There’s nothing like a week at the beach, unplugged, with sunlight streaming in the windows waking you at 5:30 a.m., to indulge your love of reading.

With the sugar-soft white sands of Seagrove Beach beneath my toes, (and the smart phone smartly left behind in the condo), the only item on my daily agenda was to eat, drink, sun and read. With zero Facebook notification interruptions (and zero games of Candy Crush)  I managed to devour 5 books during our 6 days on the beach.

Below is a very brief recap of what I read (in order) and what I thought…


Book Review: The Engagements, J. Courtney SullivanThe Engagements
by J. Courtney Sullivan.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Details/Topics:  I picked this up in the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble and it was worth every penny of the $5.99 price tag. The book weaves together the story of Frances Gerety, the real-life pioneering ad woman who coined the famous slogan “A Diamond is Forever,” as well as 4 other stories of relationships at various stages. I was genuinely surprised by the way the stories tied together at the end.
Favorite Quote(s):
“I don’t always have to understand the people I love.”
“Scars. A sign that you had been hurt. A sign that you had healed.”

Book Review: "The Good Luck of Right Now" by Matthew Quick
“The Good Luck of Right Now” by Matthew Quick

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Details/Topics:  Another bargain bin selection, but I had extremely high hopes for this one as it was written by the author of Silver Linings Playbook, my favorite book of 2013.  It was okay, but definitely didn’t measure up to SLP.  Every chapter is a letter addressed to the actor Richard Gere. Let’s just leave it at that.
Favorite Quote(s):
“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”

“God doesn’t do coincidences. You can bet your ass.”

 

Book Review: Nantucket Sisters, Nancy ThayerNantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Details/Topics:  Another bargain bin selection. (Are you sensing a theme?)  I had relatively low expectations for this book, but thought it would be mindlessly entertaining – a true “beach read.”  I’ll admit I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed meeting these characters and even got a bit choked up at the end.  The story is about two little girls – one a privileged child from Manhattan, the other, an “islander” who’s lives with her blue collar single mother year round on Nantucket.  The two spend their summers together every year and become the best of friends – “Nantucket Sisters.”  Of course their backgrounds complicate their friendships as they get older, as does falling in love – especially WHO they fall in love with.

At this point (day 3 of the trip), I’ve run out of books. Luckily, my niece Sadie had brought a book with her which I quickly snatched up.

Book Review: The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk KiddThe Invention of Wings by  Sue Monk Kidd
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Details/Topics:   “Handful,” a young girl slave, is given as an 11th birthday present to her Master’s daughter, Sarah Grimke. The story is told with each chapter alternating between the two characters’ perspectives. Handful holds on tightly to her mother’s stories of when their ancestors in Africa had “wings,” while Sarah, aware of the injustices of the time, discovers her own wings as an abolitionist and feminist. Sue Monk Kidd was inspired by the real-life Sarah Grimke.
Favorite Quote(s):
“If you must err, do so on the side of audacity.”

“She had the look of someone who’d declared herself, and seeing it, my indignation collapsed and her mutinous bath turned into something else entirely. She’d immersed herself in forbidden privileges, yes, but mostly in the belief she was worthy of those privileges. What she’d done was not a revolt, it was a baptism.”

Now I’m out of books again… luckily Genna enjoys one of my favorite genres, Young Adult.

Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire SaenzAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe  by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
My Rating: 4.5  out of 5 stars
Details/Topics:   A coming of age story of two Hispanic boys, their friendship, their families, and self-discovery.
Favorite Quote(s):
“Maybe the problem between me and my father was that we were both the same.”

“Yeah, I had all kinds of tragic reasons for feeling sorry for myself. Being fifteen didn’t help. Sometimes I thought that being fifteen was the worst tragedy of all.”

“Scars. A sign that you’ve been hurt. A sign that you have been healed. Had I been hurt? Had I been healed? Maybe we just lived between hurting and healing.”

 

 

 

 

 

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