Sarah Bagby

Book reviewer

Sarah Bagby is the owner of Watermark Books & Café, and publisher of Watermark Press. As such, she has been reading and recommending books to readers for over 30 years. Involved in numerous regional and national industry organizations, she advocates for issues facing local independent businesses.

She loves her store and café, and all the opportunities it affords the staff and customers to come together to create a vibrant literary culture in Wichita and Kansas.

She is married to Eric Cale and they have one daughter.

Pages

Commentary
5:00 am
Mon October 6, 2014

'Being Mortal' Is A Bold Vision

Being Mortal is about the struggle to cope with the constraints of our biology.” This is Atul Gawande’s observation in his important new book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. He is the author of three previous books, including The Checklist Manifesto, in which he boldly calls for a surgical checklist to be performed before any surgery, anywhere. This may seem like common sense, but there was no such practice in place.

Read more
Commentary
5:00 am
Mon September 22, 2014

'Internal Medicine' Makes Difficult Stories Accessible

Internal Medicine by Terrence Holt is a compilation of nine stories that loosely reflect Holt’s experience as an internal medicine resident. Each story is a compositely drawn case, just as Holt’s protagonist, “Harper,” is an amalgamation of his fellow residents. Holt remolds the medical cases, he says, “according to the logic not of journalism but of parable, seeking to capture the essence of something too complex to be understood any other way.”

Read more
Commentary
5:00 am
Mon September 8, 2014

'Soldier Girls' Is A Compelling Portrait Of Women In War

Helen Thorpe profiles three women who joined the Indiana National Guard before 9/11 in her compelling new book, Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War.

Read more
Commentary
5:00 am
Mon August 25, 2014

New Author Weaves Story Of Family And Difficulty

The Leary family—Eileen, a nurse; her professor husband, Ed; and their ordinary son, Connell—are like most families. Their upward trajectory in economic status results in a move to the New York City suburbs from their working class Brooklyn. Things continue pretty much as expected until the arrival of a debilitating illness: Ed develops early onset Alzheimer’s disease, which they face with perseverance and dignity.

Read more
Commentary
5:00 am
Mon August 11, 2014

A True-Life Arctic Adventure

Credit www.history.navy.mil / Google Images / Creative Commons

Hampton Sides is an editor-at-large for Outside Magazine and a master of narrative non-fiction. His latest book, In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, combines just the right amount of adventure, meticulous research and remarkable characters with lofty dreams.

Read more
Commentary
5:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Complex Worlds and Complex Families

In her novel The Land of Love and Drowning, Tiphanie Yanique takes us to the Virgin Islands in the early 1900s, as rule is transferred from Denmark to the United States.

Two sisters, Eona and Annette, and a brother they don’t know they have, all possess a particular beauty and sensuality. Orphaned after a shipwreck and stripped of their social status, the siblings traverse the next 60 years on the beloved island that is bound by the sea that killed their father.

Yanique, a native of St. Thomas, creates a multifaceted world you won’t soon forget.

Read more
Commentary
5:00 am
Mon July 14, 2014

New Books Find Humanity In Difficulty

A good novelist weaves a gripping story out of small details, big emotions and just the right words to transport us into the mind of and emotional terrain of his or her characters. Good writing draws me into tragedy before I know it, and two new releases did just that.

Read more
Commentary
5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Books To Make You Feel

Salman Rushdie said, “literature opened the mysterious and decisive doors of imagination and understanding. To see the way others see. To think the way others think. And above all, to feel.”

Two new novels will grab you at your core, getting hold of your empathy, sympathy and humanity, as only good stories can.

Read more
Commentary
5:00 am
Mon June 16, 2014

A Reissue From A Landmark Series

Poet and activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti co-founded the venerable City Lights Bookstore in 1953 and the City Lights Press in 1955.

Read more
Commentary
5:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

'My Salinger Year' Is An Irresistible Literary Memoir

In the mid-1990s, when the Grande Dame of Literary Agents could still-- possibly, even credibly-- think that computers in the workplace were a passing fad, Joanna Rakoff, at age 23, took a job as her assistant.

My Salinger Year is Rakoff’s irresistible memoir of the year she assisted this unnamed legendary agent whose clients included Judy Blume and, most importantly, the elusive and private J. D. Salinger—known as "Jerry" to those in the office.

Read more

Pages