Online Issue 18: Happy Thanksgiving

TSP OI18 cover

It isn’t the turkey or the stuffing or the pumpkin pie that will make your Thanksgiving truly great. It’s the books you can buy on Black Friday, and we’ve got you covered with tons of recommendations! First, Jenn Stroud Rossmann talks about what engineers read, then Susanna Beard shares what she has lined up and Rusty Barnes talks about what’s overloading his Kindle. Barbara Winkes also drops in to talk about the books she’s reading and ones she hopes to get to soon (such as Vox, which sounds fascinating). Who’s reading Gary Philips? Who has Max Ellendale’s latest on their nightstand? Who is anxious for Nicole Chung’s memoir? Check out those TBR piles to find out.

In my latest review I look at Jenn Stroud Rossmann’s The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh. Lots of great insights about family, life and identity here, with appeal for teens and adults alike.

Need to escape all the family togetherness? Rusty Barnes talks about his latest novel, The Last Danger, and cross-border crime. (What could be a better gift for the wall supporter on your shopping list?)

And in case your family Thanksgiving is nothing but political squabbles and family drama, Susanna Beard has cuteness on tap with her two trusty author assistants, Cookie and Tipsy. Pictures here.

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Miss our latest issues? Issue 17 contents  – featuring Tom Leins, Paul Brazill, Kelli Owen, JL Abrama, JJ Hensley, Terrence McCauley, Barbara Winkes and more – can be found here.

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We’ll be back next week with CJ Lyons, Ovidia Yu, Wendy Webb and more.

Plus, December 1 I’ll kick off my Advent Calendar, covering a book, movie, TV series or something else I enjoyed from this past year and recommend.

(Not a ‘best of’ list, because I haven’t consumed everything so I couldn’t possibly say what’s best. And not a ‘best of stuff by my friends’ list either. Most or all come from people I have never met.)

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How Cookie and Tipsy keep Susanna Beard’s writing on track

Fun Fact:

“I fell down a crevasse in France, and survived uninjured.” – Susanna Beard

CookieI have two writing assistants, who both take their roles very seriously. They have a bed each in my office and supervise my working day. Cookie is a little golden Cairn terrier, who is sweet-natured, gentle and affectionate. He’s eleven years old now and is beginning to get a little slow. He loves his walks and sleeps for the rest of the day. Sometimes his assistant role involves sitting on my lap as I type – this helps for a short while, until my legs go to sleep.

TipsyTipsy is a cute Yorkshire terrier with a taste for squirrels and a piercing bark. She loves nothing better than a tummy tickle, and can often be seen in the park on her back with her legs in the air, waiting for an unsuspecting dog walker to give her the attention she deserves. She looks after my well-being, which involves barking at birds, squirrels and any unexpected noise outside the house. This all ensures I don’t get a stiff back from sitting down for too long.  

 

When I’m stuck with my writing, need to organise my thoughts or simply take a break, they take me out into the country for a refreshing walk. What more can you ask from your assistants?

Dogs in office

 

Check out what Susanna has on her TBR pile here!

The Truth Waits Cover with quotes

 

Susanna is fascinated by human relationships. She can be found people-watching wherever she goes, finding material for her writing. Her passions include animals — particularly her dogs — walking in the countryside and tennis, which clears her brain of pretty much everything. She aims to keep writing, and never to get old.

Dian Setterfield, Francesca Kay, Maggie O’Farrell, Rachel Edwards … Susanna Beard talks about the books she’s lined up to read

The Truth Waits Cover with quotesWhat are some of the titles in your current TRB pile?

Once Upon a River by Dian Setterfield – I heard her speak at the Henley Literary Festival, and this book concerns the River Thames, which is close to my home and I walk there every day.

The Translation of the Bones by Francesca Kay – I loved An Equal Stillness, which I admired both for the writing and the power of the story.

I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O’Farrell – she’s such a great writer.

What book are you currently reading?

Darling, by Rachel Edwards – it’s fab. It concerns the relationship between a stepmother and her stepdaughter, and includes themes like racism, bullying and family tensions. It’s full of suspense and I can’t wait to find out how it ends.

What do you hope to add to your TBR pile soon and why?

I want to read more of Marian Keyes’ books, because I’ve only read one, and really enjoyed it; anything by Matt Haig, because he’s such a great storyteller and his books about mental illness are life-affirming and tender; Milkman by Anna Burns, to see what makes it good enough to win the Man Booker prize 2018.  

Bonus: Which author do you want to see have a new book out soon?

Elizabeth Day, who wrote The Party. Wonderful writing and a beautifully told, complex and rich story; and Sarah Winman, whose titles When God Was a Rabbit and Tin Man are among my favourites.  

 

Check out Cookie and Tipsy, Susanna’s trusty writing companions, here!

251A1726Susanna is fascinated by human relationships. She can be found people-watching wherever she goes, finding material for her writing. Despite the writer’s life, she has an adventurous streak and has swum with whale sharks in Australia, fallen down a crevasse in the French Alps and walked through the sewers of Brighton – not in that order.

Her passions include animals — particularly her dogs — walking in the countryside and tennis, which clears her brain of pretty much everything.

Susanna’s debut novel, Dare to Remember, a psychological thriller, was published in February 2017. Her second, The Truth Waits, launched on 1 November 2018. She aims to keep writing, and never to get old.