Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Beach Trip

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Beach Trip
By Cathy Holton
Publication Date: May 12

From Amazon:

"For four college friends, a beach trip promises a chance to reconnect and reminisce. Having traveled distinct and diverse paths since the early 1980s and their freshman days at a small Southern women’s college, the quartet—now in their forties—reunites for the first time in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Over the course of a week they eat, drink, laugh, and cry. But one by one each reveals the hardship and heartache she’s hidden from the others. And one secret threatens to change their lives, and their bond, forever."

What's your "waiting on" pick this week?

Leave a comment with either the link to your own "Waiting On" Wednesday post or just your answer (if you don't have a blog).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Library Loot: 3-22

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by A Striped Armchair and Out of the Blue that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

I came home from the beach to find eight books waiting for me:

It Will Come to Me by Emily Fox Gordon

The Cradle by Patrick Somerville

The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano

Bridge of Sand by Janet Burroway

The Believers by Zoe Heller

The Stepmother by Carrie Adams

Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn

Cooking in the South by Johnnie Gabriel

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Quote a Day: Day 7

From Starting Out in the Evening by Brian Morton:

"The trick to making someone happy, and making yourself happy in the bargain, is to bring them not only what they ask for, but to bring them extras."

Hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I did! Want even more? Visit this older Booking Through Thursday post with five more of my favorite book quotes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Quote a Day: Day 6

From Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser:

"Eating well is not as much about good food as it is about the people you share that food with, the room you dine in, what you talk about, and the emotional hungers that you bring to the table."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Quote a Day: Day 5

From Outer Banks by Anne Rivers Siddons:

"They are love, those rare blinding early friendships. Not everyone has them, and almost no one gets more than one. The others, the later ones, are not the same. These first grow in a soil found only in the country of the young and are possible only there, because their medium is unbroken time and proximity and discovery. Later, there is not enough of any of those for the total, ongoing immersions that these friendships are...These friendships may continue past first youth, but I don't think they often do. Their primary strength is that fire of exploration and validation. The friend becomes a cicerone, to go with you down to the bottom of your deepest depths and out to the farthest crannies of your being. All your senses are open, all your reservoirs fill up at a prodigious rate, all your motors hum."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Quote a Day: Day 4

From Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells:

"I have been missing the point. The point is not knowing another person or learning to love another person. The point is simply this: how tender can we bear to be?"

"Waiting On" Wednesday: The Last Bridge

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Last Bridge
By Teri Coyne
Publication Date: July 28

From Amazon:

"After a ten-year absence, Alex “Cat” Rucker returns to her Ohio hometown because of a letter left on her mother’s kitchen table—a suicide note, carefully preserved in a Ziploc bag. While Alex tries to repress the memories of her brutal childhood—an abusive father, her estranged (and possibly illegitimate) brother, and the first love who would do anything to save her—she must face just how shattered she still is. At each step Alex confronts her biggest fears, realizes the impact of her choices, and inches closer to redemption. Can she embrace her vulnerabilities, talents, and desire for love, or will the revelations of her mother’s cryptic note prove too overwhelming for her to bear? The Last Bridge is a perfect blend of suspense, despair, and romance—and at its heart lies the question: are we a product of our experiences or our choices?"

What's your "waiting on" pick this week?

Leave a comment with either the link to your own "Waiting On" Wednesday post or just your answer (if you don't have a blog).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Quote a Day: Day 3

From Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

"In Atlanta, the first question people ask you is, 'What's your business?' In Augusta, they ask, 'Where do you go to church?' In Macon, they ask your grandmother's maiden name. But, in Savannah, the first question people ask you is, 'What would you like to drink?'"

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Quote a Day: Day 2

From Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy:

"I always felt an ineluctable guilt when I was just taking it easy in New York when all those grand museums, libraries, plays, concerts, and that whole vast of infinitude of cultural opportunities beckoned me with promises of enrichment."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekly Geeks: A Quote a Day

I saw that last week's Weekly Geeks theme was A Quote a Day. I got in too late in the week to participate, so I thought I'd just run mine a week late. I keep a book of favorite quotes that I'm constantly adding to, so this idea really appealed to me. This goes both ways...I'd love to hear your favorites, too!

First up...Father Melancholy's Daughter by Gail Godwin

"The feeling wasn't so different from the one I sometimes got during the reading of a really wonderful novel, when I would come across a character or a situation that so thoroughly filled the requirements of my imagination that I would have to stop and lay the book facedown on my chest and take a deep breath before going on."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Beach Bound

I'm headed to the Gulf Coast tomorrow for a week with my mom, sister, and three young nieces (ages 6, 4, and 2). I'm not sure how much reading I'll get in, but I think I'm bringing enough to keep the three of us in books:
  • Apologize, Apologize
  • Sleepwalking in Daylight
  • The Local News
  • Handle With Care
  • True Colors
  • Still Alice
  • Everyone Is Beautiful

I've scheduled posts throughout the week, including "Waiting On" be sure to stop by and leave your link if you participate!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Best Intentions

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Best Intentions
By Emily Listfield
Publication Date: May 5

From Publishers Weekly:
"Financial troubles and more test the marriage of a downtown Manhattan career mom and her business journalist husband in this writerly page-turner from Listfield. Sam and Lisa Barkley, who were college sweethearts, can just afford to send their two daughters to an Upper East Side private girls' school, though Lisa, whose family “struggled into the middle class,” wonders if a public school “gifted” program would've been a better choice. Meanwhile, Sam's late-night phone calls and odd absences from his office lead her to accuse him of having an affair. Lisa confides her fears to her best friend from college, Deirdre Cushing, whose mysterious death heightens the tension and mistrust between Lisa and Sam. Listfield ensures no character is above suspicion, and in the end, no one is without blame."

What's your "waiting on" pick this week?

Leave a comment with either the link to your own "Waiting On" Wednesday post or just your answer (if you don't have a blog).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Library Loot: 3-5

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by A Striped Armchair and Out of the Blue that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

Here's what I got this week:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday: The Embers

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Embers
By Hyatt Bass
Publication Date: June 23

From Amazon:

"Emily Ascher should be celebrating: she just got engaged to the man she loves, her job is moving in new and fulfilling directions, and her once-rocky relationship with her mother, Laura, has finally mellowed into an easy give-and-take. But with the promise of new love settling into old comes a difficult look at how her family has been torn apart in the many years since her brother died. Her parents have long since divorced, and her father, Joe, a famous actor and playwright who has been paralyzed with grief since the tragedy, carries the blame for his son’s death—but what really happened on that winter night? Why has he been unable to clear his name, or even discuss that evening with Laura and Emily? As spring looms—and with it Emily’s wedding in the Berkshires and an unveiling of Joe’s new play—each Ascher begins to reevaluate the events of long ago, finally facing the truth of his or her own culpability in them."

What's your "waiting on" pick this week?

Leave a comment with either the link to your own "Waiting On" Wednesday post or just your answer (if you don't have a blog).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Review: The Help

"They say it's like true love, good help. You only get one in a lifetime."

In her debut novel, The Help, author Kathryn Stockett goes inside the homes of 1960s Mississippi to show the relationships between young white women and the black maids they employ.

Skeeter, a new Ole Miss graduate, is back home in Jackson, single and living with her parents again. Her two best friends, Elizabeth and Hilly, are both married, with small children and full-time help. As Skeeter observes the relationships between her friends and their maids, she becomes increasingly interested in the lives of the women who take care of her friends' houses and children.

As Hilly pushes her initiative for Junior League members to build separate bathrooms at their homes for "the help," Skeeter is frustrated by the racial lines drawn so firmly, even boldly asking Elizabeth's maid, Aibeleen, "Do you ever wish you could...change things?"

When Skeeter, ironically, takes on the housekeeping advice column at the local paper to get writing experience, she turns to Aibileen to help her ghost write. But, as the relationship matures, a new idea develops.

What if she interviewed some of Jackson's housekeepers (and surrogate mothers) to tell their stories? Would things, in fact, change?

Given the racial atmosphere of the time, it's a dangerous proposition, yet Skeeter and Aibileen join together and take the risk for the greater (potential) good of the project.

I feel like I'm not even doing the summary of this book justice. I had to stop myself from telling the entire story, because it struck such a chord with me.

While I didn't grow up this way, my father did, raised by Matt Eva while his parents worked at their grocery store in a small Georgia town. She stayed on long after he was gone, and I spent my days with her when I visited during the summer as a child. She was as much of an influence on me as my own grandparents.

The Help is so incredibly honest and authentic, and it's impressive that Stockett could tell the story equally well from the perspectives of both Skeeter and Aibileen. The stories from the maids are sad and shocking, as they endure countless acts of abuse and discrimination, but they are also sweet and tender, as these women form powerful relationships with the children in their care, raising them as their own.

This book...this simply amazing.