Hello from Linda

Books pile up on the desk of the blog editor.

Hi, this will soon be my book blog.  I was the book-review editor of the Winston-Salem Journal for 25 years.  Since August, that book-review page is history, and so is my editorship. However, I’ve still been reading. And publishers have kindly been sending me review copies. So, as soon as I figure out what I’m doing, the reviews will resume.

I am calling the blog Briar Patch Books for three reasons. First, although I will review a broad range of books, I am partial to Southern literature, and particularly literature from North Carolina. Second, I live in a rural area of Stokes County, N.C., out where the blackberries grow wild. And third, one of the reasons I’ve always loved literature is because as a young child, I listened to my father, J.P Carter, as he masterfully told (and acted out) the stories of Joel Chandler Harris. When The Sentinel newspaper was folded in 1985, and the editors at the city’s surviving newspaper, the Winston-Salem Journal, asked if I’d be interested in editing the book-review page, my response was, in  essence, like Br’er Rabbit’s “Please don’t throw me in the briar patch!”

13 responses to “Hello from Linda”

  1. Hey, Linda! Let me be the first to post a comment! I’m too lazy to write reviews (especially since you aren’t hovering over me anymore, asking about them), but this is a great idea.

  2. Sounds great and it is really useful to get books from publishers. I don’t want to review books, but I sure do like to read them.

  3. Southern Fiction–what great idea. Yes, your dad was the greatest story teller. It was always amazing how animated he became and how much fun he seemed to have doing it!

    • Hi, Peggy! So nice to hear from you. What all are you up to these days? Send along any books of yours I might have missed.

  4. Love it. Hope it goes well. Keep me posted. And finally: “Please doan throw me in dat brar patch!” has been the standard response to that kind of request in my family since I was in diapers…probably before, but I can’t speak from first hand knowledge before that.

  5. Linda, what a terrific idea and so like you.!!!!!! Love your title too. I miss reviews.
    So I’ll be reading. And I too, lean toward the Southern side of literature. Can’t get enough, though I do branch out to other parts on occasion. Congratulations. ruth moose

  6. This is such a wonderful idea, Linda! I will definitely keep coming back to “Briar Patch Books,” particularly since the Journal is no longer publishing “local” reviews–a terrible shame, in my opinion. Anyway, I will look for book reviews here from now on!

  7. this is what I have been waiting for, Linda. Since so many of reviews publications are gone, I search in vain for others. I like blogs that go straight to my point of interest–books–without having to read alot of other stuff about the lives of bloggers. I like people as much as books, so it’s not that I am not interested in personal lives. I just like to know that a book page is about books.
    I have been so discouraged by not having gotten reviews for my last book (BECOMING ELIZABETH LAWRENCE), which is my favorite of Lawrence books I’ve worked on, that I didn’t think I could write another book without, say, Janet Lembke, to write about it for the raleigh N&O book page. Betty Leighton used to write with such depth and discernment in the Winston-Salem Journal that her essays constituted a book of criticism. I hope that your blog will build up such prestige and interest that readers will really learn something. Thank you–I know it takes time, and thanks to your reviewers. It’s such important, wonderful work. Emily

  8. Linda,

    I ran into Bob Moyer recently and learned of your new adventure. It makes no sense that local newspapers and the local big-chain bookstores are ignoring their local writers and readers. So I am glad to see that you have created a new platform for your love of books. We have a wonderful new collection of poetry from Isabel Zuber, Red Lily, that I would love to send. I know starting up a new book blog takes time, so I will do my best to let others know about it.

    Thank you for all you did for Press 53 and our authors while at the Winston-Salem Journal.


  9. Hi Linda,
    We love what you are doing. Keep Barnhills in mind for any new author/poet who is looking for a venue to sell their book and/or do a book signing. We specialize in local/self published authors. (We have alot of Press 53 books in stock.)

    Thais Black, Manager

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *