Since 2011, the very best in reviewing – connecting good readers with equally good writers
What happens when the bookstore closes? Of course I knew I’d miss handling all those books on a daily basis, but who knew I’d miss all those wonderful customers who would listen to me talk about my latest find? Bookin’ with Sunny seems to be the perfect fix, and it’s my hope that this site will give you who stop by the same kind of enthusiasm and knowledge you would expect from a community bookstore. Our book reviewers are here to help you find books to love.
Sunny Solomon holds an MA in English/Creative Writing, San Francisco State University. She is a book reviewer for “The Clayton Pioneer” and her poetry and other writing has been published in literary journals, one chapbook, In the Company of Hope and the collection, Six Poets Sixty-six Poems. She was the happy manager of Bonanza Books, Clayton, CA and Clayton Books, Clayton, CA. She continues to moderate a thriving book club that survived the closure of the store from which it began. Sunny currently lives next to the Truckee in Reno, NV.
Ann Ronald is a retired English professor from the University of Nevada, Reno. Author of dozens of reviews, she’s also written a number of books about the American West. They include literary studies such as The New West of Edward Abby and Reader of the Purple Sage, cultural studies such as GhostWest and Oh, Give Me a Home, and nature writing such as Earthtones: A Nevada Album. Her latest is a work of fiction, Friendly Fallout 1953. Since retiring, she’s been reading vociferously, so “Bookin’ With Sunny” is giving her a wonderful opportunity to share thoughts about her favorite new discoveries.
Brandy Burgess holds a BS in Speech Pathology from the University of Nevada, Reno. She was born in Arkansas and grew up living there and parts of the east coast before moving to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1997. She works as a freelance writer. She is currently writing for ComicBookDebate. Brandy resides in downtown Reno, Nevada.
Jacqueline Smay holds a BA in English, with a concentration in creative writing, from Vassar College. She has been proofreader and editor of Lost In The Grooves, Scram’s Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed and Swordfishtrombones of the 33 ½ series. She is acquisitions editor for Plus One Press, San Francisco, where she has worked as editor on the JP Kinkaid mystery series, the latest Sarah Tolerance novel, and on piano… Nicky Hopkins! The Extraordinary Life of Rock’s Greatest Session Man, and Sam the Bat. Her writing is included in Scram’s Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed. Out of economic necessity she also does database management and scientific MS copyediting at UCSF. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.
Dan Erwine holds a BS in Telecommunications, San Diego State University. Dan recently retired after four decades in radio broadcasting. His background San Diego stations KFSD and NPR’s KPBS, and KUNR, Reno, NV. Over the years, Dan has produced and hosted a number of talk shows and interviewed over five thousand writers in almost every genre and career, from such notables as David Brin to Seamus Heaney, Allen Ginsberg, Judy Collins, Charlton Heston and Wally Schirra. Dan is a comic book aficionado and has a special interest in film, science fiction and mystery. He lives with his wife in Reno, NV.
Neal Ferguson is a self described Anglo-phile. After studying for a PhD in British history and doing research for a year in various British archives, he came to the University of Nevada in 1970 to teach. Soon he found himself in administration where he remained until 2003. After returning to full-time teaching a decade ago, he decided to concentrate his teaching energies on Medieval British history and various global aspects of World War II. Dedicated to Ambrose Bierce’s proclamation that the purpose of war is to teach Americans geography, Neal insists that his students accompany him (in class) to sundry east European rivers and steppes, African deserts and jungles, south-east Asian mountain ranges and peninsulas, and small islands and coral reefs in the Pacific. Currently he is writing a book about the ups and downs of General Douglas MacArthur’s military reputation.
Martha L. Hildreth is a native of Southern California who has lived in Reno for over 35 years. She recently retired from the History Department of the University of Nevada, Reno where she taught modern European History and the History of Medicine. Her book, Doctors, Bureaucrats and Public Health in France, 1888-1902, will soon be re-released by Rutgers University Press. She reads more non-fiction than fiction, particularly memoirs, biographies, travel narratives and stories of illness, epidemics and medical life. She also loves detective fiction and mysteries as long as no serial killers are involved.
Vivienne French was born in New Zealand and grew up a voracious reader, much to the thanks of her “Mum” and fourth grade teacher, Mr. Sanders. Her short stories and articles have been published in women’s magazines, specialty magazines and her hometown newspaper. She has been a resident of Reno, Nevada for twenty-nine years and has worked professionally for a number of nonprofit service organizations. She currently teaches grants writing at Truckee Meadows Community College and serves on the board of the Friends of Washoe County Library. She looks forward to getting back her favorite pastime, reading for the love of reading.
Susan Cornfield Dugan holds education degrees from Central Michigan University and the University of Nevada, Reno. She is the retired Director of Federal and State Programs for the Lyon County School District. During her tenure as an educator she had a textbook and numerous articles published. She began writing young adult fiction as a teacher, often using caricatures of her students as jumping off points for her stories. She finds young adult literature fun and interesting to read. Susan graded Nevada Writing Proficiency Exams for over 20 years, but retired to focus on her writing. She is currently writing a young adult science fiction series. She lives in Sparks with her husband, two cats, and adorable Terrier, Hailey; who listens with great interest to Susan’s stories and loves them all!
Marjorie Cordova is a retired Registered Nurse and a committed “book-aholic”. Besides reading most genre’s, her second love is to read recipes and cook. Many years ago, she produced an office newsletter and a medical association newsletter. Currently, she is giving book reviews a try. She lives in Concord, CA with her two cats.
Suzanne Roberts is an award-winning travel writer whose work has appeared in The NYT, CNN and Creative Nonfiction. She is the author of Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel; Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail; and four books of poems. She holds a Ph.D. in literature and the environment from the Univ. of Nevada-Reno and teaches Creative Writing at Sierra Nevada University. She served as the 2018-2020 El Dorado County Poet Laureate and currently lives in South Lake Tahoe, California.