A skeptic’s search for magic, one faery at a time.


In search of something to believe in again, Signe Pike left behind a career in Manhattan to undertake a magical journey-literally.

Read more at the Pivotal Thought for the Day

Your master class in the art of persuasion, taught by professors ranging from Bart Simpson to Winston Churchill.


Whether you’re an inveterate lover of language books or just want to win a lot more anger-free arguments on the page, at the podium, or over a beer, Thank You for Arguing is for you … and I featured it at Pivotal Public Speaking >> here

The latest from George R.R. Martin

dangerous_women This first volume features an original 35,000 word novella by George R.R. Martin.’The Princess and the Queen’ reveals the origins of the civil war in Westeros (before the events in A Game of Thrones), which is known as the Dance of the Dragons, pitting Targaryen against Targaryen and dragon against dragon. Other authors in this volume of warriors, bad girls and dragonriders include worldwide bestselling authors Brandon Sanderson, Lawrence Block and Nancy Kress. Read more here >>> http://bit.ly/1v2v027

More from George R.R. Martin …


A multidimensional hero in this multi-layered mystery thriller


Refuse Generation
By David Palmer

This book is a mystery thriller – on two levels – gripping thriller on the surface, intellectual challenge underneath.

New Zealand garbage collector, Farrari Auva’a, is drawn by a letter uncovered in rubbish, into a mystery full of suspense and intrigue. There are murderers and manipulators, professors and businessmen, and it takes him across the world through plane rides and peaceful countryside, car chases and awe-inspiring historical sites. On the surface.

Underneath, though, is the mystery of personal identity in a time of change. This is highlighted in several of the characters but particularly Ferrari, as they search themselves and their family relationships, their cultural ties, career paths and spirituality.

Author, David Palmer, has used his other interests – in war and history – to tie all of these together with the thriller narrative, and maintain the thread of refuse.

The combination of Stranger in a Strange Land and Hero’s journey works well, though I occasionally felt the need for an easier transition from high drama to contemplation. While I’m sure the details of the ancient codex were vital to the narrative, I have to admit to skipping a few pages in my urge to see what the thrilling outcome would be. It’s as if Palmer invited his readers onto the journey with him and stands beside them as reader and writer. Some of his descriptions are incredibly evocative …”A scalloping of wastewater stain rosettes on the carpet pile failed to conceal a floral design evoking a more gracious age”, for example…but this one went a bit beyond that “They followed a haze-abraded plain chitinous with industrial pullulations.” I must say it got my attention!

This sort of language, though, becomes part of the mysterious undercurrent -which in turn highlights the intuitive problem-solving amid rationality in the upper level of mystery.

I just hope there is a sequel where we see more of the mystery that is the multidimensional Ferrari, and of the beautiful culture and countryside that is his New Zealand.

Bronwyn Ritchie
Your Story Matters at PivotalBookClub.com

Ten guideposts on the power of Wholehearted living from Brene Brown


I love Brene Brown – her presentation style, her meticulous research, and her constant reassurance.

I featured this, her book, as the Pivotal Thought for the Day >>>> here

The Paperback revolution


As we look at the changes in format occurring now, with electronic readers taking their space alongside paper books, it seems hard to imagine why there would be such a furore over paperbacks. It was an interesting time …

‘‘Whether this revolution in the reading habits of the American public means that we are being inundated by a flood of trash which will debase farther the popular taste, or that we shall now have available cheap editions of an ever-increasing list of classics, is a question of basic importance to our social and cultural development.’’—Harvey Swados, 1951

Experience the Revolution

Between 1935 and 1960, the paperback revolution created a new industry overnight, permanently changed our understanding of “the book,” helped to democratize reading by increasing readership and eroding the lines between “high” and “low” literature, and created its own, unique genres and forms of expression. This animated timeline traces some of the companies and personalities which shaped the birth and growth of the paperback industry. >> http://bit.ly/1AJdtvw

[Quotation] “I read like …”

“I read like the flame reads the wood.” 

― Alfred Döblin

A Witch’s Aura

I recently received a request to review this book … and am so glad I accepted. I just couldn’t put it down!! If you have a teenager in the house, or if you would enjoy coming-of-age witchery combined with the story an age-old family feud, then check out “Witch’s Aura” …

witchs_auraA Witch’s Aura

Devon Volkel

When Shayde Gamic reaches her sixteenth birthday a family secret is revealed to her that both explains and complicates her life. Things that have seemed strange all her life begin to make sense and she embraces this new knowledge wholeheartedly. Her only regret being that this knowledge may threaten her burgeoning relationship with seventeen-year-old Kruise Wright.

As their relationship develops, Shayde struggles to decide how to reveal her true nature, unaware that the effect of this revelation will be more momentous and potentially devastating than she ever imagined. Can she uphold the destiny bestowed on her by her ancestors, or will her love for Kruise ultimately destroy her?

Read my review here >> http://bit.ly/1dd0XtD

10 of the best quotations about books and reading from the Pivotal Network in 2013