All posts filed under: August

August Book

Image © npr.org  August is a good time to enjoy the sun with a side of a good book, and maybe a cold drink, or two. So this month we’ve picked Brit Bennett’s The Mothers as our sunshine companion. The story is set in a contemporary black community of Southern California. It’s the story of love, ambition, community, and the secrets we keep. The protagonists—Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey—are young and living their lives. It is the last season of high school for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty mourning her own mother’s recent suicide. She takes up with the local pastor’s son, Luke Sheppard, and a pregnancy that results from this teen romance will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are adults and still living in debt to the choices they made. Caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, they’re dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they …

Nothing in Life is a Rehearsal

It didn’t take me long to love this book. The first 50 pages were a bit slow, but once I got to know the characters and the story line started coming together, I was hooked. Avis, Bashkim, and Luis are the center of this tale. Three people who don’t know each other when this story begins, but whose lives become intimately entwined by the end. The book opens with Avis, stark naked while discovering her husband’s been cheating. And while that’s by far the most awkward moment of this story, all three characters have many moments of vulnerability, forced to come to terms with the parts of life that leave us gasping for air. I did guess the ending, but this wasn’t the type of book where a big plot twist is the whole reason for reading. We Are Called to Rise is about the characters–their losses, but more importantly, their triumphs. If you didn’t read along with us this month, be sure to add this one to your TBR pile. And have a tissue …

Happily Ever After

Back again, to review our August beach read: We Are Called to Rise. Admittedly I finished this book a little while ago and I’ve read two books since so some of the details are a little fuzzy. But overall, I liked this one. I do think I had some high expectations going into it. I’d heard from a few people who’d already read it that they really enjoyed it, and the description intrigued me. I love books where diverse lives intersect, for better or worse. Speaking of which, if you haven’t read Bright, Shiny Morning you should definitely put it on your TBR list. Anyway, like I said, I went into this with some high expectations, and I don’t think they were quite met. But I guess I’m a tough judge. I liked the book but I didn’t love it, and I think I was expecting to love it. There were just a few things in the way of me falling in love with it: the story was interesting, but a little predictable, and the characters were well-written but I …

August Book Announcement

Lettering Image by Katherine C. Hello and happy beach read month! We’re here to announce our book for August: We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride. The author is a community college teacher in Las Vegas, and this book is her first novel. Published in April 2015, We Are Called to Rise tells the story of Avis, Bashkim, Luis, and Roberta. Four very different people living very different lives in Las Vegas. These lives—a young immigrant boy, a middle-aged housewife, a military veteran, and a social worker—all converge into one uplifting story. Or so we’ve heard. It seems to us like it might be kind of like a literary version on the movie Crash. We’ll have to read and see. But the few people we know who’ve read it have loved it! So that bodes well. “This is a story about families—the ones we have and the ones we make. It’s a story about America today, where so many cultures and points of view collide and coexist. We Are Called to Rise challenges us to think about …

Made For the Beach

I have to say, I’m a little undecided on this one. I think I liked it. I do wish I’d had more beach time with this book. Instead, a lot of my reading time was spent rushed and indoors during my daughter’s nap time. I agree with Kathryn H. that it lacked a bit of the page-turning urgency that I usually enjoy for a good beach read. But even still, the individual characters’ end goals were just interesting enough to make you want to hang on and see if they were fulfilled. And I did like the use of multiple character perspectives… it allowed me to feel connected, at least in some way, to each of the characters. Although I do wish they’d all been a little more relatable. There were parts of each character that seemed not to fit, that seemed contradictory in a way (Franny seems to have few redeeming qualities, and yet Jim is still so in love with her despite his indiscretions… that feels a bit unrealistic, or like I’m missing something). I …