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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

This Month in This Awful-Awesome Life...


Welcome to the September edition of This Awful-Awesome Life. September is banned books month. In honor of those books and their authors, this will be our feature topic.

Last month, Jay Speyerer passed away suddenly. Jay helped create this E-zine, and he acted as our designer and my co-publisher and co-editor for the March, April, May and June issues. Jay was a writer, editor and photographer. He taught for many years at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and he helped choose this month’s topic.

This Issue is dedicated to Jay. I hope you enjoy our look back at his life which includes some of his photography and personal tributes from friends, family, and former students. In his honor, the Oxford comma is being used.

Do you remember the first banned book you ever read? You might be surprised to learn many of your favorite books have been challenged on some level and/or banned from a library, book store, or school district reading list somewhere in the United States or around the world. This includes children’s classics such as Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.

This month’s quiz features 25 challenged/banned books. See if you can match each book to the reason it was considered inappropriate.

Please welcome Terry Kish to the writing team here at This Awful-Awesome Life. Terry is a talented writer; her work has appeared in local newspapers and magazines in the Pittsburgh area for many years. Terry will be reviewing local restaurants and visiting some of Pittsburgh’s finest Craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries.

Author Orlando Bartro, one of our guest contributors, is back to discuss the history of banned books. Orlando’s articles always add an interesting twist to our topics, so it’s a real treat to have his insights on banned books.

Rob Kalchthaler from the Bethel Park Public Library in Pennsylvania and Jackie Zataweski from the Crewe Public Library in Virginia have contributed some information about websites and banned book lists, and I interviewed Eric Magliocca, a teacher and fellow author, to get his thoughts on why books are sometimes banned.

Don’t miss our exciting feature on Disha Paul, an up and coming graphic designer from India whose work is helping businesses expand their global reach. Disha has graciously offered to give me some tips on improving our home page and logo, so be ready for some exciting changes to our look in the near future.   

In celebration of the end of summer/beginning of fall, Linda Cahill is back with some great tips and recipes for you.

As always, we have some amazing free use photos from and Pixaby.

Enjoy and please share This Awful-Awesome Life with your friends.

All my best,

Fran Joyce

The Inaugural Issue of This Awful-Awesome Life - Bosses 3/17

Remembering Jay Speyerer