Women's Voices Writing Contest Winner

By Peggy Epstein
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
Dec 15, 2018

Johnson County Library and The Writers Place are pleased to announce that Peggy Epstein has won the essay category of our writing contest on the theme of WOMEN'S VOICES with "Wordless".

My writing career has been crazily eclectic: two parenting books published by McGraw-Hill and Capitol Books; four locally produced musicals (with my partner, composer Allen Epstein)--one for the Kansas City Fringe Festival; 30 or so fiction/essays for various magazines and journals; dozens of features for the Kansas City Star, hundreds of pieces for the on-line site, Demand Studios, and, most rewarding to me

Raising Human Beings: Creating A Collaborative Partnership With your Child

By Ross W. Greene
Star Rating

Rated by Chris K.
Aug 8, 2017

As I ponder what to say about this book, I'm reminded of two quotes I like from another; Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone:

People almost never change without first feeling understood.

The single most important thing [you can do] is to shift [your] internal stance from "I understand" to "Help me understand." Everything else follows from that.

Though stated differently, those ideas lie at the core of the parenting approach Greene describes in this book. Parents can best help their children learn, change, and grow--and deal with difficulties and misbehavior--by starting with


By Connie Willis
Star Rating

Rated by Diane H.
Nov 26, 2016

Crosstalk is categorized as science fiction and yet, if it wasn’t for the telepathy, I could easily see the events in the book becoming reality in the near future.

Gossip, in this case workplace gossip, has always moved at the speed light. Between gossip and the omnipresence of social media, it’s nearly impossible to keep anything secret. Briddey Flannigan does her best, however, to keep her coworkers and her family from finding out that she and her boyfriend (and coworker) Trent are about to undergo an outpatient procedure designed to increase empathy between partners, the newest rage.


The Language of Flowers

By Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
Dec 19, 2013

Victoria Jones has just aged out of the foster care system, and her case worker is transporting her to a transitional home. In alternating chapters, the reader watches Victoria make her way in the world while learning about her past. Whether looking forward or back, her past, present, and future are riveting.

Like those chapters, I alternately wanted to shake the adult Victoria by the shoulders, and hold little Victoria in my lap. Through her gift with flowers, Victoria meets an array of insightful, compassionate, and loving people. Through the ghosts of her past, she pushes them away.


Feb 12, 2010

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne TylerAnne Tyler considers Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant her best novel, and I can see why. Channeling his protagonist Holden Caulfield, J.D. Salinger says, "What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it." There’s no ego present in Tyler’s writing, so when I finished Homesick, it wasn’t so much that I wanted to phone the author herself, but I had a driving desire to keep in touch with all her characters. I’d attempt to classify each of them

Aftermath by Brian Shawver

Rated by Helen H.
Mar 24, 2009

When Casey Fielder, manager of the local O’Ruddy’s restaurant, allows a fight between the privileged St. Brendan’s kids and those from the public high school to escalate, his inaction puts him at risk of being charged with negligence. As a result of the fight, Colin Chase has suffered brain damage. Shawver alternates between Casey and Colin’s mother Lea as they both investigate the circumstances behind the fight. Casey has been fired and in exploring the reasons for the fight hopes to find absolution for his inaction. Lea, on the other hand, searches her son’s past out of the guilt she feels