Roz Chast book a winner

Read Roz Chast’s best-selling memoir “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” in one sitting. It’s a heroic, poignant, funny book about how she coped with her parents’ painful descent into senility and the ravages of old age. Very relatable for anyone dealing with aggravating elderly parents.



Pure froth


Just finished Peter Mayle’s The Corsican Caper, a fizzy Champagne of a book. At 162-pages it’s the ideal quick beach read that’s centered on the activities of ultra rich, ultra chic jet setters in the Mediterranean. Did anyone notice the Lester Holt look alike on the charming cover?


Summer reading–hits and misses

The Wind is Not a River”–finished Brian Payton’s novel, but still can’t grasp the meaning of the dumb title. The book was good, although I was shocked to see at least two embarrassing typos. Shame on his editors!

Tried Lori MooresBark–read a couple chapters. Ho hum.

B. J. NovaksOne More Thing: Stories and Other Stories” was amusing up to middle of the first chapter when profanity raised its ugly head and I threw the book across the room. Simply no need for that rubbish!

Just finished Anna Quindlen’s latest novel “Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel” and loved it! I highly recommend Crumbs to everyone, especially Baby Boomers.

Forcing myself to start the bestseller Little Failure: A Memoir” by Gary Shteyngart but have low expectations. Not my milieu and I tend to steer clear of authors whose names I can’t pronounce.

New feature: What I Learned Today

From: New York Times, Seattle Times, The New Yorker, ABC News.

Blue is the new black for tuxedos. Adam Sandler’s latest movie “Blended” is a flop, despite the presence of darling Drew Barrymore. The hottest thing to come out of the cold is Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard. Americans are over scheduling themselves to feel more important. Actress America Ferrera demonstrated grace under pressure when some nut case got too close for comfort at Cannes.

“Magical” writer, Nobel-Prize winner “Gabo” García Márquez dead at 87

Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist whose One Hundred Years of Solitude established him as a giant of 20th-century literature, died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City, at the age of 87.Gabriel Garcia Marquez 1

Wonderful excerpt from “Gabo’s” obit in the New York Times:

Mr. García Márquez attributed his rigorous, disciplined schedule in part to his sons. As a young father he took them to school in the morning and picked them up in the afternoon. During the interval—from 8 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon—he would write.

“When I finished one book, I wouldn’t write for a while,” he said in 1966. “Then I had to learn how to do it all over again. The arm goes cold; there’s a learning process you have to go through again before you rediscover the warmth that comes over you when you are writing.”

Incidentally: “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is Bill Clinton‘s favorite book. If you haven’t read it yet, you should, and investigate Gabo’s other books, too. Gabriel Garcia Marquez 5Adios Gabo!



Inspector Brunetti author’s superb new book

Donna Leon’sMy Venice and Other Essays” is sublime–so enthralling I crept out of bed at 3 AM to savor more. A resident of Venice for almost forty years, Leon’s got the Italians nailed and pulls no punches about politics, immigration, racism, the lack of civic consciousness, the difficulties in getting the simplest project done, la bella figura, and many other magnificent quirks of the city she adores.

One Goodreads contributor who expressed “shock” at Leon’s “mean-spiritedness,” obviously didn’t get or appreciate her honesty, biting wit and general all ‘round splendidness. But, as someone who lived briefly in Italy I loved Ms. Leon’s viewpoints and am buying “My Venice and Other Essays” today–it’ll be a splendid addition to my Italy collection.


Madcap book signing Dec. 6–great gifts!

I’ll be appearing, along with other local writers, at the Lewis County Historical Museum’s annual fundraiser Evening with the AuthorsFriday December 6 from 4 to 7 PM in Chehalis, Washington.

GibsongirlwritingletterThe book signing/sale will feature all the books in the “Madcap” Mary humor series in addition to Publishing Syndicate’s “new” anthology Not Your Mother’s Book on Home Improvement.”

“Madcap” Mary books range in price from $5 to $7. NYMB on Home Improvement is $10 (that’s $7 off the retail price!)

Enjoy complimentary Chehalis Mints candies and enter to win a “Madcap” Mary book!

Call toll free 877-775-0093 or email me at for details.

Maya Angelou wisdom

“Over 40 years­–imagine it–I have tried to tell the truth as I understand it in prose,” she said. “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”  

Maya Angelou, after receiving the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, at the 2013 National Book Awards in New York Nov. 20.