While I realize this blog is predominantly about home decor and DIY, I love that it’s turned into it’s own little beast where I can also write about anything from my ridiculous stories to the latest books I’ve read and we still have good conversations about all the topics equally.
That’s why you’re my people. My Freak People.
A couple weeks back, we went to the beach – me, Grunt, the Circus, and my in-laws. While we all go to the actual beach of course while we’re there, everyone of us will have a book in hand at just about any spare moment we’re not on the beach playing with the kid. We bring lots of books and make sure we’re stocked up for the week. To run out of books during a beach week would be a damn bad deal.
If you were to walk in on us while we’re not at the beach, you may think we’re a family of nerds because we would all have our noses in a book.
And that would be just fine with us.
You would also think Grunt Labor is the head nerd because he reads all these really smart non-fiction books. I love a good non-fiction book, but he reads this stuff about how people learn and leadership and all that other jazz. He’s a multifaceted gem, isn’t he?
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Normally, I have the latest Greg Iles book to take up most of my time at the beach. Unfortunately, Mr. Iles has not yet released his third book in the Natchez Burning series. Come on, Greg. I’m dying over here. Therefore, I went through about four different books this vacation. Here’s some goodies to add to your reading list…
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
In one post about my favorite southern books, there were quite a few of you who kept saying, “You have to read Pat Conroy!” Well damn, why didn’t y’all tell me that sooner? South of Broad is the first Conroy book I’ve read and it has already made my list of top five favorite books. I would describe it as similar to The Big Chill, but southern style and much more riveting and gripping. It’s a tale of family tragedy and how strong friendship can be. I could never do this book justice with a summary. Get it. Read it. You will thank me later. I’ll also be picking up quite a few more Pat Conroy books to dive into.
Doll-baby by Laura Lane McNeal
If it’s set in New Orleans, there’s a good chance I’m going to read it. As you all know, NOLA and I are madly in love. Doll-baby is set in New Orleans during the 1960’s. Ibby’s father dies unexpectedly when she is 12 and her mother sends her to live with her grandmother, Fannie, whom she has never met before. Fannie has a slew of family tragedies and secrets that only her and a handful of people including her cook, Queenie and Queenie’s daughter, Doll-baby know about. Ibby soon falls in love with her wild grandmother, Queenie, and Doll-baby and eventually unravels the family secrets. Doll-baby has been compared to The Help and I’d say that’s a pretty good comparison – if you loved The Help, you’ll love Doll-baby. Hell, if you love wild, eccentric grandmothers, you’ll love it.
The House We Grew Up In, by Lisa Jewell
After Doll-baby, I started The House We Grew Up In. This book was probably my least favorite of the ones I read over vacation, but none the less, it was still good. It’s set in England and follows a family over decades of tragedy, betrayal and estrangement. The whole family is terribly troubled over a tragedy that happened one Easter. After their mother, a full-fledged hoarder, dies, they finally discover more details about the tragedy.
What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman
This one was so good. What She Left Behind combines tragedy with a touch of mystery. Izzy’s mother was sent to prison years ago for killing her father. After Izzy’s grandmother dies, she bounces around foster parents. She finally ends up with a couple who is loving and unlike any other foster parents she’s had. They are working to preserve the history of a long closed insane asylum. While helping them, Izzy finds the trunk of Clara who was never actually mentally ill, but still held in the asylum against her will. Izzy works to find out more about Clara and what happened to her and in the process finds out more about herself and why her mother did what she did. What She Left Behind is another favorite of mine.
The Tradd Street Series by Karen White
I had already finished The Tradd Street Series by the time vacation rolled around, but wanted to follow-up on them since we’d talked about the series in the last book post. Y’all, this whole series is just awesome. Each book is set in Charleston and centers around Melanie Middleton, who can see ghosts. The main ghosts in each book have dark histories or have somehow been wronged. Melanie and her friend, Jack have to work to uncover the history of each ghost and right the wrongs. My least favorite of the series was The Strangers on Montagu Street, but still it was good. If you love ghosts, Charleston or both, read The Tradd Street Series. Start with The House on Tradd Street. I’ve also heard Karen White is coming out with a new book in this series which makes my whole damn day.
Ok, your turn to tell me what should be next on my reading list!
What’s your latest and greatest read, y’all?
You’re a bookworm too? You’ll want to see these then…
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