Magic Comes to The Book Loft in Solvang

Once upon a time, the famed Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen wrote, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.” And so it is within The Book Loft in Solvang, a wondrous Scandinavian shop within a building that also houses the non-profit Hans Christian Andersen Museum upstairs, located in the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa … Read more

Masters of Twists & Turns

Unease. Creepiness beneath the surface. An unanticipated turn. Shock value. An ironic ‘all’s well’ reversal. Certain authors are known for transforming the mundane into the unforgettable or for writing against expectations, creating works that stay with the reader forever. As I look through my shelves of books, much like a stroll down memory lane, my eyes … Read more

The Warmth & Wisdom of Alexander McCall Smith

A Renaissance man, former University of Edinburgh law professor, and instructor of medical law and bio-ethics, prolific Alexander McCall Smith has written over 100 books, completes five or six a year, and is now trying his hand at composing librettos and operas. ‘Talented’ would be an understatement for this brilliant, insightful, one-of-a-kind author and humanitarian, … Read more

Creating Conversations: Talking Shop with Terry Gilman

In the realm of inventive, imaginative, and productive ways of bringing books, authors, and readers together, visionary Terry Gilman of Creating Conversations in Redondo Beach, California, has enough know-how to fill a guidebook. Her statement in a recent interview, “The only thing I do is sell books,” is a bit modest when you consider the … Read more

Love Defies Time: Portrait of Jennie & Somewhere in Time

Ah, eternal love. In the end, what you believe becomes your world. (Portrait of Jennie and Somewhere in Time) Does your heart soar when you discover romantic fantasy stories that transcend the boundaries of time?  Mine does if they meet the mysterious, fantastical, vaguely plausible criteria that I require in a well-told tale of love with … Read more

How Reading Helps Shape Our Emotions: The Sequel

Please get emotional with more exceptional passages. Laugh Out Loud Hilarity The Princess Bride (William Goldman, 1973) The Princess Bride turns the standard “Prince Charming rescues helpless Princess” upside down into a mad adventurous farcical fable. The reader often laughs out loud. Westley, the hero, is the Farm Boy to the socially superior heroine Buttercup. … Read more