school age twin daughters and has a sports-addicted husband. They currently live outside Annapolis, MD. She went to the University of Maryland for a degree in business, and got an education in ACC sports and dorm life. In a perfect world, she'd be traveling the globe, but finds it is more fiscally responsible to read about these adventures, instead. She can't wait until her girls are old enough to join a "mother-daughter" reading group.(back to top)
Shannon Bloomstran - Shannon grew up in Nebraska and attended the University of Kansas where she earned two degrees and a superior knowledge of Jayhawk basketball. After teaching history for ten years, she gave up the glamorous life of the high school classroom to raise a family and become a freelance writer. She now lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband Chris, human daughter Lucy, new-born son, Reid and the family dog, Chloe.
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Wenkai Tay is a freelance writer based in Singapore. His works have been published in books like Eye on the World, The Gift of Age, as well as in several magazines. Hee has also had two Chinese essays published in Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore's largest Chinese language daily newspaper.
Greg West is a graphic artist who lives and works in Charlotte, North Carolina. He once aspired to become a science fiction illustrator but got his feelings hurt once too often and quit. His artwork and a few opinions can be seen on his web site. He is single and lives alone. He likes cats but is not currently owned by one.
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Curtis Urness, Sr. is a freelance writer, currently working on his first novel. He has an MA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He lives in Kansas City with his five children.
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Nandini Pandya is the publisher of DesiJournal.com, a web site which features essays, stories and book reviews written from an Indian-American perspective. Although primarily a web designer and software developer, writing has become her new interest and passion. A mother of two, she lives in Connecticut.
Teri Davis has taught students at the intermediate grade level for twenty years. She is an organist/pianist and won a trip to Europe last summer to play for a music festival. She devours books finding few that she doesn't enjoy. With her husband, she has successfully raised four boys to (sometimes) men and now has two delightful dogs whom she finds much easier to raise than sons. And as she puts it, "Fortunately, I have been afflicted with systemic lupus erythematosus and when the disease is being difficult, reading calms it. So I have to read for my health."
Thom Didato is the founding editor for the online literary and arts magazine, failbetter.com. His own fiction has appeared in various literary journals and can be read in forthcoming issues of Gargoyle and 3am Magazine.
April Chase is a freelance writer and book reviewer from Western Colorado. Book reviews allow her to combine a lifelong love of books and writing. She also writes feature articles, and is working on a novel based upon her grandfather's journals of early 20th century farm life.
Karma Sawka - Karma began to write reviews for MostlyFiction.com in February 2002 after she was recruited while reporting an error she found at the site. She is an avid reader with strong interest in multicultural literature, especially in the immigrant experience. She belongs to a face-to-face reading group and is a frequent participant with the online reading group The Book Group List. Karma is an educator and holds bachelor degrees in English Literature, German Language and Literature, as well as a Master's in Education. In 2002, she won a Fulbright fellowship to visit India (however the trip was postponed to 2003 due to troubles between India and Pakistan). She is a native of Seattle, Washington where she lives with her husband and two cats.
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Chris Baker is a writer in Texas. When he's not writing reviews for MostlyFiction.com, he works as a haberdasher and assists the sartorially challenged.
Jeremy Baumann - Jeremy is a writer in New York City.
|About me, Judi Clark...|
Carl says I should tell you who I am. I'd like to think you can get clues throughout the web site since I do give a lot of personal details (like there is someone important in my life named Carl), especially in the earlier reviews. But I've taken his advice (once again) so here it is! My name is Judi Clark. I am turning the big 5-0 this year. We currently live in Southern NH, in the same town that I just so happen to have grown up in, which means that my family are now my neighbors. Believe me, this is the last place I thought I'd end up after spending all my teenage years earnestly trying to escape. But after a day spent with my mom, my grandmother, my sisters or any of my nieces and nephews, I'm rather glad I've had a chance to return.
After a couple of attempts at relocating to Florida, I decided that I really wanted to get back to doing what I used to do - Product Management. For two years I was employed at a small company in Andover, MA called Opticom Inc., but left there thinking, again, that I'd be moving to Florida. But alas, it hasn't worked out. (To quote River Woman, my mantra became "soon-soon.") So after our last trip to Florida, which was a wonderful vacation, I realized that we weren't going to move any time soon. Thus, it was about time to look for another job. As luck would have it, I did find employed again, this time far from the high tech business. I'm now work for a small company called Wishpets which makes and sells "plush" animals (a.k.a. stufed animals). I have many hats including taking the photos of all the plush and putting them together in catalogs and working on product development, which includes going to China twice a year. Next time you walk by a bin of stuffed animals, check the tags, they could be one of ours.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep MostlyFiction.com going, and although its been tough at times, MostlyFiction.com is still here and growing, though I've had to change its direction a bit (no raffles, less chapter excerpts, etc.). I've nearly given upd writing my own reviews but manage to squeeze in a few here and there. So, things are looking up.