Email me at

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Steinbeck- American Literary Master

I am so excited to begin the new book just published by the University of Virginia Press, "Steinbeck in Vietnam: Dispatches from the War." Edited by Thomas E. Barden, "Steinbeck in Vietnam" is a compilation of the columns Steinbeck wrote for publication in Newsday between December 1966 and May 1967 as he toured the war zone. These dispatches are the last published works of John Steinbeck.

Other great works by Steinbeck:


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Give the Gift of Books this Mother's Day

Mother's Day is quickly approaching. Still searching for gift ideas? Give the gift that keeps on giving...a Book!

"The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant celebrates women and the role they play as mothers, wives, sisters, aunts, friends, and daughters. The story is told through the voice of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, who is briefly mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Through Dinah, we are provided a look at the life and culture of her mother, her aunt Rachel, and the women who surround them. This story details Dinah's imagined fate, as well as embracing the mother of all living things.

"The Lace Reader" by Brunonia Barry centers around a group of women living in modern-day Salem, Mass, who create a specific lace that has been made for generations. Several of the women have the gift of reading one's future in the pattern of the lace, a talent that is strongly guarded alongside the secrets of the Whitney women. "The Lace Reader" is a mystery that leaves the reader questioning which events are myth and which are reality. Only the lace knows for certain.

Celebrate Mother's Day with one of these or another great read by giving the gift of a book and sharing the joy of reading!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book Giveaway!

The first book giveaway from 'The Key to the Gate'

Originally published in 1937, "They Came Like Swallows" by William Maxwell centers around the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918 following the end of World War I, and how one small-town Illinois family endures the crisis and tragedy which befalls them.

** To be entered to win, simply become a follower of The Key to the Gate by utilizing the "Join this site" tool in the sidebar at the right of the page. The deadline to follow is May 12. A random selection of all followers will be made following the deadline and the winner will be notified for mailing contact information. 

Stay tuned for future book giveaways!


Sunday, April 15, 2012


Click the image to buy this title from Amazon.

I always learn something from every book I read. Within its story, there is most often a theme or message that causes me to think beyond the characters and situations described. But some books have such a great impact that I am certain they will remain with me for the rest of my days. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit: An American Legend, is one of those books.

I don't want to give away too many details because I highly encourage you to read this book if you have yet to do so. Unbroken is a recount of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner, who enlists in WWII serving as a bombardier in the Army Air Force. After the B-24 on which Zamperini is serving on a search and rescue mission crashes in the Pacific Ocean, he is taken on a journey that no one could imagine and few could endure.

It is a book that reminds us of the importance of small acts of kindness even in the midst of the horrors of war, and why this group of men and women are considered "the greatest generation." Unbroken is a beautiful salute to our veterans. It is a story of resilience, inspiration, faith, survival, and how one man refused to be broken.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April is National Poetry Month

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is held every April to celebrate the art of poetry.

Take a Reading Challenge: Set a goal to read one poem a day for the remainder of the month. Many poems are available online for free. Revisit the works of one of the "Great Romantics" such as Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, or John Keats. Indulge in American poetry from the masters- Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson- or a more contemporary/modern poet- e. e. cummings, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes.

Learn more about National Poetry Month or search for poems via author or theme to discover new poets at You may just find the inspiration you need to write your own poem and share it with others on your social networking sites.

There are also many movies that prominently feature poetry such as The Dead Poets Society in which Robin Williams portrays an English teacher who inspires students to love poetry or my personal favorite, Bright Star, which is based on the life of poet John Keats.

What are you waiting for?
Carpe Diem and Discover Poetry!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Welcome to The Key to the Gate

I have had a long and lasting love affair with books since I first learned to read. I can fall in love with a book before I even read the first sentence. The cover art, the quality of the paper, the smell of the ink, the type of binding- all of these things that comprise the book draw me in. And then its begins. A good story can capture the reader's attention within the first paragraph, and it becomes impossible to put it down. Dinner will have to wait. It's only 2 a.m. I can function on four hours of sleep, right? And so it goes.

I also love blogs. I love to visit them and catch a glimpse at another's world and that feeling when you realize that we are truly all so similar. It's a chance to share the things you enjoy with others in hopes that they too are inspired and continue to share the message. The message is simple. Read. Read for your mind, read for your heart, read for your spirit, read to understand, change, evolve. Read. Always read.

Here, you will soon find reading suggestions, information for book clubs, book giveaways, and hopefully much more. Stay up-to-date with The Key to the Gate by clicking on the "Join this site" link in the sidebar or enter your email address to have posts sent directly to your inbox. Let's share the joy of reading together!



Blog Widget by LinkWithin