Rochester Reads 2016: Queen of the Fall by Sonja Livingston

ProductImageHandlerWriters & Books is thrilled to announce our 2016 “If All of Rochester Reads the Same Book…”: Queen of the Fall: A Memoir of Girls & Goddesses by Sonja Livingston. Livingston will be in Rochester doing readings, book signings, and appearances at local libraries, colleges, and senior centers from Tuesday, March 15 through Saturday, March 19, 2016.

Copies of the book are available for purchase now at the Writers & Books bookstore.

For more information on the “If All of Rochester Reads the Same Book…” program, please contact Coordinator Karen vanMeenen at



Writers & Books also has an audio recording of Sonja Livingston reading
available for a two week loan. Stop by the Front Desk, sign it out, and return it in two weeks. For more information, or to find out of the CDs are already out, call the Front Desk at 585.473.2590 ext 107



Read Rebecca Rafferty’s article on the announcement by clicking here

Watch a short YouTube video previewing Livingston’s memoir Queen of the Fall here

Democrat & Chronicle subscribers: Read Robin Flanigan’s interview with Sonja Livingston here

33 Life-Changing Books in Honor of International Women’s Day

Queen of the Fall named a finalist as a Foreword Book of the Year


Memoir Prompt by Sonja Livingston:


This is a prompt by “Rochester Reads” author Sonja Livingston. Submit your response to the prompt to Selected prompts may appear in future issues of our catalog!
As children and teens, most of us look to others (television or literary characters, popular classmates, artists, athletes, teachers, or rock stars) to help us better understand who we are and to imagine who we might become.
Queen of the Fall explores the various icons one girl considered on her path to becoming a woman, including Susan B. Anthony, 1980s Madonna, the Virgin Mary, the maiden on the Land O’ Lakes butter box, and many more.
Who did you look to? Who did you admire and why? What did they represent and what does that say about the woman or man you have become? Write a brief creative essay inspired by one of your childhood icons.
For added power, try writing in present tense so that we feel like we’re standing beside you as you describe the summer you plastered your bedroom with posters of Leif Garrett or got a nose ring and a used guitar and tried your best to mimic Ani DiFranco, the season you wanted to be Roberto Clemente or one of the Partridge kids, the time in 4th grade you lost yourself in Nancy Drew mysteries, or the way you spent most of your childhood envying your cousin Gina with the perfect hair.


Want more? Rochester Reads coordinator Karen vanMeenen compiled this list of links & references throughout the book for your viewing/reading pleasure:

Links to references in Queen of the Fall by essay/chapter

Introduction: The Memory of Trees

 Orleans County Fair

 Land of the Lost

Land of the Lost TV show opening

 Crosby Stills and Nash song “Suite Judy Blue Eyes”

 Land o’ Lakes Butter carton adaptation


The Lady with the Alligator Purse

Susan B. Anthony Dollar

Susan B. Anthony House, Rochester


The Last American Virgin

 The Last American Virgin film trailer

 Madonna song “Like a Virgin”



 Seneca Amy Depot information

 Corpus Christi/Spiritus Christi church


Preface to Part II

 Sinead O’Connor song whose lyrics are from an anonymous 17th-c. Irish poem


A Party, in May

Sisters Olive Trees of Noah

Abba song “Dancing Queen”

Patsy Cline song “I Fall to Pieces”



Sybil: 2014 New York Times story



 Judith Kitchen’s website


The Lonely Hunters

 Al Green’s version of How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

Ally McBeal theme song

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter information


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