We have a staff of about 120 book reviewers. Each comes to us with a variety of qualifications — from simply loving to read… to those with MFA degrees… to those who are published authors themselves. Without them, we wouldn’t have a publication. We thought that you — as lovers of books or those in the book publishing field — might like to get to know those who help make this operation tick.
If you’d like to Meet the Staff, click HERE.
Interested in auditioning to become one of our reviewers? Here’s some info for you.
I’ve been a reviewer for SBR and SFBR since 2009, and am currently a junior at San Ramon Valley, graduating 2015. Frankly, I love books, I love writing, and I love the way you have to fully commit yourself to a story with time and a quiet room. At first books were a not-so-sly excuse for me to stay up later, but they’ve grown to be my mentors, comforts, and character. My current author favorites include Maile Meloy, David Sedaris, and of course, John Green.
Outside of reading and writing I write and perform slam poetry with YouthSpeaks, am a member of NHS, volunteer at my local library, kickball regularly, tutor at Kumon, bake pies, and am a part of Youth and Government, the latter of which is a great, great passion. I’d like to say that I’m a runner, but…no, not really.
SBR and SFBR have welcomed me with open arms and I’ve loved working for and with them and plan on doing so (forever?).
Pam van Hylckama Vlieg is the blogger behind Bookalicio.us and Bookalicious.org. She is the newest associate literary agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agency in San Francisco. Pam is a middle grade and young adult novelist represented by Laurie McLean. She is married to a Dutchman learning to live in America, she is the mother of two bilingual children, a Jack Russell Terrier, an English Bulldog, and a Guinea Pig. Pam loves kid lit and thinks that growing up is lame. You can find her on Twitter @BookaliciousPam or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don’t identify myself usually by my education, probably because I was a late starter and because I was born in England. But as I tried to acculturate I garneredva B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Cultural Geography. ‘What’s that?’ people asked my Best-beloved. “It means Jane does whatever she wants!” he told them, rolling his eyes. And that’s as good a description as any. I’ve published nature books, edited education ones, written a long-lasting newspaper column for children and subsequently one for grandparents. I don’t particularly like animals, though I’m writing one now on urban wildlife, I live in Texas and love it…. Enough already!
Andrea Huehnerhoff has been nursing her love affair with words since childhood. Racing recklessly from coast to coast with her Navy husband and their chubby new baby, she writes about her peculiar albeit strange adventures in the kitchen, on the road and sometimes on the side of the road, at Dotal Anecdotes: Life as a Wife. Always on the prowl for a good read, she is the distinguished self-appointed editor for a blog hosting short story and poetry submissions called In Short, Stories, and a reviewer for San Francisco and Sacramento Book Reviews. When not writing, she often finds herself sweating it out in a hot yoga room, or wandering aimlessly while avoiding housework.
Alex C. Telander is a writer, book reviewer, and interviewer. He’s been seriously writing for about fifteen years, starting when he was a teenager. He has finished three novels: a young adult fantasy (which he will self-publish in 2012), a mystery/thriller which he is shopping around to agents, and a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel he recently finished, the first in a four-book series. He will also be self-publishing two short story collections in 2012. He is currently working on a big historical fiction epic set in fifth century Britain. Alex is also a reading addict, finishing an average of 90 books in the last three years, and reviews just about everything he finishes. In addition to reviewing for the San Francisco Book Review and Sacramento Book Review, he puts all his reviews up on his website, BookBanter (www.bookbanter.net). BookBanter began as a dream that became a reality: you can now find more than fifty exclusive interviews on the site, both audio and written, as well as more than 600 book reviews.
Alex also records audiobooks for Librivox (www.librivox.org), a full listing of which you can find on the BookBanter site (http://www.bookbanter.net/librivox.html). On BookBanter you can also find the BookBanterColumn(http://www.bookbanter.net/bookbantercolumn.html) (as well as on the San Francisco Book Review) and the BookBanter Blog (http://bookbanter.wordpress.com/). In his spare time – when he’s not writing or reading – he likes to hang out with friends and family, watch incessant amounts of genre TV, and play the MMO Lord of the Rings Online. To get in touch with Alex, just shoot him an email at email@example.com.
He’s one of these guys who’s always made a living from words, written and spoken. He started off conventional. Training as an attorney, he combined tenure as a professor with some private practice. Except, in moments when no one was watching, he was broadcasting, acting and writing, always under stage names and pseudonyms so his two worlds wouldn’t meet up. Later, he set up his own business consultancy and ran a small press. Now he’s retired, he can look back on a life misspent, always doing stuff that was interesting and never getting too caught up in the career development rut. Except he’s just as busy. He still picks up consultancy work when something interesting comes along, he’s paid for about a million words of fiction and nonfiction a year, and continues writing for his own amusement. Someone told him staying active keeps the brain going longer. So this is his plan for immortality. He’s very conscientious. If he plans enough work to last him into next year, he’ll be around to do it. His blog.
Meredith Greene is an author, columnist and freelance writer, wife of fifteen years, mother of four, organic gardener, avid reader and contributor to Scribd, TeleRead and Kindle Store.
Despite her busy schedule, Meredith believes that paper and online book review publications preserve and encourage the public’s interest in Literature. View some of Meredith’s titles at BelatorBooks.com.
Doreen holds the classification of Master Photographer and has received over fifty awards for her art and photography, including being the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Art and Science of Photography. In addition to designing greeting cards, licensing her art and freelance design work through her business www.SalonOfArt.com, the artist volunteers her talents to her local Humane Society and donates a portion of her Stray Muses A Language Unspoken™ Collection to help homeless pets. Doreen held the position of Director of Public Relations and Ways & Means for six-years to support Tri County Wildlife Care, a local wildlife rehabilitation non-profit organization, and worked as a Project Planning Senior Specialist in the field of Aerospace for fifteen-years prior to being able to devote all her time to the world of art and photography.
She currently lives in the Sierra Foothills of California with her husband and adopted family of furry ‘kids’. Being a reviewer for Sacramento Book Review offers the opportunity to combine her love of books with her background in both art/photography and pet/wildlife rescue, which is truly a pleasure.
Leslie Wolfson has been reading and writing for most of her life. By day, she is a teacher. In her spare time, she can be found reading (up to three books at a time) or perfecting one of her many writing projects. She has witnessed her byline next to numerous freelance articles, book reviews, and children’s plays, and recently published a children’s biography entitled: Jackie Coogan: America’s First Child Superstar. When not teaching, reading, or writing, Leslie can usually be found hanging with her dogs and boyfriend, working out, or, if she’s lucky, relaxing in Hawaii.
Jodi M. Webb is a freelance writer with hundreds of articles published in magazines including American Profile, GRAND Magazine, The History Magazine, and PTO Magazine. She also co-authored Pennsylvania Trivia: Weird, Wacky and Wild and contributed to several other books. Jodi spends much of her time at WOW-Women on Writing teaching online writing classes, writing blog posts, and organizing blog tours for authors. In her free time(!) she’s working on a young adult novel.
Jodi joined 1776 Productions (publishers of the San Francisco & Sacramento Book Review) when the last bookstore in her county closed and she was stranded in northeast Pennsylvania, book-less. She now gets her monthly fix of new books from 1776 Productions and authors who ask her to review their books on her blog Words by Webb.
Linda Welz is a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve. She is currently the editor of The Beacon, a weekly newspaper at March Air Reserve Base, Calif. Having previously managed a retail book store, Linda continues her love of books by reviewing different genres with us. Non-fiction, cooking, crafts and self-help are some of her favorites. Linda is a mother of three and grandmother of three. She lives in Southern California with her husband, one daughter, three dogs, two cats and a pigeon.
Kelly Ferjutz still has the very first book she was ever given – by her elementary school teacher. It’s about the composer Franz-Joseph Haydn. Could be that helped her eventually become a reviewer of classical music, opera and theater. She always knew she’d be a writer – the hard part was figuring out what it was that she could write!
Thanks to her pushy daughter, she ended up writing historical romance novels. Two of them (Secret Shores and Windsong) are set on gorgeous Mackinac Island in the mid 1800s. Her three other published books all have a strong historical background, although two of them have contemporary settings (Ardenwycke Unveiled and But Not for Love). The other book (published under a pseudonym) is Bertie’s Golden Treasure – a Regency Romance. A Regency novella,Wagered Kiss, was published in December 2011 as part of a print anthology (Christmas Kisses) and separately as an eBook.
Kelly has been fortunate to find myriad writing opportunities in addition to those mentioned above. She has written about professional sports in her adopted home town, Cleveland, Ohio, as well as feature stories and interviews for various magazines and web-sites. She has written a couple of plays that had either a staged reading (More Than Strangers, Not to Be Alone) or a short professional production (Puccini: the Man and His Music), and is working on more of the latter type script about opera composers. Currently, she maintains an intermittent blog and occasionally conducts writing workshops. She also reads. A lot.
Rosi has been writing most of her life. After graduating from San Jose State University, she earned a single subject teaching credential in English. She spent many years teaching high school English and learned much more than she ever taught; young people have that effect. She has completed many creative writing courses at both the graduate and under-graduate levels and is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. An active member of the California Writer’s Club and SCBWI, she also work closely with three critique groups specializing in children’s writing. She spends most of her time writing for young people, but writes some adult fiction as well. You will be able to read her writing in up-coming issues of High Five and Highlights Magazines. Her children’s short story, Helen’s Home Run, won first place in the 2011 Foster City International Writer’s Contest, Children’s Division, and her middle-grade novel, The Incredible Journey of Freddy J. was a finalist in the Grace Notes Publishing Discovering the Undiscovered contest. She also has a story-poem that will be included in the British publication Fifty Funny Poems for Children in 2012. When I’m not writing she loves to read and spend time with her grandchildren.
Holly has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life. When she first discovered 1776 Productions and their need for book reviewers back in 2009, she thought she had found the most ideal gig ever: receive books, read them, and then write an opinion of them out for anyone and everyone to read? What could be better? She still writes a number of reviews every month, but now has the added perk of being a copy editor too, which conveniently combines her love of books with an obsessive-compulsive need to make things grammatically correct. When she’s not thinking about the written word, her hobbies include cooking, baking, exercising, knitting, gaming, and several other nerdy endeavors.
Holly is also a copy editor for San Francisco Book Review.
Cathy Carmode Lim has been a book reviewer for well over a dozen years, two of which she was a newspaper book page editor. The mother of four daughters and member of the National Book Critics Circle is also the founder of RatedReads.com. She is a copy editor, with editing experience at five newspapers, in addition to being a writer of newspaper and magazine articles and a book, a memoir of mothering. Cathy is well on her way to reaching her dream of filling up bookshelves with “books, glorious books!” in every room of her house. As it is, piles of them teeter-totter on shelves, ledges, bedside tables, and almost any other conceivable space.
She lives in California’s Central Valley.
Jennifer Ochs has been a freelance writer, book reviewer, proofreader/editor for the past 8-10 years. In addition to the San Francisco and Sacramento Book Reviews, she is a contributing writer/reviewer at Examiner.com. She currently maintains her weblog Jen’s Book Den, and works part-time in the healthcare field. Jennifer is in the process of completing of her A.A.S. in nursing, after which she plans on obtaining her B.S. in both nursing and English.
Her hobbies include reading, writing, music and movies, walking, and sketching. Jennifer is married and lives in Staten Island with her husband Jason, and their daughters Caitlin and Abigail. Jennifer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit her website at jensbookden.com.
D. Wayne Dworsky
D. Wayne Dworsky addresses the importance of being informed of Currents in Science & Nature by participating in science & nature book reviews, writing feature articles, aviation and preparing students for State examinations in mathematics and language arts. He’s been reviewing science and nature titles for Sacramento Book Review for the last five years with more than 125 reviews to his credit.
In addition to his own literary career, he hosts a radio talk show on Blog Talk Radio’s Alpha Centauri & Beyond . And he writes a blog at his website, Alpha Centauri & Beyond and Concrete Jungle Journal He remains active as an airman and writes articles for Currents in Science & Nature.
Genny lives in Northern California with her husband and their two kids, where she balances motherhood with writing and loves both. They have a dog named Bailey, a cat named Charlie, and they’ve been through far too many fish and mice to mention. Genny is a published children’s book author, parenting blogger and speaker, and writes for a variety of magazines and websites. Two of her manuscripts have received awards, including her middle grade novel, Give and Take, which received Honorable Mention in the SCBWI Sue Alexander Awards. In addition, her work has been published in the book Kirtsy Takes a Bow: A Celebration of Women’s Favorites Online. When Genny is not running her kids around to soccer or swim team, you can usually find her writing, editing, or helping with communications at Courage to Be You, an amazing non-profit that’s building homes for kids rescued out of trafficking.
Stop by her blog, MyCup2Yours, and share a cup!
George Erdosh is a culinary scientist, food writer and certified cooking teacher (and now a cookbook reviewer) with a strong science and research background (Ph.D., McGillUniversity, Montreal). Originally an exploration geologist for some 35 years, he switched career to be a high-end caterer, a business he ran for over 10 years, before switching to food writing and running cooking classes. He is the author of 10 published food-related books: a six-book series for young readers Cooking throughout American History and The African-American Kitchen; Start and Run a Catering Business (in its 4th edition, translated into five languages), Tried and True Recipes from a Caterer’s Kitchen and What Recipes Don’t Tell You, as well as numerous articles in magazines and newspapers.
Check out his blog at www.WhatRecipesDontTellYou.com
Zara Raab lives in Berkeley, but she grew up on the North Coast, where her ancestors farmed, raised cattle and harvested tan oak. Her work—including reviews, essays, interviews, and poems––appear in River Styx, Crab Orchard Review, Evansville Review, and of course the San Francisco Book Review! Her most recent book is Swimming the Eel (David Robert Books, 2011). Zara is also a columnist for the San Francisco Book Review’s VIEWPOINTS column Writing Around the Bay, which features author interviews.
Sheli Ellsworth holds a Master’s Degree in psychology used mainly to annoy family and friends. You can find her tongue-in-cheek advice column, “Dear Miss Betty-Advice for those who need to be slapped” in the Ventura Breeze newspaper. Humor.com, Auto Week, BackHome, Zone 4, and the Conejo Valley Guide have also published her humor columns. Her more serious writing has appeared in the Ventura County Star, Pacific Daily News and Spotlight on Recovery magazine. Her fictional work is published in Quintessence (2008) and Windows (2010). She also writes medical and veterinary articles for the web-based company purchaseremedies.com.
Robyn is a part-time freelance writer and editor based in Reno, NV. She was a late bloomer when it came to enjoying books and the act of reading, and spent most of high school making up for it by reading every Anne Rice or Frank Herbert novel. Now she has a growing interest in working for print and online publishers, and greatly enjoy helping others to develop their ideas into a story or work of art. Outside of books, she enjoys tracing her family’s history and learning more about the Basque community.
Robyn is also a copy editor for San Francisco Book Review.
Mentoring young adults to senior citizens, Diane Ledet guides others in preserving their life stories. A graduate of DePaul University with a B.A. in Writing Education, she is presently employed as a tutor. In her spare time, Diane is writing her memoirs entitled Through the Rain.
Megan Joy Rynott
Megan is a freelance writer and book reviewer from the Bay Area. She graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in Political Science and Communication. She will be starting the MFA in Creative Writing program at Saint Mary’s College this fall, where she plans on working on a collection of short stories and personal essays. Megan has loved books her entire life, so much so her dad once told her, “Megan, put down the book and go watch TV with your brother!” (Yeah, that really happened.) When she’s reading, she’s walking her puppy Tucker Boo (pictured). She runs The Whynott Blog where she also posts reviews, as well as original stories and opinion pieces. Find her on Twitter @megjay or Facebook (The Whynott Blog).
Elizabeth Varadan’s work has been published in Story Friends and LadyBug. Her juvenile fantasy novel, The Fourth Wish, was self-published in September, 2008. Her current MG mystery set in Victorian London is in submission by her agent, Deborah Carter of Waverly Place Literary Agency. She is also a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She blogs at: http://elizabethvaradansfourthwish.blogspot.com/ and http://victorianscribbles.blogspot.com/