Beth Golay

Digital Assistant

Beth Golay is the founder and editor of Books & Whatnot, providing marketing support to bookstores around the world through her newsletter and website. Prior to launching Books & Whatnot, Beth was the marketing manager at Watermark Books & Cafe for 13 years. In fact, she represented Watermark as the KMUW book review commentator for 2 years while she was at the bookstore.

Beth's favorite genre is literary fiction, but she also loves creative non-fiction and reading the classics she should have attempted a long time ago. Her greatest reading accomplishment is a toss-up: Reading four books in one weekend (documented in January 2004) or completing the 1438 pages of Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo.

In addition to "reader" you can add "artist" and "runner" to her interest list. Beth is currently trying to run a marathon in every state. She has a long way to go.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Book Review: The Art Forger

On March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves disguised as police officers stole 13 works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Mass. Among the stolen were works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Degas and Manet. Unsolved to this day, the heist provides the perfect backdrop for The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Book Review: The News From Spain

While you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, the illustration on the cover of the The News from Spain by Joan Wickersham is somewhat telling of what's inside. A single red ribbon on a black background ties each of the stories together through theme and repeated phrases. The ribbon flows with no bows or knots, bleeding off the page. Similar in design, these stories are not wrapped in tidy packages. Sometimes they begin with no introduction and end abruptly, leaving the reader to speculate about what will happen next.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Book Review: Telegraph Avenue

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon is set in Northern California, where Berkeley and Oakland meet. It’s 2004, and business partners Archy and Nat have just learned that a former NFL quarterback plans to open a music superstore in their shared hometown, placing their used record store in jeopardy. Midwife-partner wives, philandering husbands, and never-before-mentioned children add to the drama.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Book Review: Léon and Louise

Set in France beginning in 1918, Léon and Louise is the love story of two teenagers who meet as World War I is drawing to a close. Separated during a German artillery attack, each is severely wounded and believes the other to be dead.

10 years later, both are living and working in Paris. They catch a glimpse of each other on passing metro trains. Léon is married now with small children, but his wife encourages a search for Louise, knowing that their marriage can’t move forward while Léon’s heart remains in the past.

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Commentary
8:31 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Book Review: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

Being a parent can be a thankless job. Jonathan Evison explores the parent/child relationship in his new novel, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. Through the intersecting lives of his characters, he challenges the definition of a “good” parent.

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Commentary
10:35 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Book Review: Evel Knievel Days

Pauls Toutonghi has a way with words. He writes about the unique circumstances surrounding smart, quirky, and loveable characters. At Watermark, we found his first novel, Red Weather, so endearing that we named a sandwich after it. Toutonghi’s newest book, Evel Knievel Days, features a protagonist named Khosi Saqr from Butte, Montana—Evel Knievel’s hometown. Khosi is an obsessive-compulsive Egyptian-American trying to find his identity. Well, half of his identity, anyway.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Book Review: Gold

With the London games looming, it’s difficult not to catch Olympic fever. After reading Chris Cleave’s Gold, I’ll be paying closer attention to the cycling events. Sprint. Individual pursuit. These were the races vividly portrayed in this story about Zoe, Kate and Jack: three cyclists who met each other on the same day when they were 19; and how their odd little triangle of love and friendship developed over the next 13 years, through victories and defeats in Athens, Beijing, and potentially London.

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Commentary
11:17 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Book Review: An Uncommon Education

I’m a sucker for a good prep school story. I’m not sure if it’s the promise of knowledge there for the taking, secret societies, or general student angst that usually leads me to those books, but there was something unique about Elizabeth Percer’s debut novel, An Uncommon Education. The education of Percer’s brilliant protagonist, Naomi Feinstein, was not provided by private boarding schools. Her “preparatory” education came from her father, who recognized early that his daughter could remember everything she ever read.

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Commentary
8:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Book Review: The Chaperone

One beautiful thing about reading is the travel it allows. Through books, you can visit other times, places, or even dimensions. In “The Chaperone,” Laura Moriarty takes us to the far reaches of Douglas Avenue, Winfield, McPherson and New York City.

Laura Moriarty’s first three books were set in Kansas towns, all based on times and places she actually lived. With her latest book she takes a leap backwards to 1922 Wichita, when soon-to-be silent film star Louise Brooks was 15-years-old, heading off to New York City for the first time.

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Commentary
4:09 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Book Review: Home

Even though Frank Money lived in Lotus, Georgia since he was four, he never considered the town his home. According to Frank, “Nobody in Lotus knew anything or wanted to learn anything.” Left to their own devices, Frank and his friends roamed the unpaved streets and countryside with Frank’s little sister Cee in-tow, biding their time until they could leave Lotus for good. That opportunity came for the boys when they enlisted to fight in the Korean War. Cee’s opportunity presented itself later when she took off with a stranger—who took off with her car.

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