BOOK LUST
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Jump right to a Zona Rosan's review of Rosemary's book, SECRETS OF THE ZONA ROSA Jump

Rosemary and her sister Anne, our Zona Rosa Book Club editor

Rosemary and her sister
Anne, our Zona Rosa Book
Club editor


M
y sister, Anne Webster, is a memoirist who has also been called one of the best nurse-poets in the country. Her first collection of poetry, A HISTORY OF NURSING, was published in 2008 and was long-listed for the prestigious National Book Award. Both of us love poetry and good writing of any kind, and throughout the years—between swapping recipes, comparing notes on our kids, and checking out one another’s new clothes—we’ve enjoyed many hours of talking about writing and life.  My favorite vision of my sister is of her seated in the overstuffed chair in her den, avidly perusing a new book of poetry.

Not so coincidentally, Anne is also one of the best and most widely read people I know.Each year she writes a mini-review of every book she reads during the year, and at the end of that year, she gives each of us the very special gift of her list. Below is her fabulous list for 2010 on which you may see books you, too, would like to read. Keep in mind, though, that this is Anne's personal list and one with which you may or may not agree (for example, Patti Smith's JUST KIDS, which won the National Book Award in Nonfiction and which I and other Zona Rosans loved, was among the books Anne stopped reading midway through).

ANNE'S 2009 Book Reviews:

In addition, at every regular Zona Rosa meeting, we pass around a notebook in which members write or paste reviews of books they’ve read, with the one caveat that they review them as honestly and concretely as possible. 

Since all of us in Zona Rosa are different, the books we choose to review reflect our individual tastes, passions, and projects  (for example, while I was writing SECRETS OF THE ZONA ROSA, my bedside table and writing desk were surrounded by tall stacks of books on women’s lives—how we live them, how we can improve them—as well as endless tomes of quotes as source material for just the right lines to precede every section in the book). 

These mini-reviews help us hone our skills and also give us fresh ideas on what we might like to read ourselves. I like to tease that if they never write a review in the notebook, I’ll think they never read—which we all know is an a priori activity for those of us who write!

Indeed, in our shared book lust, Anne, the Zona Rosans, and I are lucky. And now through the Zona Rosa Book Club, we hope to pass some of that thrill on to you.

The books we describe on this page will be a mix of those we feel to be of special interest to the kind of women (and sometimes men) who share our special vision. 

And best of all, many of the books reviewed will be by the Zona Rosans, former Zona Rosans, and friends of Zona Rosa—proving once again that writing-and-sisterhood works!

*And Just for Fun: Book Titles To Die For – Like The Perfect Dress, There’s Nothing Better. 

Better Homes and Husbands

In addition, we’ve also had fun listing book titles we love—whether for their zaniness or the way they perfectly capture the author’s vision. Among them have been IS THERE ANYTHING GOOD ABOUT MEN?,FAT GIRLS AND LAWN CHAIRS, ANGRY HOUSEWIVES EATING BON BONS, I HAD BRAIN SURGERY – WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?, ESCAPE FROM HOUSE BEAUTIFUL, HOW TO SET HIS THIGHS ON FIRE,THE BOOK OF THE ROTTEN DAUGHTER, EVERYTHING ABOUT ME IS FAKE. . .AND I’M PERFECT, WIVES BEHAVING BADLY, A BROOM OF HER OWN, SCOT ON THE ROCKS, DON'T! (a contrarian view of marriage), TARGET UNDERWEAR AND A VERA WANG GOWN, DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY, OR WHEN I GET ON MY FEET, YOU’LL BE SORRY,  I USED TO MISS HIM BUT MY AIM IS IMPROVING, and MINE ARE SPECTACULAR (yes, the author means exactly what you think!).

HOT PINK NEWS FLASH:  BEST RECENT BOOK TITLE! P.M.S., OR PROBLEMS MEN STARTED by Nikki Hardin, Founder and Editor- in-Chief of Skirt! (Read more about Nikki, and her ability to take risks, in Chapter Three of Rosemary's book, SECRETS OF THE ZONA ROSA.)

Thinking about such titles gives us the courage to follow our instincts and step out onto a limb with our own, such as Deborah’s COOK AND F**K BOOK, Connie’s HAILEY’S CONFIDENCE, Kathleen’s TRIALS OF A DEAD LAWYER’S WIFE, and Charlotte’s ROAD TRIP OF LOVE: TALES OF A TEXAS JEW GIRL. 

They also help us realize that the old rules don’t apply – that yes, titles can be long, and yes, they can be quirky, provocative. In addition, playing around with them while honing our creativity is fun.

Read the Zona Rosa BOOK LUST Reviews:

 

 


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