On YouTube – Retracting my paperless announcement!

Hi Everyone,

I’m over on YouTube with a retraction to my “going paperless” announcement. See what I’m going to do instead!

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In case you missed them! BCM post recap July 2022

Hey Everyone,

In case you missed them, here’s a quick look at Book Club Mom’s posts for July.

I read six books this month, which is unusual. I was on a roll!

Sea Wife by Amity Gaige – 4 stars. I liked this book very much. It’s a fast read because you’ll want to know what happened. But it’s also a deeper look at marriage and parenthood.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy – 4 stars. I teared up reading this inspirational graphic novel!

The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons – 3 stars. Not my favorite book, but readable nonetheless and good for summer.

The Family by Naomi Krupitsky – 4 stars. Picked this at random and thought this book about two women who grow up in the mafia was excellent.

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian – 4 stars. Much different from other books by this author. I really liked this historical suspense set in 1662 Boston.

Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer – 3 stars. This was an okay beach read with gorgeous characters and insta-love set on Nantucket.

I made four YouTube videos in July. I’m trying to get back on a regular schedule with those, but it’s not easy!

Reading Update – I’m going paperless!

Read React Decide Review of Sea Wife by Amity Gaige

Piano Reveal!

Special Beach Reads episode of Read React Decide

Miscellaneous posts – a bunch of these this month!

Who’s That Indie Author? W. L. Hawkin

Reading outside – can you concentrate?

The Great Gatsby movies – there are five of them!

Are you a reading snob? Am I?

My opinion of memoirs explained

Book on my radar: The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood by David Simon and Edward Burns

Share your news on Book Club Mom’s Author Update

Looking for indie, self-published and hybrid authors – is that you?

Hope you all had a great month. On to the next book!

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Are you a reading snob? Am I?

Image: Pixabay

Okay, I got your attention. It’s not to make you uncomfortable, but I’ve been wondering that about myself. We all have favorite genres and tend to read more of those types of books than others. I definitely do. I like classic literature, literary fiction and historical fiction. That sounds kind of snobby! I also like thrillers and mysteries. I don’t think that’s snobby. In addition, I like nonfiction, especially narratives and biographies, but I don’t like celebrity memoirs (does that make me snobby?). I don’t read much women’s fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance or horror, but have read some excellent books from these genres. Am I off the hook for occasionally trying these?

So that leads to the next question. What’s the purpose of all this reading? Entertainment? Knowledge? Enlightenment? Escape? Different for each of us, right? Should we push to read things we don’t think we’ll like? I’m often pleasantly surprised when I try something new, but just as often I prefer to stick with what I like.

Do you like a lot of genres? Do you force yourself to read new ones? Leave a comment!

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Book Review: The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons

The Girls of August
Anne Rivers Siddons

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’m working on my library’s summer reading Bingo card and picked The Girls of August to fill one of the squares, to read an eBook from the library’s staff picks.

The Girls of August is a beach read about four southern women, Madison, Rachel, Barbara and Melinda, who become best friends when their husbands are in medical school. Every August since, they’ve rented a beach house for an all-girls week of sun, wine, food and gossip. The story, narrated by Madison, opens when the women are in their forties. After a three-year lapse, plans are underway to meet again, but this time it will be without their beloved Melinda, who died in a tragic accident.

After much discussion, the women agree to meet at a new place, but there’s a catch. Melinda’s husband has remarried and his new wife has volunteered to host. Problem is, the new wife, appropriately named Baby, is a free spirit and twenty years younger. She’ll never be able to fill Melinda’s shoes.

Baby’s house is located on the remote fictional Tiger Island where Baby grew up, among the Sea Islands of South Carolina. The women will be all alone, for two weeks this time, except for the Gullah people who live on the other side of the island. The house is gorgeous and fully equipped and Baby shows it off with pride. Madison, Rachel and Barbara settle in, but they can’t let go of Melinda’s memory. To ease their pain, they target Baby with snide remarks and eye rolls. To be fair, Baby is a puzzle. On the surface, she’s immature, acts erratically and prances around the rooms and on the beach half-naked and sometimes naked! Is she reacting to the women or are the women reacting to Baby? In addition Madison senses trouble with her dear friends. Barbara hasn’t stopped drinking since they arrived and Rachel’s dark mood frightens her.

Small calamities, storms and plenty of drama frame this story about friendship and acceptance. To be honest, these weren’t my kind of women. The older friends are selfish and petty, the kind who wield power from inside their clique. Readers will learn more about Baby’s life and why she acts mysteriously. That makes her the most relatable, but none of the characters are fully developed. Siddons also brings the culture of the Gullah people into the story to tie together some of the plot lines. I thought this was the most interesting part of the book.

Anne Rivers Siddons was an American writer of nineteen novels, including The House Next Door (1978), Peachtree Road (1988) and Outer Banks (1991). I realized later that I read Peachtree Road years ago! The Girls of August (2014) was her last novel. Reader reviews suggest it wasn’t her best and I’m thinking about going back to her earlier books to get a better taste of her stories, including Peachtree Road because I don’t remember much! Have you read any of Siddons’ books? Which would you recommend? Leave a comment!

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Reading outside – can you concentrate?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

I’ve never had a lot of success reading outside. I always have high expectations when I head out the door, but as soon as I settle in and read a few pages, I hear something, look up and stare into space. It doesn’t matter if I’m with people or alone, in the back yard, at a park, a pool or on the beach. The same thing happens, pretty soon the book is face down in my lap and I may or may not be awake!

I used to bring a book with me when I took the kids to our local pool. I’d see other mothers with young children deep into a book, oblivious to the chaos swirling around them and think, yes, I could do that. Who was I kidding? I was too busy keeping track of who was where in the water! Honestly? I was a little envious. But I know I wasn’t relaxed enough to pull that one off.

My best indoors reading place isn’t in a comfy chair or on the couch and it definitely isn’t in bed. It’s at the kitchen table, with an iced tea by my side.

Can you read outside? If so, what’s your secret? If not, where is your best reading place?

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Book Review: Sea Wife by Amity Gaige

Sea Wife
Amity Gaige

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You don’t always know what you’re going to get when you pick a random book off the shelf. As a reader, I sometimes feel boxed in by reading lists. So I occasionally like to choose books spontaneously. I picked Sea Wife during my latest Read React Decide YouTube video. It took me a bit of time to get to it, but I’m so happy I did. I also thought it was especially good to read during the summer, since it’s a book about sailing. Good timing, even though I take no credit!

I had never heard of Sea Wife, published in 2021, but it was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. I’d describe it as suspenseful literary fiction that looks at the complexities of marriage and parenthood.

What would you do if your spouse asked you to pick up and embark on a year-long sailing trip in Panama? Michael Partlow had been feeling the itch to get away from suburban life in Connecticut. Restless and distracted at his job, he finds himself hanging around a marina during his lunch hour. There he meets Harry Borawski, a boat dealer, who helps him find a 44-foot sailboat. Harry may be trying to close the deal when he tells Michael, “What you want is a holy human right, and you shouldn’t give it up… to feel the burden of carrying your own life,” but there’s truth in what he says.

Now it’s just a matter of convincing his wife, Juliet that a trip like this with their two young children, seven-year-old Sybil and two-year-old George, is what they desperately need. Michael may be restless, but Juliet suffers from debilitating depression. Motherhood is not what she expected. She’s inches away from earning her PhD in confessional poetry, but can’t seem to finish.

Michael is ultra-prepared but problems are inevitable and the family must rely on each other to get through storms and other difficulties. The children adapt, the family begins to enjoy their life at sea and Juliet emerges from her depression. Michael and Juliet also confront long-simmering serious conflicts in their marriage (many about politics). What they don’t know is if they can overcome everything that happens.

Gaige tells the story from two points of view: Juliet’s first-person account of their trip, told upon the family’s return, and Michael’s sea log which reads more like a diary. Readers sense a tragedy, adding a layer of suspense to the book.

I liked this book very much. It’s a fast read because you’ll want to know what happened. But it’s also a deeper look at marriage and parenthood.

I also made a short video about the book. I surprised myself by something I said!

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On YouTube – talking about going paperless!

Hi Everyone,

Today on YouTube I’m talking about going paperless. Click on the video to find out what I’m talking about!

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Book Club Mom on YouTube – list of videos

Well I feel like I’m always talking about my YouTube channel and hope I’m not overdoing it. It’s hard to get a channel going and since I started in 2018, I’ve learned a lot. But I still have a lot more to learn! The only way to do that is to just jump in and make mistakes and I’ve made plenty 🙂

In case you are interested, this link takes you to a page with all my videos. I’ve just updated it and now you can click on the thumbnails to take you to the videos.

Thank you to all have who have subscribed and watched them. I hope you’ll come and see me!

On YouTube: My friend saw my necklace and asked me if I was a fan.

Hi Everyone,

Today on YouTube: My friend saw my necklace and asked me if I was a fan. Find out what she meant!

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Do you look things up when you read?

Hey Everyone,

You may have seen my library tweet about looking things up when you read. It’s much easier to look things up these days than it used to be. We have resources built into our eReaders and there’s always a phone or a laptop nearby.

So the question here is: “Do you look things up when you read?” That can be words you don’t know, or places or things or anything you’re not familiar with.

I can’t resist, can you? I don’t care if it takes me longer to read. It adds to my enjoyment and understanding. I did a bunch of that this morning!

Cast your vote and leave a comment!

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