Coach and I are celebrating our 7th anniversary today. We are not fancy people- neither of us require expensive gifts or gourmet dinners and hip and fashionable restaurants. It's just not our thing. Don't get me wrong- I'm not turning down a pair of Tory Burch riding boots or fine jewelry if it's offered and neither of us will turn away a fantastic meal, but if given the choice we'd really just like to have fun and be outside.
So we celebrated marriage with a bike ride, some body surfing, a nap on the beach, some reading, and an evening sitting at a local hangout listening to beach music and laughing. Mostly we laughed at our righteous body-surfing collision and my inability to catch a good wave.
Let's just say that until you have faced 200+ pounds of Coach hurtling toward you with all the power of the Good Lord and the sea behind him, you haven't really lived. And if you're not careful, you won't live long. Thankfully I will survive to see another day but I did have to take to my towel for a bit while my sand wounds oozed. It was a good time to pick up a book.
So I thought I'd let you in on what I'm reading this week.
1. Ladies' Night
This one is about a blogger done very wrong by her husband. And since I like bloggers and husbands it seemed like a good choice. Except for all the cuckolding. That's never fun. But there is a sweet revenge scene early in the novel and then the protagonist ends up in divorce recovery with 3 other women. Clearly, hilarity will ensue. Mary Kay Andrews has been one of my very favorite beach authors since I read Hissy Fit: A Novel.
2. The Last Original Wife: A Novel
And speaking of favorite authors to read on the beach, Dorothea Benton Frank is an absolute must for me when we get back to the Lowcountry. Leslie is the last of the first wives in her husband's group of friends. All the others have gotten new, younger wives. Which means that Leslie is basically a dead wife walking.
So she takes matters in her own hands and goes to get her life back before she loses it to Wes. As Amazon says, "Told in the alternating voices of Les and Wes, The Last Original Wife is classic Dorothea Benton Frank: an intoxicating tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, and love, that is as salty as a Lowcountry breeze and as invigorating as a dip in Carolina waters on a sizzling summer day."
She knows the Lowcountry, she knows women, and she knows how to time a really good story. If you've never read any of her work you're going to want to read Plantation (Lowcountry Tales).
Well. Do we even need to talk about this? If you didn't read the first book you surely saw the movie. Fashion, society, New York, and the cut-throat world of magazine publishing. I'd hate every minute of it in reality, but I surely love the guilty pleasure of reading about it from the safety of my own beach towel.
4. The Engagements
J. Courtney Sullivan was such a surprise for me. I LOVED Maine (Vintage Contemporaries). Sullivan's novels cover vast expanses of time. This one covers 4 marriages and the history of the diamond engagement ring in America.
5. Looking for Me
I read Saving CeeCee Honeycutt: A Novel and was absolutely stunned at how much I loved it.
Naturally, I can't wait to read this one. Hoffman is a character writer as well as a regional writer. I haven't started this one yet, so I'll let Amazon do the describing. They say that "Looking for Me brilliantly melds together themes of family, hope, loss, and a mature once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. The result is a tremendously moving story that is destined to make bestselling author Beth Hoffman a novelist to whom readers will return again and again as they have with Adriana Trigiani, Fannie Flagg, and Joshilyn Jackson."