Staff Book Recommendations

During the month of December, take 15% off any of these staff favorites, currently available in our bookstore.

The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.

A gripping fictional account of Harold’s 600-mile walk from Devon to Berwick-upon-Tweed, and all its twists, and turns along the way. It’s a journey about his own self-awareness in his later years. It’s her debut novel, looking forward to her next one!

Kathy Pottetti

Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir by Linda Ronstadt 

A story of rock and roll success, Broadway stages, and maintaining a deep sense of self in a fast-moving, not always kind, world. Discovering that Ronstadt still holds the record for making the biggest-selling non-English language record in history, Canciones de Mi Padre, which she made to celebrate her Mexican American heritage, was stunning. 

Chris Fanning 

19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Given the heightened awareness of school shootings as a threat in America, 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult brings this tragic reality into fiction. Picoult forces readers to question their humanity and recognize the long term impact bullying imprints on youth. 

Misty Yarnall

Dune by Frank Herbert

The intricate overlap of ecology, scarcity, aristocracy, jihad, and cults of personality drive human history, but this we already know. What Dune teaches is how to judge what is important by how much water it carries.

Tristan Tomaselli

Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin

Eugene Onegin is heartbreaking in its depiction of youthful innocence destroyed by rejection and unrequited love. It has the most painfully beautiful dream sequence I’ve ever read. A great winter read.

Laura Trowbridge

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

This is one of the most important books I have read. Part memoir, part history, part philosophical instruction, Kendi illustrates the concept that there is no such thing as “not being racist.” Policies and actions are either anti-racist, or they are racist. This book is a page-turning call to action. 

Sally Bittner Bonn

The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit

“Stories are compasses and architecture…to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice.” In grappling with her mother’s fading memory, Rebecca Solnit turns her famously discursive, lyrical mind over apricots, arctic explorers, Che Guavera in leper colonies, fairy tales, and in an essay that unwinds across the bottom of each page, moths that drink the tears of sleeping birds.

Dan Herd

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado

I love spending time in Machado’s eerie worlds, where the fears of our age play out in folklorish style. Plus, you can’t go wrong with stories that are queer in every sense of the word.

Clara O’Connor

Gell Summer Intensive

Excellent.  Instructors were well prepared and attentive.  Student participation and level of writing excellent as well.

Participant – Fiction Intensive| July 2017 | Ralph Uttaro.

Excellent & inspiring.  Useful criticism, re-affirmed my enthusiasm for the craft. 

Participant – Fiction Intensive | July 2017 | Jim Byrne

As an attendee of the first “Mother Wolf”  1 Day Writing Retreat, I can only say that it was a wonderful experience.  I loved both the gorgeous retreat site, and entire program.  It was all fabulous!

Participant | May 2017 | Lisa Thompson.

We always have a great time in this space!  The porch and the beautiful landscape are the biggest reasons we have returned for our fourth year.  Thanks for making this available to members at a reasonable cost. It is truly a gem! 

Artisan Women | May 2017 | Tracy Austin.

Rochester Veterans Writing Group held a half day writing retreat at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat – This lodge provided a welcome respite for our group from the normal routine our writing workshops by listening to our guest speaker, Jen Case as an outside voice, engaging with one another, and gazing out on the radiant beauty of the surrounding hills.  In Hemingway’s words ” this clean, well-lighted place” was ideal, and met all of our needs. Many thanks for maintaining such a gem in the midst of the Finger Lakes Region!

Rochester Veterans Writing Group | June 2017 | Tim Hansen, Co-Founder.                    

Upstate Artist Forum Gathering

FLCC’s Board of Trustees held an all-day retreat at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat – The Gleason Lodge is situated in a beautiful and peaceful setting – perfect for a retreat! Kathy Pottetti and her staff were wonderful to work with and graciously accommodated all our needs and requests. The Gleason Lodge is easy to access, has plenty of parking, and boasts a full kitchen, large dining room, and a great room with stone fireplace and fantastic views off the deck. If you seek a quiet location where your group can truly relax and unwind without the distraction of technology, Gell is a great choice.

Janet Carabell, Executive Secretary to the President.
FLCC’s Board of Trustees | October 2016 |

Great location, clean and bright, comfortable and an absolute must for those planning a gathering/seminar/meeting especially amidst the fall foliage.

Just Poets Group | October 2016