October is the month for... publishing a book! Almost on store shelves (official release date: Oct. 21, official on-sale date: Nov. 10) is The Book Babes' "BETWEEN THE COVERS: The Book Babes' Guide to a Woman's Reading Pleasures." To introduce it, the Babes will appear together in the flesh at the St. Petersburg Times Festival of Reading Oct. 25 and on the West Coast -- Portland, Seattle, San Francisco -- in early November. We'll post the complete schedule as those events draw near, so if you're in the area, please join us to celebrate.
"Between the Covers" recommends books by both men and women authors, but the choices were made on the basis of the books' relevance to women's lives. It's a book written by, for and about the joys and challenges facing the contemporary woman, from the teenage years through the so-called golden ones... which raises the question: Don't we want to make them ALL golden?
Meanwhile, two ways to join the up-with-women zeitgeist: Ursula Le Guin's "Lavinia" and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's "The Palace of Illusions." Le Guin dips into Roman mythology to retell Virgil's story, the Aenid, from a wife's point of view; likewise, Divakaruni draws from the ancient Hindu text, the Mahabharat, to bring women in that tale from out of the shadows. Publishers are hopelessly addicted to comparing new books to bestsellers in the hope that they can build a big audience for what they're schlepping. So forgive me if I indulge in the same awkward comparison. But if you think of "The Red Tent" dressed up in non-biblical clothing, you've got the idea of what both of these novels can provide. And with our world in such chaos, what better time to turn to the ancients for inspiration and guidance?
Both of these books received four stars from Bookmarks magazine, the best publication for readers -- and I say this without knowing what if anything the magazine plans to say about "Between the Covers." We authors can only hope for the attention we so richly deserve.