Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Beach, Books and Back to School

Quick update! We have been at the beach. A few new giveaways and reviews will be posted over the next few days and giveaway winners will also be drawn, announced and posted.

I hope that everyone is enjoying the summer. Can you believe it is August already? Ryan, the girls and I have enjoyed our stay at Carolina Beach. Yesterday we went to Southport and had a fun day overall. We took the Ferry over in the early afternoon. Upon arriving, we immediately found the visitors center. Afterward we primarily strolled through the streets, visiting random gift shops and antique stores. We took a break at the Christmas Store - outside was a lovely gazebo where we each enjoyed a HUGE dish of ice cream. We each had 2 scoops but to be honest, it was more like 4 scoops. If I had know their servings were so large I would have ordered one scoop! Afterward we went to the Candy Shop which was actually the back of the Christmas Store.

We left Southport with a few souvenirs, a bag of old fashioned candy and the realization that we missed the Ferry. The next Ferry was not scheduled to depart until over an hour later so we took the long way around back to Wilmington. The drive was a little over an hour. On the way back to the condo, we stopped at Goodwill. I picked up 4 books - 2 for me and 2 for the girls.

I finished reading Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger which I had looked forward to reading for quite some time - it has sat on my dresser for about a year. I LOVED The Time Traveler's Wife - it is essentially my favorite novel. I think I was afraid that I would compare anything else she wrote up to that; a standard that is so high it would be impossible to attain. I actually found that although, yes, there was no chance that it would become my new favorite novel, Her Fearful Symmetry was a book that held it's own. I was not tempted to compare.

The storyline was very different from The Time Traveler's Wife; Her Fearful Symmetry was darker, more intriguing, mysterious and old fashioned; I would even go as far as to categorize it as modern gothic fiction. I am not sure if there IS such a thing as modern gothic fiction but I find that categorization appropriate considering the overlying themes yet being set in present time. I did guess at the ending, but possibly because I had read Stranger with My Face. I won't say anything more than that to avoid the inevitable "spoiler" otherwise.

Ironically Stranger with My Face was made into a Lifetime movie and aired in 2009. The synopsis I read indicates that the script deviated quite a bit from the book, a huge pet peeve, so I am not sure if I will watch it. I am actually surprised that this book gained enough interest to actually make a movie. (Not that the book wasn't good - as a teen I loved it; I was just not aware of anyone else that read it).

While at the beach I also read The Hiding Place (one of my Goodwill finds). I lucked out with this purchase as it was on my amazon.com wish list. I did enjoy Corrie Ten Boom's story - it was very descriptive and carried a positive tone throughout the book. At times I found that it was TOO positive and the religious overtones were a bit too heavy for my taste. Despite that I did enjoy this real life story of a WWII victim, survivor and hero, marveling at her bravery, tenacity, humble nature and self-sacrificing ways.

I am also still reading The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Goodness of Fried Okra (Kindle) and The Help. I still wish to tackle War and Peace but may read Pillars of the Earth first. I would like to read it before the movie comes out. If I see the movie first, I will have no desire to read the book afterward. I hate knowing the ending so rarely read the book if I have seen the film first.

Thursday we go to Miss C.'s High School orientation. I cannot believe I have a child entering high school. Where does the time go? Of course I am worried for various reasons, but I am also excited for her and hope that this new chapter in her life is a promising one.

Monday it is back to work for me. The girls will still be tracked out for another two weeks but will resume school after that. Miss C. will start around the same time. It will be interesting to see how having two children on a year round schedule and one on a traditional schedule works out.

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