This book was an enjoyable read about one woman's journey through life written in a series of columns. Check out my interview with the author here and there's also a giveaway below to win a copy of the book.
Book Title: Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short
Author: Jan Risher
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 312 pages
Genre: Memoir/collection of essays that create a narrative
Publisher: Sans Souci Press, imprint of University of Louisiana Press
Release date: Oct 9, 2018
Tour dates: Dec 3 to 14, 2018
Content Rating: G
Jan Risher took the long way to get from Mississippi to Louisiana with stops in between in Slovakia, Mexica, China, Burkina Faso and more than 40 other countries. Since moving to Louisiana, she has been a Sunday columnist for The Daily Advertiser and has written a column every single Sunday since 2002.
Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short is the collection of columns written over 15 years. Arranged in chronological order, the collection creates a narrative of one woman's aim to build her family, build up her community and weave the stories and lessons learned from the past into the present.
From her family's move to Louisiana, adoption of a daughter from China, covering Hurricane Katrina, travels near and far, author Jan Risher attempts, sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding, to do her small part to make the world a better place.
As a writer, mother and entrepreneur I could relate to many of Risher's stories. I enjoyed reading these snippets that held a view of the world from her perspective. Risher includes memories of her childhood in Mississippi, the effects of hurricane Katrina, the kindness of strangers both on her travels and in her hometown when her house was flooded. But most of all, her children are a big part of her stories. From the adoption of Piper from China in 2002 all the way to her first-born Greer leaving home in 2017 to attend her second year in college in NYC.
Her writing gets better as the years pass in the sense that she is a more confident writer. Her stories sometimes tie in to her past ones. I found these columns easy to read since they were very short, while simultaneously wishing some of them could have continued or been longer since I was caught up in the story and wanted to know more.
I enjoyed the gems of wisdom Risher shares with her readers about what her life experiences have taught her. One which has stayed with me is "Acknowledge and move on", and that it's never too late for missed opportunities.
Looking to the Stars From Old Algiers is one of those books that you take your time to read. A couple of essays at a time so one can enjoy the message in each one. This was an enjoyable read about one woman's journey through life written in a series of columns.
Jan Risher is an award-winning journalist and investigative reporter. She was managing editor of The Times of Acadiana. Before and after her time as a full-time journalist, she was an English teacher. She has taught English near and far, in its most basic and most lyrical forms. She continues her career as a freelance writer and now owns Shift Key, a content marketing and public relations firm. She, her husband and their two daughters have made their home on the banks of the Vermilion River.
Connect with Jan: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram