About the Middle Sister

MiddleSister Shelfie
MiddleSister Shelfie

From the earliest age, Sis adored listening to her parents and grandparents read to her, but – justifiably suspicious – she adamantly refused to learn to read lest she lose this treasured pleasure.  She reluctantly surrendered sometime after her fourth birthday and has been reading ever since.

She fell in love with punctuation – dashes in particular – in college and promptly switched her major from commercial art to English, with an emphasis on composition and a minor in history.  She won a few prizes, including a small scholarship, with her writing, though she cheerfully admits that her poetry is pathetic.  She’s the black sheep of her family in regard to education, being the first woman since her great-grandmother to be satisfied with no more than a single degree, a bachelor of arts.  She continues to resist all attempts to force her to follow in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother, who each earned a Ph.D. in English literature.

During her 14-year career in journalism and two years as a free-lance writer, she won many regional and a couple of national awards for reporting and writing.  Her first book reviews were published then, in newspapers with a circulation of more than 1 million readers.  In her late 30s, she traded the career for a husband and life on a small family farm . . . and had to learn how to fall asleep without a book in her hand.  The husband, however, has proved to be more than worth that sacrifice.

She still finds plenty of time to read, and to suggest books to her family and friends.  Her other interests include cooking (which she learned by reading cookbooks), knitting and other needle arts, photography, and caring for her five “children” – one long-haired, biscuit-colored cat; three dirty but devoted dogs who fled to the farm for sanctuary; and one affectionate horse, who is every bit as clumsy as she is . . . and very nearly as tall!

Professional Reader

Reviews Published

I love your reviews, they are well worded, concise and give a great insight to the books. Thanks for sharing your reviews.

Mary Brown, mjbreviewers

(For more information about Sis and www.MiddleSisterReviews.com, see Mary’s interview with Sis @ mjbreviewers, which was posted 4 May 2016.)
Contact the Middle Sister:  Sis@MiddleSisterReviews.com

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It’s almost easier to list what Sis doesn’t – or won’t – read and review than what she does – or will – as she is willing to stretch beyond her comfort zone (but not into her discomfort zone).  Her early love of biographies and memoirs, as well as mysteries, continues, and she has grown to love many other categories and genres in fiction and non-fiction:

Mysteries, Suspense & Thrillers:  From classic detective fiction to cozies, from legal thrillers to police procedurals, from romantic suspense to spy stories.  Sis is hopelessly addicted.  Or perhaps hopefully?

New & Debut:  From traditional publishers introducing first-time writers to indie authors who self-publish their own eBooks.  You might be surprised at just how good some of these can be!

Literature & Fiction (Adult):  Also known as non-genre fiction.

History & Historical Fiction:  Sis particularly enjoys World War I & World War II histories and historical fiction but is also interested in other eras.

Cooking, Food & Wine:  Sis loves to cook almost as much as she loves her books, but her kitchen is a strict gluten-free zone.  Still, she knows how to “read” recipes – and how to adapt many to remove gluten.  Sis is not an oenophile, so she is content to leave the reds and whites, the pinks, the sparkling and the fortified wines to other, more expert palates.

Classic Literature & Fiction:  With so many new books, Sis is much more likely to simply note the release of a new edition, with or without a brief commentary – unless she can bring some new insight or a new perspective to an old favorite.

Christian Fiction & Non-fiction:  Including novels written with Christian themes or by Christian authors; Bibles and Bible studies; and devotional and/or inspirational books.

Biography & Memoir:  Sis prefers historical figures to celebrities, and she is compelled by the stories of the survivors of the Holocaust and the Second World War, in particular.


            Life’s too short to read bad books.  Life’s too sweet to write bad reviews.

Sis chooses not to review books she cannot recommend.  Her goal is to help readers choose good books, for themselves or for others.  She’ll note a few flaws if and where she finds them.  But, if any book offers more vices than virtues, Sis would prefer to remove it from her reading list without comment.

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