We had a great time in North Carolina this past week. There was hiking, white water rafting, card games at night, great food, exploring new towns, shopping, and catching up with great friends. It's always sad when this time comes to an end each year, but I'm glad we have been able to do this for the past several years now.
I read some great books while we were gone, but aside from riding in a car, we were actually busy much of the time.
This is a picture from one of our hikes:
You know you are high up when birds are flying below you. I am not a fan of heights, so I had to be coerced for quite a while to go stand out on this rock. the whole thing was slanted and I never felt quite safe seeing how far up we were.
We enjoyed white water rafting as well. Big Sister agreed to go with the grown-ups in our raft while the rest of the kids crammed themselves into the other raft. She still looks like she's having a fine time.
We made it to Dolly's Ice Cream twice. It was great both times.
I have tons of pictures I could post - and I might do just that throughout the week -but I'll get to the books now:
Rock the Boat by Beck Dorey-Stein - this is Dorey-Stein's first foray into fiction. Her first book was a memoir of her time working for the Obama administration. This is a story of three adults in their mid thirties who are back in their hometown (two have returned, one hasn't left), and their lives aren't exactly panning out how they thought they would. This is a look at friendships and finding your way. It's an easy read and would be perfect for the beach.
The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray - I love that Benedict continues to tell the story of little known women in history. I know her work is fiction, but her books are based on real people and pique my interest so that I want to know more. Belle da Costa Greene is a young woman when she is hired as the personal librarian for JP Morgan. The two work tirelessly to increase his collection, carefully bidding on masterpieces and adding them to what he already owns. What is most amazing about this story is that Belle was really an African American whose mother chose to disassociate herself and her children from her husband who was an important figure in trying to obtain equal rights for black people. I found this whole story fascinating and definitely want to read more about her.
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange - I love a story about a dysfunctional family. The Brennans are an Irish American family and as the story unfolds we get to know the four Brennan siblings, their spouses and father. There are secrets that are slowly revealed which impact every single person in the family. I loved Lange's character development. And I loved her technique of starting a new chapter with the last line from the previous chapter. It helped to know where the story was picking up since the narrator changed in each chapter. This would make a great book club pick.
I loved all three of these books and right now feel like I've hit a little slump. I'm hoping that I can snap out of it, but this is the last week of summer school and I have a lot to do each day as I wrap things up there.
When I looked ahead at my August calendar I realized that my first day back at school is August 17. That just seems incredible to me. Where does time go? I still have projects to get done at home before starting back at school, so I guess we'll see how much reading time actually takes place. I'm crossing my fingers.
Have a great week, everyone!