Reply
Author
Katherine_Howe
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎03-16-2009
0 Kudos

talking books


Fond_of_Books wrote:

Katherine, you asked what the First Look readers liked to read.

 

I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I love the fantasy and magic is fascinating. I also enjoy historical fiction mixed with some fantasy similar to your book like Labyrinth and Sepulchre by Kate Mosse, books by Tracy Chevalier like The Virgin Blue, and Susan Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue. I really enjoy books where a modern character makes a connection with her past. I like learning about historical time periods through fiction.

 

Jodi Picoult is also excellent. I also enjoyed Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth. I've read more of a variety authors lately with my book club than what I mentioned. If I'm reading, I'm happy. Have you ever belonged to a book club? I think the discussion of the book makes the experience of reading more complete.

 

Nicole


Hello Nicole!

 

Thank you so much for reading Physick Book, and for sharing some of your favorite books with the board.

 

In response to your question, I have never participated in a book club per se. However, one of the great pleasures of teaching college students, for me, was being able to talk books with them at length. 

 

When you guys participate in book clubs with friends, do you vote on what books to read?

 

KH

Author
Katherine_Howe
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎03-16-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?


Immortal-Spirit wrote:

First I would like to welcome you to the First Look Book Club.  It has been an honor to read your book and I will recommend it everyone who will listen! :smileytongue:

 

Ms Howe, I have tons of questions for you.  :smileyvery-happy:  But, I will keep it short. 

 

Are there any similarities between your own genealogy and the characters in the book?


Hi Immortal Spirit!

 

I am so delighted that you have been enjoying Physick Book, and thank you for the words of welcome. It has been a real pleasure hearing everyone's thoughts.

 

As for similarities, well..... all I can say is that I definitely come from a long line of stubborn and particular women. :smileyhappy: 

 

KH

Frequent Contributor
AIRKNITTER
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: talking books

Hello Katherine,

You posed a very interesting question. How do members of book clubs choose the "next" book to read. The very first book club I belonged to the choice was left up to a single member; can't remember why. I do remember the books chosen were "good reads". The book club I belong to now is very relaxed about what to read. Usually the person who is most enthusiastic about their choice is the book chosen. There is no one genre;fiction,nonfiction, history, biography...we love to read. It is a given that as soon as TPBofDD is available it will be the "chosen" one. Rather than share my First Look copy I think it best they buy the book.

Aine

Children are the living message we send to a time we will not see.
Inspired Wordsmith
eadieburke
Posts: 1,925
Registered: ‎01-27-2007

Re: talking books


AIRKNITTER wrote:

Hello Katherine,

You posed a very interesting question. How do members of book clubs choose the "next" book to read. The very first book club I belonged to the choice was left up to a single member; can't remember why. I do remember the books chosen were "good reads". The book club I belong to now is very relaxed about what to read. Usually the person who is most enthusiastic about their choice is the book chosen. There is no one genre;fiction,nonfiction, history, biography...we love to read. It is a given that as soon as TPBofDD is available it will be the "chosen" one. Rather than share my First Look copy I think it best they buy the book.

Aine


 I belong to a book club in my woman's club. We meet once a month (3rd Tues.) to discuss the current month's selection. Most of our books for next year will be picked at our pot luck luncheon on June 16th this year. We take turns hosting the book club and we serve coffee, tea, cake, snacks, fruit etc. but in June we have a pot luck lunch in one of our member's back yard and we bring ideas for our next year's read. We will pick a long book to read over the summer which will be our first discussion for Sept. We try to pick a different genre every month but sometimes we get side-tracked if we get members who suggest that we must read their choice. We tend to review the inside cover or back of the book and take a verbal vote of "yes" or "no". We have a woman's club yearbook which is published in August and we need to get our choices together by at least the end of July.

 

We have read quite a few old time classics, such as; The Good Earth (Pearl Buck) The Moonstone (Wilke Collins) Tortilla Flat (John Steinbeck) To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) and believe it or not, we read The Crucible (Arthur Miller) last October - so I was so prepared for The Physick Book.

 

Another genre chosen (political) has given us books such as; Hillary's book, John McCain's book, Obama's book and Sarah Palin's book - in regards to this genre because of different political likes and dislikes, we let our members read the book of choice and then we discussed all the candidates. What a time we had at that meeting!

 

During December when everyone is busy shopping etc., we usually choose a small Christmas type book such as; The Christmas Bus (Melody Carlson) Christmas Train (Baldacci) Skipping Christmas (Grisham) etc.

 

Some of our more lively topics have been: Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides) Escape (Carolyn Jessop) Five Quarters of the Orange (Joanne Harris). This month we are reading Loving Frank (Nancy Horan) about the controversial affair between architect Frank Llyod Wright and Mamah Bothwick Cheney in the early 1900's.

 

I am sure that since we read the Crucible that I will be able to convince them to read The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. We have a few choices for next year that have been brought to our attention by some members but they still have to be reviewed at our pot luck in June - they are: The Piano Teacher, 1000 White Women and American Wife but I am going to request Katherine's book too. I'm sure I can be very convincing!

 

Most of us read about a book a week, so our choices grow and there are not enough months in the year, so we read a lot of other books on our own and pick the ones that would make the best discussions for the group.

 

 

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Author
Katherine_Howe
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎03-16-2009

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?


Tarri wrote:

I don't have any questions, but I have to tell you that your book is wonderful and I will be reading  more about that period of time.  You have really piqued my curiosity.   

 

Thank you for allowing B&N to share your book with all of us.  


Thank you so much for these kind words, Tarri. I'm delighted that everyone seems to be enjoying the book. Did you see my earlier post which included some suggested books for further reading?

 

KH

Author
Katherine_Howe
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎03-16-2009
0 Kudos

Re: witchcraft and belief


Zeal wrote:

Ms. Howe,

 

When I first discovered the "First Look" book club, I thought it was too good to be true!  Then, when I received the free copy of your book, I was thrilled!  The cover was beautiful (Did you have any input as to the design of the cover?), and I delved right in, finishing the entire novel in just a few days. 

 

The letter on the back from Matthew Pearl was very intriguing to me. Having such a personal connection must have added to the inspiration for your novel.  The historical time period that you address is one that has been unfamiliar to me until now.  I knew very little about the idea of "practicing the craft."  I was completely absorbed in your characters, settings, and plot.  The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane was a very satisfying, informative read...one that I have already recommended to many others.

 

Your previous post question, as to whether I believe in witchcraft or not really made me pause and think.  I have never really thought about this concept until now.  Yes, I guess I do believe, especially in the way Deliverance and all her relations used the "craft."  They had all of the best intentions.  This is true of the Wicca population today.  What a misconception and ignorance people have about their beliefs!  I find the whole aspect very interesting and would actually like to know more (I am currently researching).

 

Connie's dislike of the Wicca woman in the shop was obvious, but I wonder if Connie's opinion of the woman changed toward the end of the book.  I believe that aspect was not addressed. 

 

The thought of a sequel is one you should definitely explore!  I am hooked, and I would love to read more of your work!  Thank you for sharing this exceptional novel with us!   Please keep writing:smileyhappy:

 

 


Hello Zeal!

 

I am so glad that Physick Book lived up to your expectations, and thank you for recommending it to others. I am already well into the research for the next book, and for those who want to stay up to speed on coming book news, or Physick Book news, feel free to find me on Facebook or at connieandarlo@gmail.com.

 

If you would like to read more about contemporary Wicca, one of the most intelligent resources I have found is called The Spiral Dance, by a writer named Starhawk. Here is a link:

 

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Spiral-Dance-The-20th-Anniversary/Starhawk/e/9780062516329/?itm=2

 

It's true that Connie was pretty intensely skeptical of the Wicca shop woman at first, and her position remains sort of ambiguous. Do you think Connie's mind changes about Wicca by the end of the story? 

 

KH

Author
Katherine_Howe
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎03-16-2009

Re: Deliverance on the fringes


Immortal-Spirit wrote:
A little off topic here.....But does anyone know what happened to the girls who made the accusations?  Did they receive any punishment at all?  I'm very curious about this.

Hi Immortal-Spirit,

 

For the most part, the accusing girls scattered to history, and not that much is known about them. Many grew up and married, many vanished from the historical record (of course, with name changes and imperfect records, keeping track of women in this time period can be tricky, as we see in Physick Book). At least one, Ann Putnam, issued a public apology before her church in about 1706.

 

You can read the text of her apology on her Wikipedia page, linked below. Ann never married, and died in 1716.

 

KH

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Putnam

Wordsmith
Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?


Katherine_Howe wrote:

Tarri wrote:

I don't have any questions, but I have to tell you that your book is wonderful and I will be reading  more about that period of time.  You have really piqued my curiosity.   

 

Thank you for allowing B&N to share your book with all of us.  


Thank you so much for these kind words, Tarri. I'm delighted that everyone seems to be enjoying the book. Did you see my earlier post which included some suggested books for further reading?

 

KH


I received my copy a little late, so I am just getting caught up on all the other posts.  I found your earlier post and put those books on my list for the next time I'm at B&N.  I also joined your Facebook fan page and recommended your book on three messageboards.  

 

 

Author
Katherine_Howe
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎03-16-2009
0 Kudos

Connie and academia


bud12 wrote:
I have been 'spellbound" to your book and found it hard to put down. Congratulations for writing this first novel. My questions have to do with the tough times women have faced in academia. Have you had any comments from recent Harvard grad students about prejudices in their history department against women?Connie shows such strengths, and its nice to see them blossom as she contends with Chilton throughout the story. Do you view yourself as a feminist? Even fighting the battle to show the best side of witches makes me wonder about you and whether you haved faced battles to be heard as a woman?    

Hi Jo!

 

I am so glad that you have been enjoying Physick Book. Thank you so much for reading.

 

In answer to your question, I would say that you have identified another of the major reasons that Connie belongs in 1991, rather than the present. Chilton is a kind of academic who really does not exist anymore. In fact, the current chair of the Harvard history department is a woman, as is the current president of Harvard (who, incidentially, is a prominent historian of women in the Civil War) - and both of them are moms.  If we assume that Connie has gone on to the academic life, then she would be at the stage of her career where she has just received tenure, and would be advising graduate students of her own. In 2009, Connie would be at the same professional level as Janine Silva is in Physick Book.

 

Physick Book definitely has a lot to say about women, and about the challenges inherent in balancing one's personal life and one's professional calling, which is an issue that a lot of us (men and women, academics and non-acadmics) still face. However, Physick Book also wonders about issues not explicitly tied to gender, such as the relationship between faith and reason, the slipperiness of language across time, and the possible tension between ethics and ambition. My question for the First Lookers, then, would be how do you think Connie would answer these questions?

 

KH

Frequent Contributor
DONNAJG24
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎04-23-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Ms Howe:

 

I have more of a comment than a question. I thought that this book was extremely well written and fascinating. I already have it completed and I will have to say that it was hard to put down. I read a wide range of subjects. Like one writer posted, I kind of felt like it was "Harry Potter" for adults. I would also be interested in sequel. You could feel for the characters (except for Professor Chilton). It was also easy to follow the transitions from the past to the present. I have read books before where that has occurred and it was difficult to follow.

 

For this being your first book, you did a wonderful job. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

 

Donna Ruggles

Frequent Contributor
DONNAJG24
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎04-23-2008
0 Kudos

Re: witchcraft and belief


Katherine_Howe wrote:

Hello hello!

 

A couple of people have asked if I, myself, believe in witchcraft in the real world. This is definitely a tempting question to ask. However, I worry that if I answered, it might change the way you read the book. Instead, this is another one that I would prefer to hear answered by First Lookers.

 

Do you all believe in witchcraft, however we might understand it to be?

 

KH


 

In answer to your question, I actually do believe that there are things that we don't fully understand and I believe that witchcraft is one of those things. In the past, there where "homemade" remedies that people used all the time. I am open to all possibilites.

 

Donna

 

Frequent Contributor
hookedonbooks09
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎02-04-2009

Re: Deliverance on the fringes


Katherine_Howe wrote:
<snip> You can read the text of her apology on her Wikipedia page, linked below. Ann never married, and died in 1716.

 

KH

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Putnam


Hi Katherine,

 

I just clicked on this link about Ann Putnam and I find it interesting that even in her apology, there is the "other" to blame, namely Satan!  So whether accusing or apologizing, none of it was really Ann's fault, to her way of thinking.  Thanks for providing the info!

Barb

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx
Inspired Contributor
gringorn
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎12-26-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Hi Ms Howe,

 

I don't personally have any questions but I wanted to thank you for sharing your first novel with us through Barnes and Noble ARC.  I enjoyed it and think it provides a good glimpse of witchcraft that doesn't involve the "evils" typically associated with it.  Many people don't know that Wicca is a religion and that witchcraft isn't Satanism.  Judging by the comments and questions I have been reading on these boards, people are intrigued and may have even learned something new.  That is always a plus for me....learning something without having to do a whole lot of work!  LOL.  Your book was a pleasant introduction to some interesting topics.

 

Thank you again.  Looking forward to your next book. 

Inspired Contributor
AnnJE
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
0 Kudos

Re: talking books

Hi Katherine - I am in three book clubs.  In two we make suggestions and vote on the books to be read.  In my online book club (there are 10 of us around the world!), we each pick a book - often from our to be read piles - and a month.  We discuss as we go along setting a schedule much like this First Look group.

 

I finished your book today - couldn't help it.  We were driving back from Easter with family and I just kept going.  I loved it.  I won't say anything else for fear of spoiling it for others.  I will write a review when everyone is finished but be assured, it will be a very good one. 

Frequent Contributor
julyso
Posts: 67
Registered: ‎12-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: witchcraft and belief

I do believe that witchcraft exists. I mean, why not?


Katherine_Howe wrote:

Hello hello!

 

A couple of people have asked if I, myself, believe in witchcraft in the real world. This is definitely a tempting question to ask. However, I worry that if I answered, it might change the way you read the book. Instead, this is another one that I would prefer to hear answered by First Lookers.

 

Do you all believe in witchcraft, however we might understand it to be?

 

KH


 

 

Thanks for sharing your book with us and for sharing your time. I have really enjoyed Physick and I have enjoyed reading your responses and questions on the board.

Julie
Scribe
DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Deliverance on the fringes

Thank you for this link, Katherine.  :smileyhappy:


Katherine_Howe wrote:

Immortal-Spirit wrote:
A little off topic here.....But does anyone know what happened to the girls who made the accusations?  Did they receive any punishment at all?  I'm very curious about this.

Hi Immortal-Spirit,

 

For the most part, the accusing girls scattered to history, and not that much is known about them. Many grew up and married, many vanished from the historical record (of course, with name changes and imperfect records, keeping track of women in this time period can be tricky, as we see in Physick Book). At least one, Ann Putnam, issued a public apology before her church in about 1706.

 

You can read the text of her apology on her Wikipedia page, linked below. Ann never married, and died in 1716.

 

KH

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Putnam


 

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
Inspired Contributor
Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Katherine,

 

 I loved TPBODD, it was not only entertaining but educational.  I had visited Concord recently, which has it's own share of ghosts, and look forward to checking out Salem.

 

I was interested to read on the back cover that you started out with a NANOWRIMO novel.  I participate in NANO every year but haven't finished one yet.  I live in an 1831 schoolhouse and most of what I write for NANO revolve around the ghosts that I feel may have lived and may still be hanging out here. Reading your book was very inspirational to me.  Do you have an words of wisdom for fledgling writers?

 

I'll be keeping my eyes open for your next novel.......no pressure!

 

Jo

 

 

Author
Katherine_Howe
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎03-16-2009

on writing more generally


Jo6353 wrote:

Katherine,

 

 I loved TPBODD, it was not only entertaining but educational.  I had visited Concord recently, which has it's own share of ghosts, and look forward to checking out Salem.

 

I was interested to read on the back cover that you started out with a NANOWRIMO novel.  I participate in NANO every year but haven't finished one yet.  I live in an 1831 schoolhouse and most of what I write for NANO revolve around the ghosts that I feel may have lived and may still be hanging out here. Reading your book was very inspirational to me.  Do you have an words of wisdom for fledgling writers?

 

I'll be keeping my eyes open for your next novel.......no pressure!

 

Jo

 

 


Hello Jo!

 

Thank you so much for reading. I am glad that you have been enjoying Physick Book.

 

In 2005 I had been studying for my orals, and making up stories to distract myself from the anxiety - the story I kept returning to was the one you see fully fleshed out here. My old college roommate sent me the WRIMO announcement, suggesting that we should both do it for fun, but if memory serves NANOWRIMO is in November, the same month as my orals. I idly announced at one of our poker games that I was thinking of doing NANOWRIMO, but that November would be too busy; I think it was Matthew who pointed out that there was no reason to work in one month rather than another. So while I didn't actually participate, NANOWRIMO should get credit for placing the idea in my head that I could write a novel if I wanted to - it was allowed. 

 

That may be a strange way to put it, but for a long while I had trouble giving myself permission to work on the novel. So many other things I was "supposed" to be doing: grading papers, writing fellowship proposals, working on my dissertation. For someone who wants to write, I think carvng out the time to work, giving yourself permission to do it, is the most challenging part. For me, it was necessary to work for a few hours every day, whether I was in the mood or not. There's this image we have of writers, scribbling away in fits of inspiration, which sometimes translates into feeling like we shouldn't work *unless* we're in one of those fits. For me, that is not the case. I just plodded away, some days easier than others. Then one day the first draft was done. That was a surreal feeling.

 

For those who need an extra push, some areas have local writers' collectives, often with workshops specially designed for people who are in the middle of a novel but having trouble making progress. In Boston, we have a group called Grub Street , which has been a real boon for many of my friends. Luckily, I have my own personal research assistant/cheerleader/husband on deck who was good about hassling me to work. And he cooks!

 

KH

Inspired Contributor
Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: on writing more generally


Katherine_Howe wrote:

Jo6353 wrote:

Katherine,

 

 I loved TPBODD, it was not only entertaining but educational.  I had visited Concord recently, which has it's own share of ghosts, and look forward to checking out Salem.

 

I was interested to read on the back cover that you started out with a NANOWRIMO novel.  I participate in NANO every year but haven't finished one yet.  I live in an 1831 schoolhouse and most of what I write for NANO revolve around the ghosts that I feel may have lived and may still be hanging out here. Reading your book was very inspirational to me.  Do you have an words of wisdom for fledgling writers?

 

I'll be keeping my eyes open for your next novel.......no pressure!

 

Jo

 

 


Hello Jo!

 

Thank you so much for reading. I am glad that you have been enjoying Physick Book.

 

In 2005 I had been studying for my orals, and making up stories to distract myself from the anxiety - the story I kept returning to was the one you see fully fleshed out here. My old college roommate sent me the WRIMO announcement, suggesting that we should both do it for fun, but if memory serves NANOWRIMO is in November, the same month as my orals. I idly announced at one of our poker games that I was thinking of doing NANOWRIMO, but that November would be too busy; I think it was Matthew who pointed out that there was no reason to work in one month rather than another. So while I didn't actually participate, NANOWRIMO should get credit for placing the idea in my head that I could write a novel if I wanted to - it was allowed. 

 

That may be a strange way to put it, but for a long while I had trouble giving myself permission to work on the novel. So many other things I was "supposed" to be doing: grading papers, writing fellowship proposals, working on my dissertation. For someone who wants to write, I think carvng out the time to work, giving yourself permission to do it, is the most challenging part. For me, it was necessary to work for a few hours every day, whether I was in the mood or not. There's this image we have of writers, scribbling away in fits of inspiration, which sometimes translates into feeling like we shouldn't work *unless* we're in one of those fits. For me, that is not the case. I just plodded away, some days easier than others. Then one day the first draft was done. That was a surreal feeling.

 

For those who need an extra push, some areas have local writers' collectives, often with workshops specially designed for people who are in the middle of a novel but having trouble making progress. In Boston, we have a group called Grub Street , which has been a real boon for many of my friends. Luckily, I have my own personal research assistant/cheerleader/husband on deck who was good about hassling me to work. And he cooks!

 

KH


Katherine,

 

This has been very inspirational!

 

Jo

Inspired Correspondent
jclay26
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Ms. Howe,

 

I don't have any questions, but I would like to say how much I love this book. The writing just draws me into the world you have created. It is a book that I don't want to read quickly, but instead want to sit in a nice quiet place with a cup of coffee and immerse myself in. There are so many aspects that I love: the mystery, the budding romance, a touch of the mystical, mother-daughter relationships, and the journey to find oneself deep within the roots.

 

I want to thank you for sharing your book with us.

What you have to do...is trust your own story. Get the hell out of the way and let it tell itself. - Tim O'Brien; The Things They Carried