Tag archives: Leslie Zemeckis

Spring Reads
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   April 16, 2024

I am admittedly a big fan of NY Times bestselling author Kim Michele Richardson and her Troublesome Creek books. Her children’s book, Junia: The Book Mule of Troublesome Creek – with illustrations by David C. Gardner – is out now and it is a delight. Set in 1936, it is Junia’s job to carry the […]

The Tunes of Tinseltown
By Richard Mineards   |   March 26, 2024

The Golden Days of Hollywood were remembered when the Santa Barbara Symphony under guest conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos, general director of the New York Grand Opera, performed an Oscar-themed concert at the Granada hosted by the vivacious Leslie Zemeckis. Leslie, a bestselling author and award-winning documentarian, as well as being a near Montecito neighbor and fellow […]

Literary March Madness
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   March 5, 2024

March is a big publishing month. I could not cover all the new releases below but will have more recommendations on my social media posts. Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera is an unexpectedly hilarious thriller. When Lucy’s best friend is murdered, Lucy becomes suspect number one. After all, she is covered in her […]

The Month of Her-Stories
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   February 6, 2024

Kristin Hannah has a sure winner with The Women. Hannah expertly crafts a heartbreaking, emotional story about love and loss. From a family of “heroes,” Frankie follows her brother to Vietnam feeling she wants to do her part for her country. It is 1965. Frankie comes from a conservative family where she is expected to […]

New Year. New Books.
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   January 9, 2024

Happy New Year. My hope for all of us in the coming months is that we embrace more stories, smart stories, entertaining and transportive stories. I’ve set my reading goals high to bring you even more recommendations. There is power, solace, and joy that comes from books and I think this month I have found […]

Holiday Stories for Everyone
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   December 5, 2023

Meet the Benedettos by Katie Cotugno is exactly as the cover promotes – The Kardashians meets Pride and Prejudice. Five famous sisters, famous for being famous, are living in a crumbling mansion when the man (or men) of their dreams moves in next door. It’s light, it’s funny. Lost Hours is Paige Shelton’s latest mystery. […]

The Leaves of Fall and Books
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   November 7, 2023

As a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, author Vanessa Lillie’s compelling Blood Sisters is based on a real crime involving multiple missing indigenous girls and women. Syd, an archeologist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, finds herself back in her small-town home in Oklahoma to solve the mystery of a recently discovered skull. […]

May Bouquet of Reads
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   May 9, 2023

Ivy Pochoda returns to the dark side of life in Sing Her Down with some very violent women. Two women are released early from prison. One returns to California and her mother’s home, pursued by the other woman. Florida and Dios circle each other like wary gunslingers in this cowboyesque drama. Dios wants to force […]

Springtime Reads
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   April 4, 2023

Where Yellow Flowers Bloom: A True Story of Hope through Unimaginable Loss by Kim Cantin is honest, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Cantin and her daughter survived Montecito’s 2018 debris flow, but her son and husband did not. In vivid detail she recalls that night, and the subsequent months as she recovered and desperately sought the remains […]

March Madness 2023
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   March 14, 2023

Strangers in the Night by Heather Webb chronicles the heart-pounding love affair between Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner. Told from both Frank and Ava’s points of view, the book spans the whole arc of their tempestuous romance, from the slow burn, through the sizzle and the fireworks that ultimately blew the couple apart. This is […]

Let’s Travel
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   January 10, 2023

With the holidays behind us, if you’re like me, you long to travel. Well, this month’s list of books will send you from Havana to Singapore, and all from the comfort of your couch. In Armando Lucas Correa’s tremendously moving The Night Travelers, we arrive in Berlin in this story spanning three generations of women. […]

Holiday Stories for Everyone
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   December 6, 2022

‘Tis the season for gift giving and there are a variety of excellent reads for family and friends. For the dancer in your house, Misty Copeland’s The Wind at My Back: Resilience, Grace, and Other Gifts from My Mentor, Raven Wilkinson, is an inspiration. It is not only the story of Copeland’s rise to become […]

Intriguing Equinox Reads
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   October 4, 2022

In Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century, author Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell confesses to an “obsession” with the garment, from rising and lowering hemlines and all that they say about the women that wore them throughout history. The book is beautifully illustrated. My favorite – two women in skirts, mountain climbing in 1908; proving, whatever […]

Late Summer Thrills
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   September 6, 2022

September is a big month for publishing, which means lots of great reads. Barbara Bourland’s The Force of Such Beauty knocked me out. Bourland weaves a dark fairytale about Caroline, a former marathon runner, now sidelined by an injury who marries a handsome prince. The fairytale quickly turns dark, when Caroline learns the rules she […]

Stories Matter: Back-to-School Reads
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   August 16, 2022

As the temperature rises… so does the current crop of sizzling reads. First up from Elaine Murphy is I Told You This Would Happen, a pithy, hilarious thriller that will have you rooting for at least one serial killer. Sisters Carrie and Becca are siblings that just barely get along, and it might have to […]

July Firecrackers
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   July 5, 2022

Set on the shores of Southampton in the summer of 1957, On Gin Lane by Brooke Lea Foster is a charming story about Lee, a young socialite, and her handsome fiancé who sweeps her off her feet to a vacation amongst Society where he presents her with a hotel he has built and named after […]

Summer Reads
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   May 31, 2022

Time to load up those beach totes as June brings a tidal wave of captivating books.  The Scent of Burnt Flowers by Blitz Bazawule is a mystical, magical read. Set in the 1960s, Bernadette and Melvin, a young Black couple, flee a racially divided America for Ghana where they hope to obtain asylum from Melvin’s […]

A May Book Buffet
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   May 3, 2022

Imagine yourself, a newly married woman who wakes in Lisbon to find your husband has vanished, the police don’t believe you are innocent, and suddenly danger lurks around every corner. That is the opening of Chris Pavone’s Two Nights in Lisbon. What follows is an unpredictable, twisty story that will have you guessing to the […]

Spring Travels
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   March 29, 2022

First off, let’s visit a small town in Texas. In Samantha Jayne Allen’s Pay Dirt Road, waitress Annie is drawn into her family’s private investigation firm after a fellow waitress disappears from a party they both attended. Allen slowly builds her characters and the atmosphere of a recession-hit town with hardscrabble characters in grimy honky-tonks […]

Gallery à la Maune
By Richard Mineards   |   March 8, 2022

Maune Contemporary, a new art gallery, has opened on State Street next to the Arlington Theatre. It is the second location for owners Ramsey and Heidi Maune, who opened their first gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, four years ago. “It has been a longtime dream of ours to open a gallery here,” Heidi told me at […]