Wild: A book with a one word title


Samantha, Daughter



One Hundred Years of Solitude: A book that was originally written in another language

Samantha, Daughter


I married you for happiness: A book by an author who has won the National Book Award

I read this book ages ago. I don’t know why I’m just putting this up now. I read it in the summer. I would have a more insightful commentary if I had wrote something right after I read it, but here we are…

According to Instagram, the archive of record, I read this in Maine. I have a picture reading it outside my favorite Old Orchard Beach cafe. The only place I could find to get good coffee in OOB.

What’s kind of interesting, is that Lily Tuck lives in Maine and New York City and I can vaguely remember reading this book on the train into NYC so I feel like I got the full Lily Tuck experience reading this in both NYC and Maine. Although there is no Instagram evidence that I read it in the city and if it didn’t happen on Instagram, did it happen at all?

This is the shortest post I’ve ever written but I read the book too long ago to really write anything else. Oops.


Samantha, Daughter

How to be Single: A beach read

I wish I had saved my beach read for when I get to Old Orchard Beach later this week, but I just needed to know how to be single, I guess. It couldn’t wait.

I heard the movie (which I haven’t watched yet) wasn’t great and if you read the feedback for this book on GoodReads it’s next level negative, but for a book that has “single” in the title, I thought it was pretty good. I liked the ending, which I won’t spoil for you but isn’t the neat and cozy ride-off-into-the-sunset finale. I think any book with a satisfying ending can be a satisfying read.

It’s by the author who co-wrote He’s Just Not That Into You, which I consumed as a single woman and applied to my life like gospel; Gospel of Liz Tuccillo.

IMG_2853[1]This book could be a little depressing but I loved the interesting characters (maybe bordering on caricatures) and the whirlwind world tour of singleness across cultures, including a trip to Hobart, Tasmania, where dating is worse than anywhere else in the world (which explains why I didn’t do much dating when I lived there for my study abroad semester).

It was a fun book without being too light. Obviously, it’s not Tolstoy but for a book that is chick lit to the core, it has some particularly dark and intense moments, which is just how I like my beach reads: light and dark in equal measure!

Samantha, Daughter



Dashing Through the Snow: A book about the holidays

IMG_2795[1]This was an easy read. It was funny to read a Christmas book in the backyard while trying not to melt in the summer heat. I don’t think I would necessarily read another Debbie Macomber book and Mom: if you want to read this one as a book your daughter doesn’t like (#1 on this reading challenge) I wouldn’t oppose it.

It wasn’t “bad” but it wasn’t my kind of book. For what it was, it was perfect: predictable, light, and a happy ending. It was something I could (and did) read in a single evening after work. It was exactly what a Christmas book should be and even though it wasn’t my thing, I will still be watching the movie on the Hallmark Channel.

Mom: We might not like the same kind of books, but we both love those over-the-top, so-bad-they’re-good Christmas movies!

Samantha, Daughter


The Rainmaker: A book set in Tennessee

I have never read John Grisham, until now. Well, I started reading Skipping Christmas (more commonly known as Christmas with the Kranks) twice, but I never got very far into it. The Rainmaker, which became a 1997 Matt Damon + Danny DeVito blockbuster, was my first Grisham read.

First of all, the fact that the movie came out nearly twenty years ago makes me kind of sad. 1997 was almost twenty years ago! I still remember seeing the soundtrack to this movie on those Columbia Records 18-compact-discs-for-one-penny promotions.

I read some of it at The Whitney a couple weekends ago while taking a lunch break from my intensive morning-afternoon art exploration. It probably isn’t the type of book most people read at The Whitney but it wasn’t bad. I like watching legal/financial thrillers and that’s basically what this was in book form. And I use the term “book form” loosely because it felt like reading a movie. It was very cinematic.

I liked the Memphis, TN setting. I’m a sucker for the South. Think: Hart of Dixie. This was a curious setting for a legal thriller but I think that’s what I liked about it.

I watched the movie on the weekend after I finished this book and even though the book was very much written like a movie it was still a lot better than the movie. The movie started about halfway through the book. But it wasn’t bad. The trailer basically covers the entire movie in two and half minutes so if you don’t have two and a half hours to watch the whole movie, just watch this trailer and say you did!


Samantha, Daughter


The Marriage of Opposites: A book set on an island

Beautiful, sunny St. Thomas seems like the setting for a fun beach read, doesn’t it? It sounds picturesque and tranquil. That is not the story that Alice Hoffman tells in The Marriage of Opposites. There is forbidden love and great passion, which sounds like a neat little Harlequin tale, yet Hoffman spins a story that is painful, dark, and somehow amid the political, religious, and racial injustice whispers promises of hope, goodness, love, and ultimately the rising up of what is right.

Like any island based novel, there was the everyone-knows-your-business element. There was the longing for Paris and wanting to escape. As someone who grew up on an island (not tropical St. Thomas, sure… Newfoundland has a different kind of charm), I could relate to the way they portrayed island life. The dynamics between people and the complex relationship between the characters and the island rang true.

My book club did this book last night and finishing it before book club started was a struggle. I didn’t start it until the end of last week and then since we were in Hershey, PA for commissioning fitting in quality time with my book was a little tough. Plus, there was a really awesome gym at Hershey Lodge so it was even harder to focus on reading. I finished it without a moment to spare before book club.

The main thing that I took away from the book was that you become your mother. Literally every character eventually morphs into their mother as the novel goes on, for better or worse. At book club, the main character, Rachel, wasn’t necessarily well received. What I liked about her was that even though she was a hardened character that wasn’t overly friendly or endearing, but she was complex and real.

13450941_10154912388788032_1510679900059120738_nThere were moments of great sensitivity from her that were more powerful than if she was a softer character. She took in a donkey as a pet, which was very strange on the island at the time. When she eventually ended up too poor to support another mouth, she had to take this animal up the mountain and reintroduce him into the wild. When he didn’t understand that he couldn’t come home with her it made react as emotionally as she did. Perhaps it’s because I read this book on the last weekend of my own pet’s life (RIP Hershey) and I get it; losing a pet means you’re losing part of your family. Other characters in the book didn’t understand why she cares so much about this animal but I understood that more than any other emotion in the novel. Pets find a place in our hearts that break though even the most hardest of characters.

Perhaps losing Hershey on Tuesday may also be why one quote toward the end of the novel hit me particularly hard. I’ve cried my mascara off more than once in that past couple days. Deep into the novel, Rachel says: “… and my tears brought me back to life.” That simple piece of prose was, to me, entrenched in poignancy. Because I’m a wordy person I feel the need to delve into why that line is packed with power, but the line does better on it’s own. And my tears brought me back to life.

Samantha, Daughter