For us August has meant equal parts grasping at the last bits of summer and preparing for the new school year. We’ve found ourselves in far too many stores buying far too many items from far too long lists. But we’ve also paused for one last trip to the pool, one more hamburger from the grill, one more drippy popsicle as the lightning bugs flicker on the lawn. Saying goodbye to summer is always hard, but even we recognize that getting back into a routine can be a good thing.
Of course August has also meant squeezing in all the books we can as we’ve sat by the pool or in the hammock. This month I (Marybeth) fell in love with THE ROSIE PROJECT and have decided, for the record, that Jude Law must play Don Tillman in the movie. It’s possible I may have tweeted that suggestion to the author and included @SonyPictures (who has the option on the movie) in the tweet. I thought they needed to know. I’m sure they were thankful.
I also read the new book SPEAK by Nish Weiseth, owner of the site A Deeper Story. In this book Nish advocates that we all speak up and share our story– that this world will be, and is being, changed by people who are brave enough to tell the truth about who they are and what they’ve faced. Considering the way we feel about the power of story at She Reads, I have to agree.
Claire Cook’s NEVER TOO LATE is a good one for any woman going through a time of reinvention, especially a woman who is or would like to be a writer. I got an idea from reading the book that I put into action right away and got such a positive response from it. I think I owe Claire a thank you note.
THIS IS THE WATER had me riveted from beginning to end. Maybe it’s because I have children who swim on a year-round swim team similar to the one at the center of the story, but the observations on modern motherhood paired with the whodunit aspect made me tear through this one. I love stories that successfully do this.
And I will add one movie: When The Game Stands Tall. This movie moved and inspired my entire family, ranging in age from adult to teen to elementary school. My kids even went back and saw it again the next week. The message of this movie is one that will make you think and reflect long after you leave the theater. If you’re looking for some uplifting entertainment, I can’t say enough good about it. And that, in my opinion, is so rare to be able to say about movies these days.
Y’all. August was (is?? I guess there’s a few days left) rough. Not in a bad way. But rather in an I-didn’t-stop-moving-or-thinking-or-doing-or-going-or-traveling kind of way. Pick a verb, I did it in August. Or at least it feels that way. For me, this month can be summed up in three words: School. Booktopia. Hindenburg.
Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. (Bonus points if you can name that movie!)
School: for the first time since 2003, I find myself in a quiet house during the day. Don’t get me wrong, this is wonderful. And there is a part of me that truly loves it. But I miss my kids. I miss the chaos and the questions and all the life that happens within these walls. Our youngest son started Kindergarten a few weeks ago. And like many kids, I expected him to wake up one day and resist. It’s common for little ones to think that Kindergarten is a one time event and feel very put out when they realize they have to keep going. Not my kid. He wakes up every day and asks, “Can I go back today?” And when I tell him yes he leaps around the living room like Skippyjon Jones. This breaks my heart a little bit. He’s my baby. He’s supposed to want to stay home with me.
Booktopia: all I can about this event is GO! Organized by Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness of the Books on the Nightstand podcast, this is an event held three times a year in different cities. I was one of seven authors invited this year and truly it is the best event I’ve ever attended. Not only did I get to discuss THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS with some of the most warm, erudite readers I’ve ever met, but I was in some awe-inspiring company as well. My fellow authors were Denise Kiernan, author of THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY, Wiley Cash, author of A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME and THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY, Krista Bremer, author of MY ACCIDENTAL JIHAD, Kim Church, author of BYRD, E. Lockhart, author of WE WERE LIARS, and Anthony Marra, author of A CONSTELLATION OF VITAL PHENOMENA. As a complete and total bonus, I was able to talk Marybeth into driving the two hours from Charlotte to join me for the weekend. I almost feel guilty for all the fun we had. Almost.
Hindenburg: Well, to be precise, I’ve been really, REALLY into the Hindenburg this month. You know the one. It blew up over Lakehurst, New Jersey on May 6th, 1937. The event was mind-boggling and iconic and destructive. It also happens to be the subject of my next novel, due out some time in 2016. The logistics of writing a novel like this are enough to melt my brain. But I love a challenge and I love history so it’s a perfect fit. For those who missed it, here is the announcement from Publisher’s Marketplace:
Author of THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS, Ariel Lawhon’s HINDENBURG, a reimagining of the three-day transatlantic flight of the Hindenburg, which gives a plausible, heart wrenching explanation for one of the most enduring mysteries of the twentieth century, to Melissa Danaczko at Doubleday, by Elisabeth Weed at Weed Literary (NA).
And here is what I can tell you about the book: it is told over three days, from four different points of view, with much nefarious activity. And of course this happens: