Barnes and Noble Book Club Pick for June
The Guest Book was selected as the June Book at Barnes and Noble's now monthly book discussion. And what a discussion it will be!
I haven't been wowed in particular about some of the choices for their book club, however, I recognize the need to accommodate a wide variety of tastes of book readers (i.e. customers for a business that is struggling). I look forward to Waterstone's influence. But, I digress.
This month, however, I can't wait for the discussion, as this book resonated with me on so many levels. A multi-generational historical fiction, this novel captures what the wealthy in America were prior to income tax on one level. On other levels, you have race, anti-Semitism, mental health, misogyny, and how silent people were about them all. Family secrets highlight the WASPish lifestyle of the "own an island" rich, and how people can overlook ethical and moral decisions. A love story that begets love stories within the novel is captivating and real.
Set in NYC, as well as an island off the coast of Maine, the book traces the complexities of growing up with the "Oughts". One ought to sit straight, one ought to put your fork and knife at 4:20 on your plate. The characters from one generation to the next evolve and move forward, and is easily seen as loosening of power and, in my opinion, improving over time.
I related to this book so much, as I grew up WASPish, albeit not wealthy. Silence and rules were the way I was brought up, not to show emotions, never talk about family secrets (or anything really), and never ever talk about race or religion. We were the Miltons very poor relations. As the Miltons head to the downward spiral of no longer being able to afford the island in present day, so have most middle class families that had accumulated a moderated degree of wealth and land.
I highly recommend this book on so many levels. The writing of Sarah Blake is beautifully descriptive and flows. At 496 pages, this is a book you will need to devote your week to, but it is so good, you won't want to put it down. 5 stars from me!
Join the Barnes and Noble discussion tonight at 7:00 at your local B&N!
#SarahBlake #BarnesAndNoble #TheGuestBook #Fiction #BookDiscussion
Spending time in the Florida Keys is close up and personal to climate change. If you have doubts, come on down. These are pictures of Sargassum algae seaweed, which at this time of year is everywhere. NOAA has some better explanations.
“Sargassum was something that was really unique and deserving of protection,” said Brian Lapointe, Ph.D., a research professor for Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. “All of a sudden, global change is going on and sargassum is becoming harmful. Now it’s the largest harmful algal bloom on earth.”
We need to help our planet. Your vote matters. #ClimateChange #Sargassum #VoteBlue
I wish I could suggest the last book read, Elin Hilderbrand. I usually like this author for an entertaining beach read. Her novels are typically set on Nantucket, where she resides. This one, however, fell flat for me. Yes, it was set on Nantucket, but this one had Russian prostitutes, lots of extramarital sex and cheap values. I know that type of novel might be for some, but it is not what I want to read as a beach read. Always well written, her novel is readable, but not for me. Just two stars for this one. Two stars....barely. #TheRumor #ElinHilderbrand
The next stop was an easy one, where my daughter Kate needed to get her bus pass. Easy peasy. Score!
Next up was a bit of a gamble. We were headed to Social Security, which Kate is attempting to obtain disability. We've not had great luck yet, but fingers crossed, we could get this fixed in say an hour??
We entered at 12:02 and were feeling optimistic. Until we met with the receptionist. We were at the wrong place for our paperwork. Another office. All the way across town. "However, we can file some of that paperwork here to get things moving. "
Now, working for the public school all those years, I get understaffed. I get overworked. Truly I do. But. holey moley! This was on a new level. Oscar worthy.
At 3:38 we were called back to the office. Suspense. It was as good a thriller as I have read. We didn't know what we were doing, but we were going to "get er done". Well, it was as quite a letdown, but we filed one document and would be hearing from someone to set an appeal. Oh dear.
And from there, we ran to the closest Habit Burger....we hadn't eaten anything at all and were quite hangry.
The good news...I got a good chunk of Ready Player One read while waiting for the one form. One. Form.
The moral of this story is: Always take a book.
#Ready, Player One
Knowing this is Anne Tyler's last book, I have had difficulty making my way through this wonderful book for a couple of years. I adore Anne Tyler, and feel she speaks to my heart in her characters.
I am from Baltimore, and love the gritty, quirky city. Living in South Florida now, I miss the "hon" and the "downy ocean" that everyone always quotes, but I also miss the grittier side of Baltimore, and how the people live.
An artsy city, believe it or not, we are quirky folk. We will fight to the end to defend our own, and argue where to find the best crab cake, and whether bread crumbs or crackers hold our blue crab together. We sing the National Anthem with a strong "O" in the middle. (Listen for it...we pick each other out all across this country doing that!) We loved The Wire, Laura Lippman, John Waters, Boog Powell, David Simon and Anne Tyler. Edgar, Alan and Poe were the mascots for the Ravens, real birds! Sadly only Poe remains. We dig our quirky folk. That's why I adore Anne Tyler.
I met her 10 or so years ago pumping gas on Northern Parkway at the citgo. It was cold and we were bundled up, and only a true fan would spot her. I left her alone, knowing she cherishes her anonymity. Roland Park has given her the Accidental Tourist and others, which she gave the world.
A Spool of Blue Thread symbolizes yet another book of characters. Baltimore characters in a dysfunctional but loving family. A family growing old together and all the life changes that occur. I cried at the end because we won't have another from Ms Tyler.
A Spool of Blue Thread reminds us that life is short, love hard and without pause. Just dive in, like you have no tomorrow.
Love you Anne. Love you Baltimore.
#AnneTyler #Baltimore #ASpoolOfBlueThread
Reader, Traveler, Reviewer. Come join us as we travel the US in our RV. I review books.