Author's BLOG on great reads by other authors, as well as my books

Recommended reading:
1.Ta-Nehisi Coates' We Were Eight Years in Power
2. Otessa Moshfegh's novel Eileen
3. Nancy Dafoe's mystery You Enter a Room 
4. Dafoe's new mystery Both End in Speculation 
5. Jacob Appel's book of short stories Scouting for the Reaper
6. Seth Rogoff's First, the Raven,  A Preface
7. Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic, Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War 
8. Karen Pastorello's and Susan Goodier'sWomen Will Vote
9. Karen Foresti Hempson's Bean Pickers, American Immigrant Portraits
More Recommendations:
1. Nobel Prize winner, Orhan Pamuk's A Strangeness in My Mind
2. Nathan Hill's novel The Nix
3. William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. Read and re-read. Always worth going back to his incredible work.
4. Frank Wilczek nonfiction A Beautiful Question
5. Eric Keller's Half-Built Houses, murder mystery

Sharing your stories and words:

  • "Nancy, I wept my way through your wonderful book. There were tears of overwhelming sadness at what this thief, dementia, has stolen from our moms and our families. Tears of forgiveness for myself and my sister for all our mistakes in dealing with our mother and this horrific disease. Tears of forgiveness for our mother for the way she treated us at times in her illness. Tears of forgiveness for words spoken from well meaning people. There was so much we didn't know and so much we knew and overlooked or explained away. New prescription eyeglasses found months later in the freezer, a burned microwave, scraped paint on her car, a run in with a Jaguar, uncontrolled anger and meanness, inability to understand instructions, medication found on the floor, confusion, etc. Thank you for writing Iceberg in Paradise. I found healing in my sadness while reading it. God give me the strength for what is yet to come from this illness.

Sincerely, Diane Irwin"

"Message: I just finished your book. My husband and I have been going thru the alzheimer's process with my mother....for a very long time - however, the last few months have been horrid. I just wanted to tell you how much I connected to your book is tagged on probably half the pages in your book because it hit home. I read some of the excerpts to my husband and he wonder you loved the book! I have read so many books on this insidious disease and caregiving, etc - there is only a handful that were worth keeping....yours is one.

Thank you!!!!/Lynn Robinson"

July 16, 2020

Too many people in this country do not read beyond required assignments in schools. There are a number of reasons for this dearth of reading, but all of them point a substantial number of Americans struggling with basic concepts, often existing just above or at functio...

September 23, 2019

Lucy, child of Italian immigrant parents, spent hot summers picking in the bean fields, but she gave her heart to immigrant child Francis, who grew up to be a dashing sailor stationed in Pearl Harbor on the most fateful day that "will live in infamy" and a place of "he...

January 8, 2019

Amy L. George gently invites readers to pause and take in moments with the poet’s persona as she stops at places along life’s journey. The Stopping Places (Finishing Line Press, 2018) is a profoundly lovely chapbook of poems anchored by four seasons of life. We move th...

November 5, 2018

At the beating heart of Seth Rogoff’s allusion-dense mystery Thin Rising Vapors is the intractable question: “why does man take his own life?” There are no witnesses to that determinative final act, just whispers from memories and, in this case, words left behind: a lo...

October 27, 2018

A review of Seth Rogoff’s First, the Raven, A Preface  

First, the Raven: A Preface is a small book in terms of physical size, but its conceptual terrain is expansive. Juxtaposed against Seth Rogoff’s novel is the “absolutely epic” book of his protagonists’ translation,...

October 23, 2018

Could there be a poetry chapbook more apt for the moment and Me, Too movement than Theresa Hamman’s All Those Lilting Tongues? Hamman’s taut lines, “all you/ ever do/ is show me/ how your subzero/ lips curl/ around your canary/ teeth/ as you gnaw/ on an old steak bone”...

September 18, 2018

Ottessa Moshfegh’s novel Eileen is a Pen/Hemingway winner and was on the short list for the Man Booker Prize, so I opened the book with great anticipation.

After my initial negative response to Eileen, I set the book aside and turned away from this litany of human ills,...

Phoebe Nilsen’s Without a Kiss is a sublimely cohesive chapbook of poetry on what is missing: whether is it that kiss, “three little words,” or the uncaptured moment.

Trains, as both motif and symbol, rumble over rails throughout this exquisite book of loss, missed oppo...

Structured as secular epiphanies, each set apart by the tilde, the text of The Last Mosaic reads, indeed, like a “circus,” as the authors write. This hybrid poem/essay is a high-flying act of daring interrupted by weird clowns with inappropriate smiles before lions and...

June 21, 2018

Review of Still Life

by Louise Penny

Review by Nancy Dafoe

I must begin with a confession: I’ve been told by a couple of people that my murder mystery You Enter a Room reminded them of the work of Louise Penny. That lovely compliment drove me to seek out Penny’s work, and...

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