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Books

How Much is Enough?

A Meander of Memoir Essays by Sally Petersen

Sally’s newest book, How Much is Enough?, explores highly personal reactions to some current American issues. These are somewhat longer versions of her distinctive “miniatures.” Several of the short essays have to do with growing older—for instance how much travel and collecting things, do we really want to continue doing? How do we deal with downsizing, vinyl records, holidays, body changes?

Some issues are more serious: love and war, sport shooting, making decisions.

Early readers report their dialogue with the book is robust. As always with this provocative and pithy writer, some readers will agree, some disagree. With that in mind, she’s included questions to get the conversation started with book clubs or discussion groups.

Sally Petersen, Portland-based essayist

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I May Never Get to Petra

One reader calls them “witty, provocative, always appealing.” In this satisfying little book, Sally offers her readers another collection of “miniatures,” brief observations about life.

Each miniature is a peek into one of my rooms, she says, into what I observed or felt at the time. These are rooms we may share—travel, work, living with nature, family, moving. The miniature won’t tell you everything about my room, but it may set you to thinking. You might have reacted differently, or maybe not. Either way, the dialogue begins…

Sally Petersen, Portland-based essayist

Tea Pie, Love and Reality

These very short essays or stories have been called “memorable meditations,” a “pleasure…delight, and sometimes a joyful kick in the heart.”

Readers say they find themselves in these pages.

Tea Pie holds snappy bits about being chased by a hummingbird and forgetting a sexy restaurant encountered while traveling.

Sally Petersen, Portland-based essayist

A Woman, A Time, A Place

A mid-century memoir

I do not speak for all women. I speak for myself. But my story—both highly personal and universal—should be told before my generation and I disappear over the horizon.

We are women of the Silent Generation, sandwiched thinly between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers. This story is about those of us, and there were more than you might think, who didn’t go tripping happily down the yellow brick road set in front of them by society, the church, and possibly their parents. We wanted more, years before the “you can have it all” women coined the phrase. We were not content for our orbits to revolve placidly around our husbands’, well before Betty Friedan coined the phrase, “the problem with no name.”

A Woman, A Time, A Place