Open Books Newsletter
Winter 2020/2021

Travel Documentary Producer Rick Steves talks with 
Open Books Author David Mould
Listen now
"David Mould has done it again with Postcards from the Borderlands where he describes the complex religious, political, economic, and ethnic considerations involved in drawing boundaries. Mould’s writing is crisp and clean yet also descriptive and often amusing. Anyone who relishes descriptions of other countries and their idiosyncrasies, including borders, will enjoy and learn from this book."
-Paula Claycomb, Senior Advisor, Communication for Development, UNICEF 

This episode's guest professional dancer and founder of the She Is Organization Isabella Grosso(@bellaspinkmachete) transitions the conversation to tougher topics like using art to heal trauma(10:54), taking back your body after sexual abuse(35:20) and cutting off family (37:05). What’s the best way to handle you or someone you know being sexually abused? Aalia, Alex and Isabella have you covered with answers and information(29:30). And rapid fire questions for Isabella (42:20)!

Connect with Isabella on IG @bellaspinkmachete
Dancer and actress Isabella Grosso introduces readers to the complex underground of the strip club industry as seen from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old as she struggles, and ultimately survives as a child-turned-adult with a double life.

Natasha's Not My Name delves deeply into the dark pockets of sexual abuse, suicide, drug use, exploitation, and the inner strength it takes for a wounded child to grow up to be a strong woman, and what ultimately saves her: a love for dance and the arts, and a desire to share her story to help girls in equally vulnerable situations.

Introspective, unapologetic, and brave, Natasha's Not My Name is inspirational reading for all women.

The Borders of Our Minds

Presentation schedule

Date/time, Host,Platform

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 6pmKanawha County (WV) Public LibraryTera Merritt, tera.merritt@kanawhalibrary.org  (Zoom)
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 7pmHopkinton Public Library (MA)Jessi McCarthy, jmccarthy@hopkintonma.gov (Zoom)
Thursday, Dec. 10, 7pmAthens (OH) Public LibraryTodd Bastin, tbastin@myacpl.org (Google Meet)
Tuesday, Jan. 12, noonOhio County (Wheeling, WV) Public LibrarySean Duffy, lunchwithbooks@yahoo.com (StreamYard)
Tuesday, Jan. 26, 7pmWorthington (OH) Public LibraryMeredith Southard, msouthard@worthingtonlibraries.org (Zoom)
Monday, Feb. 1, 7pmMt. Vernon and Knox Co (OH) Public LibraryJessica Horlacher, jhorlacher@knox.net (TBA)



What readers are saying about
Heaven and Other Zip Codes


"Mathieu Cailler has masterfully woven an intense narrative of human life..."  - Amanda L. Pugh

"Cailler’s well-crafted characters blur the lines of morality and offer compelling viewpoints that impel us to challenge our own way of thinking."  -R

"The pain we all feel and how we respond to it is made crystal clear through the author’s beautiful prose."  -C. Zacker

"I loved this book and found myself slowing down to savor each sentence as I neared the end, knowing it would be one of those books I would be sad to finish. I even thought about the characters long after I finished the book, (wondering how they were faring), which is always the sign that a book has truly captured my heart! I highly recommend this book."
-Kindle Customer
 Click logo 
to listen to podcast
Read about author Mathieu Cailler in the current issue of Palos Verdes Magazine
Click image to enlarge
What's new at Open Books? Only everything!
Click image to listen to podcast
What happens when a boy from Kansas joins the Peace Corp and is stationed in Africa then forgets to go home...for 50 years?
Mark G. Wentling
Visit all 54 African countries with an adventurous American guide who has spent over half a century on the continent.

Africa Memoir tells the incredible lifetime story of Mark G. Wentling, a boy from Kansas who grew up to travel, work, and visit all 54 African countries. Derived from over a half century spent working and living on the African continent, Wentling devotes a chapter to each country describing his firsthand experiences, eye-opening impressions, and views on future prospects.

Original and authoritative, this one-of-a-kind, three-volume work deserves a special place on the bookshelves of anyone interested in Africa.
OB Author Carmit Delman Kicks Off Team Storey Video Series


Carmit Delman, author of dystopian foodie novel Consider the Feast, talks about living near the New York State Covid-19 hot spot of New Rochelle, reading and writing dystopian fiction during a pandemic, and how she sees the restaurant scene changing after the crisis is over. Plus, find out what this foodie novelist is eating during the quarantine. All of this and more in this pilot episode of "Storey Time", hosted by bestselling historical novelist Stephanie Storey.
Don't Forget Your Hat!
Ever wonder how old you’ll be in heaven? If righteous cavemen and women will make the heavenly cut? And, gee, if marriage is so great then how come there’s no Mrs. God? Chris Rodell wonders about stuff like that all the time. He wonders about holidays, occupations, traffic and if refrigerating your deodorant adds zing to your morning.

Yes, it’s a wonder-full life.

It’s a zany world out there and it takes a nimble mind to sort it all out. Rodell does it with style, warmth, an engaging euphoria and undaunted optimism that lets every reader know he enjoys being human and enjoys human beings.
Celebrating a 30-Year Career Working Overseas
From Timbuktu to Duck and Cover: Improbable Tales from a Career in Foreign Service
by US Ambassador (Ret.) Lewis Lucke

While spending thirty years overseas in the US Foreign Service, and living in eleven countries and working in many more, Ambassador Lucke accumulated many stories that would never have happened “at home.” His work took him to Timbuktu (twice), to places in West Africa where kids ran away in fear at their first glimpse of a person with white skin, to the scary run up to Gulf War I in North Africa, to the jungles of Bolivia and Lake Titicaca in the Andes, biblical sites of Jerusalem, the passing of King Hussein in Jordan, to interaction with a few US Presidents and many members of Congress. He was thrust into the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, deployed into the war zone of Iraq, and finally served as US Ambassador to the last absolute monarchy in Africa. His take on a thirty-year career abroad: “It was never boring.”

Lewis Lucke served for 30 years overseas in the Foreign Service with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Department of State. Ambassador Lucke lived and worked in ten countries as part of his official duties - Mali, Senegal, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Bolivia, Jordan, Haiti, Kuwait, Iraq and Swaziland, the latter as US Ambassador. He was USAID Mission Director in Bolivia, Jordan, Haiti and the first ever USAID Director in Iraq.
Upcoming in Spring 2021
Following up on her popular first book on the City of Light, Pilgrimage to Paris: The Cheapo Snob’s Guide to the City and Americans Who Lived There, Jayne R. Boisvert offers a bit of a different look on the city of her passion, Paris and Parisians: The Cheapo Snob Explores the City and Its Famous French Residents. Boisvert highlights actors, artists, authors, chefs, fashion designers such as: Brigit Bardot, Claude Monet, Albert Camus and Coco Chanel.


Nothing we think we know - NOTHING - is likely to be correct

If Ignorance is Bliss... explores the limitations of knowledge and argues that neither reasoning nor direct observation can be trusted. Not only are they unreliable sources, but they do not even justify assigning probabilities to claims about what we can know. This position, called radical skepticism, has intrigued philosophers since before the birth of Christ, yet nobody has been able to refute it.


And January is mystery month...
A New James Emerson Harris Mystery

Things always seem to go wrong for Jimmy Harris. The small coastal town of San Buenasara is gripped in a recession. Jimmy’s law practice is in the tank.

Wee Willy’s is the hot pot company in town. And perhaps a way to stay afloat. Willy wants him to be president. To think, him a president.

Alas, things are not what they seem. Mysterious shell companies own the stock. The company is broke, even though boxes of cash keep arriving. Jimmy finds himself up to his eyebrows in a struggle between the law and shadowy people who will do anything to get their way. Is it the drug cartel? The Mafia? Or is it the FBI?


A New Emily Winter Mystery

In the summer of 1977, Chicago’s WSMP-TV investigative reporter Emily Winter covers the passionate, on-going confrontation between a woman’s health clinic fighting to preserve a woman’s right to choose and the equally ardent demonstrators fighting against that right. Before Emily can explore the depths of this intractable battle, the clinic is violently attacked and a beloved clinic staff member is killed. Suddenly, Emily’s story transforms into a murder investigation. There are few tangible clues and none of the suspects will cooperate with the investigation. In addition to the stonewalling, Emily deals with a petty former colleague who is determined to shut down her access to her story. But all this pales when Emily, her husband, soulmate and best firend Benjamin and their crusty Uncle Max face alarming sniper attacks and Emily uses her ingenuity to get the story t and bring the truth to light.