Beach Reading

I love reading on the beach…just something about relaxing with your feet in the sand and ocean waves as the background music.  I usually read a book a day when we take our family beach trip in the summer.

Here is a look at what I read this last trip, a “borrowed” recap, and my star rating for each book.
5 stars:  highly recommend…go buy it right now!
4 stars:  recommend…but no rush. Possibly borrow from a friend, or be on the waiting list at the library.
3 stars:  I don’t regret reading this book, it is just okay…better than not reading anything.
2 stars: not worth your time unless you are crazy bored.
1 star:  feed this book to a goat.

jenlancaster

At 17, Lissy Ryder was the Mean Girl of Lyons Township High in suburban Chicago. As head cheerleader and girlfriend of the football team captain, Duke, she had a clique of cool girls in her thrall, and she persecuted anyone who was different or nonconformist. Now 37, Lissy, a publicist, lives only to overspend. After she’s fired by her PR firm for shirking, her husband, Duke, stops covering her massive debts and asks for a divorce. She’s gained a few pounds since moving back to her parents’ house and is not looking forward to the 20-year reunion of LTH’s class of ’92. Hoping to network with her former sycophants, she’s appalled to find that, without exception, her victims have outclassed and outperformed her. Amy, a girl Lissy mocked for her long nose, is now a plastic surgeon to the stars. One-time hippie outcast Debbie is now Deva, a New-Age entrepreneur. Brian, a dorky but attractive neighbor Lissy dumped for Duke, is an Internet couponing mogul. At the reunion, Lissy is the pariah. When Deva gives her a rare Incan potion, Lissy thinks it’s a hangover cure, until she wakes up in her parents’ house—in 1991! Lissy seizes this opportunity to avoid karmic missteps, dialing down the meanness. Back in the future, Lissy is not only happily hitched to Duke, but as the CEO of a thriving Chicago PR firm, is supporting him. She has it all, including the Birkin bag and the Gold Coast town house. However, now her victims are failures: Brian toils in a grim cubicle, the plastic surgeon is a trailer-trash drunk, etc. How can Lissy rectify the unintended consequences of her well-meaning do-over? –Kirkus Reviews

I have really enjoyed Jen Lancaster in the past… this was an easy beach read but a little far fetched and not quite up to par with her others.  I give it 3 stars.

sophiemckenzieclosemyeyes

Gen and her husband, Art, are still deeply in love, but they are struggling after years of trying to deal with the stillbirth of their only child, Beth. The baby was delivered early after an obstetrician detected that there was no heartbeat. After the child’s stillbirth, it was determined she was deformed and would not have survived anyway, a revelation that threw Gen into emotional turmoil. Although she and Art have been trying to conceive again, they’ve been unsuccessful and have resorted to fertility treatments. None have taken. Gen is almost ready to give up on having a child when a woman comes to her door and tells her some unsettling news: Not only was Gen’s baby born alive, but others knew about it, including someone close to Gen. Although Gen doesn’t believe the woman, she starts to investigate on her own, setting off a chain of events that lead her deeper and deeper into a dark place. Along the way, she acquires an unlikely ally, a man who once worked with her husband but who is now one of his deadliest foes. She is left to wonder who is playing her for a fool—one of the people she loves or her new friend. McKenzie is a skillful writer and understands how to build interest and tension with well-drawn characters and fascinating back story. –Kirkus Reviews

LOVED every second of reading this book.  It reminded me of Gone GIrl, and Sharp Objects.  5 Glowing Stars!

terrymcmillan

Marilyn Grimes suspects she’s premenopausal, but tests show she’s seven weeks pregnant. This is bittersweet news for the narrator, who has spent 23 of her 44 years being a model housewife and mother in her middle-class neighborhood of Oakland Hills, across from San Francisco. She’s raised three kids, now grown, while her engineer husband, Leon, has been a good provider, though the fun has gone out of their marriage. Then new tests show the fetus is dead, which is pure relief for Marilyn, though she still has her hands too full to focus on self-fulfillment: an MFA program, a business venture. Down in Fresno, her mother, Lovey, is becoming senile, and Marilyn’s much younger adopted sister, Joy, can’t cope: A drug addict, she can’t even raise her own two kids, Tiecey and LL, so Marilyn must periodically descend from what Joy derisively calls her “little Cosby world” to help out. That little Cosby world is topsy-turvy too. Not only has Arthurine, Leon’s far from senile mother, who lives with them, suddenly started dating, but one of Marilyn’s sons is home on spring break, bringing his girlfriend and a bunch of homeboys—and staid old Leon is turning into a homeboy himself, looking ludicrous in new baggy jeans. When he announces he’s off to Costa Rica to find himself and may be leaving Marilyn for good, she goes ballistic. McMillan is at her best juggling all these different characters. Bring ’em on! And the zingers are blistering. –Kirkus Reviews

I went though a huge Terry McMillan phase a decade or so back when Stella was getting her groove back.  I don’t know if I am over it, but this book wasn’t groovy.   2 stars.

 

unfinished businees

Based on over twenty-five years of spirit communication and thousands of professional readings, world-famous medium James Van Praagh shares with readers the personal regrets, misgivings, remorse, and, most important, the advice of the dead who have chosen him as a medium. These spirits have a great deal to say about what they have learned and discovered on the other side and how we, the living, can benefit from their experiences.

Unfinished Business is filled with shocking and emotional stories of Van Praagh’s communication with loved ones who cross over the barrier between the living and the dead to send messages to those whom they have left behind. Through these pro-found true stories, Van Praagh guides us on an adventure into the spirit world. The lessons for the living that he has learned from these experiences range from the dangers of emotional baggage caused by guilt, fear, and regret to the importance of karma, forgiveness, and taking responsibility for our actions. Van Praagh shares with us now the wisdom that, without him, we would only gain after death.  –Good Reads Reviews

Loved this book!  I have had some channeling of my own go on recently, so I really related.  I have had several experiences, so this gave me some peace about it all.  I recommend it if you are into this kind of thing.   5 stars!

 

expecting

A mom, a dad, a baby…and another dad.
Laurie and Alan are expecting, again. After two miscarriages, Laurie was afraid they’d never be able to have a child. Now she’s cautiously optimistic — the fertility treatment worked, and things seem to be different this time around. But she doesn’t yet know how different.
Jack can’t seem to catch a break — his parents are on his case about graduating from college, he’s somehow dating two girls at once, and he has to find a way to pay back the money he borrowed from his fraternity’s party fund. The only jobs he is qualified for barely pay enough to keep him in beer money, but an ad for the local sperm bank gives Jack an idea.
Laurie and Alan’s joy is shattered when their doctor reveals that Laurie was accidentally impregnated by sperm from a donor rather than her husband. Who is Donor 296. And how will their family change now that Donor 296 is inarguably part of it?–Good Read Reviews

This was a just a book to have on the beach.  Minimal thought required, nothing really special.  3 stars.

Have you read any of these books?
Any book recommendations for me?

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