Michael Barsa

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Michael Barsa

Goodreads Author


Website

Genre

Influences
Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, Patricia Highsmith

Member Since
March 2017


Michael Barsa grew up in a German-speaking household in New Jersey and spoke no English until he went to school. So began an epic struggle to master the American "R" and a lifelong fascination with language. He's lived on three continents and spent many summers in southern Germany and southern Vermont.

He's worked as an award-winning grant writer, an English teacher, and an environmental lawyer. He now teaches environmental and natural resources law. His scholarly articles have appeared in several major law reviews, and his writing on environmental policy has appeared in The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times. His short fiction has appeared in Sequoia.

The Garden of Blue Roses is his first novel.

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Michael Barsa I don't believe there's any such thing as an aspiring writer. There are writers and non-writers. Why am I being so picky about this? Because my advice…moreI don't believe there's any such thing as an aspiring writer. There are writers and non-writers. Why am I being so picky about this? Because my advice is just to write, write, and write some more. You'll produce lots of bad writing, but that's OK. Everybody does. You just need to work through the bad writing to get to the good.(less)
Michael Barsa A sequel to The Garden of Blue Roses. Stay tuned....
Average rating: 3.57 · 167 ratings · 71 reviews · 1 distinct workSimilar authors
The Garden of Blue Roses

3.57 avg rating — 167 ratings — published 2018 — 4 editions
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New Giveaway

Hi Folks,

Looks like there's a new Giveaway for The Garden of Blue Roses--just in time for the Halloween season. It's the biggest Giveaway for the book yet! Details below.

Keep reading!

Michael





Goodreads Book Giveaway



The Garden of Blue Roses by Michael Barsa




The Garden of Blue Roses


by Michael Barsa




Giveaway ends November 12, 2019.



See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.







Enter Giveaway


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Published on October 14, 2019 05:42 Tags: giveaway

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The Heart of the ...
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Michael Michael said: " I'm reviewing this as I go, more as a collection of random thoughts on the book than as any sort of plot summary (there are plenty of those already). I read this years ago, and now upon re-reading I'm struck by how Greene pierces all that insufferabl ...more "

 
The Vanishing Sky
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by L. Annette Binder (Goodreads Author)
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Michael Michael said: " This is a beautiful, heart-wrenching work about a German family in the waning days of World War II--a worried mother, a distant and preoccupied father, and two sons, one of whom has just returned shattered from war and the other, as yet too young but ...more "

 
The Mysteries of ...
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bookshelves: gothic, currently-reading
read in June, 2017
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Michael Michael said: " I'm reading this book again to get back in touch with some of the early English gothic novels. I'm struck, in these early pages, by the extreme romanticization and lush description of nature. The natural world has a sort of earthy goodness that draws ...more "

 

Michael’s Recent Updates

Michael and 110 other people liked Candi's review of Housekeeping:
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
"“Everything that falls upon the eye is apparition, a sheet dropped over the world’s true workings. The nerves and the brain are tricked, and one is left with dreams that these specters loose their hands from ours and walk away, the curve of the back " Read more of this review »
The Underground Railroad Records by William Still
"Imagine it’s you: You are kidnapped from your family, stripped naked, shipped like cargo, body stacked on body, in the hold of a ship. If you survive, this transport is followed by being “owned” and worked by other people. Some of the “owners” claim " Read more of this review »
Life Among the Terranauts by Caitlin Horrocks
"The stories in Life Among the Terranauts by Caitlin Horrocks are filled with people puzzling over their lives and a world that holds more questions than answers; they don't even know what questions to ask; they try to master the words themselves. The" Read more of this review »
No Turning Back by Rania Abouzeid
Michael rated a book it was amazing
The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
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I'm reviewing this as I go, more as a collection of random thoughts on the book than as any sort of plot summary (there are plenty of those already). I read this years ago, and now upon re-reading I'm struck by how Greene pierces all that insufferabl ...more
Ways of Escape by Graham Greene
" Fantastic review, Jeffrey! I didn't know about this one, but it looks quite worthwhile. I've been re-reading lots of Greene lately and continue to be ...more "
Michael wants to read
Ways of Escape by Graham Greene
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No Turning Back by Rania Abouzeid
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Gritty, honest, personal, intimate, clear-eyed look at events leading up to and involving the Syrian civil war, told by a journalist with access to a number of activists and their families. The story moves back and forth between the activists as they ...more
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
" Wonderful review, Gabrielle! You've perfectly captured my own ambivalence regarding this book. I read it first in college and loved it, but when I rea ...more "
Michael rated a book it was amazing
No Turning Back by Rania Abouzeid
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Gritty, honest, personal, intimate, clear-eyed look at events leading up to and involving the Syrian civil war, told by a journalist with access to a number of activists and their families. The story moves back and forth between the activists as they ...more
More of Michael's books…
Shirley Jackson
“My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead.”
Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Edgar Allan Poe
“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”
Edgar Allan Poe

Shirley Jackson
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.”
Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

Shirley Jackson
“Journeys end in lovers meeting; I have spent an all but sleepless night, I have told lies and made a fool of myself, and the very air tastes like wine. I have been frightened half out of my foolish wits, but I have somehow earned this joy; I have been waiting for it for so long.”
Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

William Faulkner
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
William Faulkner

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Comments (showing 1-36)    post a comment »
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message 36: by Michael

Michael Lawyer wrote: "Michael, many thanks for your friendship."

Thanks so much for accepting! Looking forward to hear about what you're reading and to discussing great books.


message 35: by Lawyer

Lawyer Michael, many thanks for your friendship.


message 34: by Michael

Michael Mizuki wrote: "Thanks for the friend request."

Thanks, Mizuki, for accepting! I look forward to hearing about what you're reading.


message 33: by Mizuki

Mizuki Thanks for the friend request.


message 32: by Michael

Michael Mariah wrote: "Hey Michael!
Thanks for the friend request, I love getting new Goodreads friends :)"


Thanks, Mariah! I love new friends, too. Looking forward to hearing about what you're reading!


message 31: by Mariah

Mariah Hey Michael!
Thanks for the friend request, I love getting new Goodreads friends :)


message 30: by Michael

Michael Thanks, Roman Clodia! I'm looking forward to some great book-related discussions, too!


Roman Clodia Thanks for the 'friendvite' (yuk!) Michael and, yes, look forward to swapping book-talk!


message 28: by Michael

Michael Wanda wrote: "Hi Michael, We do have quite a few books in common! I look forward to chatting with you in the future."

Thanks, Wanda! I too look forward to many wonderful discussions.


message 27: by Wanda

Wanda Hi Michael, We do have quite a few books in common! I look forward to chatting with you in the future.


message 26: by Michael

Michael Luís wrote: "Thanks for accepting, Michael. I think we had a lot to learn with each other.."

Thanks, Luis! Yes, I do think we can learn a lot from each other. I look forward to it.


message 25: by Michael

Michael Chris wrote: "Thank you for the friend request. I look forward to discussing many great books with you (and perhaps a few not so great ones)."

Thanks so much, Chris, for accepting. I think we'll lots to talk about, whether they're great books or not!


message 24: by Chris

Chris Blocker Thank you for the friend request. I look forward to discussing many great books with you (and perhaps a few not so great ones).


message 23: by Michael

Michael Thanks so much, Jacob! I'm looking forward to learning about and discussing many great books.


message 22: by Jacob

Jacob Overmark Hi Michael, thx for the friend request, Thou shalt be most welcome in my library. Brgds Jacob


message 21: by Michael

Michael Aloha wrote: "Hi Michael,

Thank you for the invite. I am excited about Walser. I owned several of his work but was focused on other authors at that time. Reading Microscripts made me look deeper into his life. ..."


Thank you, Aloha, for accepting my invitation! I'm excited to hear what you think about Walser. I have Jakob Von Gunten in a NYRB reissue, but I haven't read it yet. And I agree, walking is a wonderful way to escape, if only into your own mind. It's actually my favorite way of encountering and exploring a new city--to walk until I get lost, then see what I find.


message 20: by Aloha

Aloha Hi Michael,

Thank you for the invite. I am excited about Walser. I owned several of his work but was focused on other authors at that time. Reading Microscripts made me look deeper into his life. What a fascinating man. I ordered The Walk for personal reasons. I walk alone mostly for the same reasons he walk alone. I walk to feel freedom from all the shackles life can put on you.


message 19: by Michael

Michael Brian wrote: "Thank you for the friend request, gladly accepted - looking forward to discussing books with you!"

Thank you, Brian! I look forward to it, as well!


message 18: by Brian

Brian Thank you for the friend request, gladly accepted - looking forward to discussing books with you!


message 17: by Michael

Michael Thank you, Rakhi! I too look forward to comparing books and reviews!


message 16: by Rakhi

Rakhi Dalal Thanks for the friend invite, Michael. It was good going through our common shelf :) I certainly look forward to your reading updates and reviews.


message 15: by Michael

Michael Connie (Ava Catherine) wrote: "Thank you for the request, and I certainly look forward to being your GR friend and comparing ideas about books."

Thank you for accepting my request! I look forward to sharing reviews and inspirations too.


Ava Catherine Thank you for the request, and I certainly look forward to being your GR friend and comparing ideas about books.


message 13: by Michael

Michael Thank you, Nikki, for accepting my request! I too look forward to comparing notes on great books.


Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V. Thanks for the friend request, Michael! Looking forward to talking books :)


message 11: by Michael

Michael Delphine wrote: "Thanks for the request Michael. I hope you enjoy The Magic Toyshop - it's a delightful read!
Let me know what you think!"


Thanks, Delphine! I'll certainly let you know what I think. I can't wait to dive in.


message 10: by Fidan

Fidan Lurin Thanks for the request Michael. I hope you enjoy The Magic Toyshop - it's a delightful read!
Let me know what you think!


Michael Thanks, Seemita, for accepting my friend request! I too look forward to discussing great books.


Seemita Thanks for the friend invite and kind words, Michael. I look forward to chatting books with you.


Michael Puck wrote: "Hi Michael, thank you for your friend-request! I'm looking forward on sharing some good gothic and literary horror books with you. Since you recommended Shirley Jackson to me (and what a wonderful ..."

Hi Puck--thanks so much for this recommendation! The Butcher's Hook looks amazing, and your review was wonderful. I will order it up right away. I see we're both drawn to these unbalanced, unreliable narrators! When they work, they work so well.


message 6: by Puck

Puck Hi Michael, thank you for your friend-request! I'm looking forward on sharing some good gothic and literary horror books with you. Since you recommended Shirley Jackson to me (and what a wonderful recommendation!), I'd like to recommend to you The Butcher's Hook.

It's an historical-fiction novel, more on the psychological suspense side than horror, but the line is thin. Here is my review of the book to give you an impression, but since you seem to like unbalanced main characters like Eleanor Vance, I think you'll like this book too :)


Michael Looks wonderful, Megan! Thanks for letting me know!


Michael Thank you, Sookie, for accepting! I too look forward to some great conversations!


Sookie Thank you for the friend request Michael. Looking forward for future conversations :)


Michael Thanks, Jeffrey, for accepting my friend request! I'm always thrilled to find others with similar reading interests and illuminating things to say.


Jeffrey Keeten Thanks for the friend request Michael. I appreciate your kind words.


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