Tag Archives: South of Broad

Book Club Reflection: South of Broad by Pat Conroy

7 Feb Cover image via Goodreads

My book club met last week to discuss a book I loved, South of Broad by Pat Conroy. I was surprised to find most people who were big Conroy fans hated the book. Apparently, this one is considered one of his worst! Critics say it’s melodramatic and the prose is over the top at times. A favorite criticism our group read was from author Chris Bohjalian:

It’s possible that the sobbing and sniveling occasionally felt inauthentic to me because I am a priggish New Englander who is uncomfortable with what may be a Southern penchant for drama. But as a novelist, I know all too well that there are few easier ways to wrest sniffles from a reader than to have a couple of real men cry like babies in each other’s arms or a good woman stoically sniff back her tears. Been there, done that.

I’m a fan of Bohjalian and despite the negativity, I would say I’m not a fan of Conroy. As always, we started with a little background on the author. Conroy lives in San Francisco and went to Citadel. His father was in the military and he moved a lot as a child. His father was violent and abusive and Conroy wrote about this in his book, The Great Santini. The book was presented as evidence in his parents’ divorce case. Conroy taught English and was fired from one of his jobs for pointing out racial problems in the school. So much of this made it into the story of Leo King and I’m amazed one person could experience so much and turn it into a story, let alone the number of books Conroy has written that draw inspiration from his life.

It was hard to ignore all the terrible things Leo and his friends had to face in the book. All the bad parts of their high-school years and adulthood came up: AIDS, child abuse from the clergy, Hurricane Hugo, racial integration, and racism. Some people thought it was over the top that all of these things happened in the same novel, but I think leaving them out would have been an omission of the times.

The one thing that could have been left out might be Steve’s abuse at the hands of Monsignor Max. Steve was the perfect son to his parents and I think that put a lot of pressure on him to act perfectly. That almost set him up to fail. It’s hard to maintain that level of expectation. If Steve had told his parents, we’re not sure they would have believed him anyway.

Leo was a very kind person and unfortunately, some of the other characters took advantage of him. He was used by Molly, Starla, and Sheba most notably. Maybe it was him not willing to stand up to a woman. He would do things for people that were beyond what was asked of him, like making benne wafers for his new neighbors when it could have been simple chocolate chip cookies. He cleaned and washed Mr. Cannon’s feet in an obvious impersonation of Mary Magdalen and Cannon appreciated it so much he gave him a house.

Starla used Leo more than anyone else. No one wanted them to stay together, even his staunchly Catholic mother. Mrs. King might have preferred seeing him with Sheba! We thought he only stayed with Starla because of his strong Catholic beliefs. This was as much a criticism of marriage as it was of the church.

The group of friends was such a rag-tag bunch that it seemed strange. They had to overcome socioeconomic status (the twins and the Rutledge’s) and race (Ike) but it somehow worked. Fraser and Niles’ relationship was a big bond for the group and Chad was roped in because of football despite his racist father and upbringing.

The twins’ father’s death seemed almost a little convenient. Someone wondered if Niles knew he was in the shed and that’s why he locked him in there. I proposed that Charleston killed him. The city was brought to life so much in the book it was almost a character. Maybe this was the one thing Charleston could do for our human characters.

I’m going to be missing this group until May because of school and I’m very sad about that. I do look forward to reading some books of my choosing, but I’ll miss having someone to discuss them with.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 25-January-2017

25 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


dallowayCurrently reading: I’m on the last disk for World Without End by Ken Follett and I hope to wrap it up today or tomorrow. I’ll be sad when this one ends but it was a great ride and if there’s a third in this series, I’ll read it in a heartbeat.
I’m making steady progress with Misterio de la Guia de Ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie. Reading in another language puts me to bed really fast so I don’t get a ton of this read each night, but some. I’ll keep chipping away at it.
Again, nothing with Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs. I’ll have to wait until February when we have a few road trips planned. Sigh.
I started a new audiobook on my phone, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Maybe this is one not to listen to but I’m not enjoying it very much. It’s turned very inward and jumps around between the characters a lot which I wasn’t ready for and I’m having trouble following it.
I need a new ebook and decided to turn to The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. I have a lot of time to read at lunch this week so it will be nice to escape for a while. This book was really hot for a while but seems to have faded out a bit since then. I’m excited to pick it up and see what it’s all about!

Rbirthdayboysecently finished: I decided not to get out of bed on Saturday until I finished The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge. It didn’t take too long as most of the last 10% of the book was a biography of Bainbridge full of pictures. My review will be up tomorrow. As always, I enjoyed Bainbridge’s style but this time I had a slightly harder time following the characters than I have before.
I finished South of Broad by Pat Conroy on Thursday and absolutely loved it. My review went up on Monday so please check that out if you have the time. It was a great book. I gave it a full Five out of Five stars and I now want to go to Charleston.

Hanging OutReading Next: I keep having to stop myself from grabbing Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling off my shelf. I will as soon as I finish Christie but not before then.

Shameless Plug: If you’re still looking for reading challenges in 2017, take a look at my historical fiction reading challenge, When Are You Reading? Let me know you’re interested and I’ll add you to the participant list. I had 13 people participate last year and I’d love to have a bigger group this year!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: South of Broad by Pat Conroy (5/5)

23 Jan

I don’t know why I thought this book would be boring. All I knew was that it was about Charleston, SC. I have a cousin who loves living there but for some reason, that told me it would be boring. This book was awesome. It had love and death and racial tension and homophobia and murder and stardom and a bunch more. I loved it all the way through. I can’t wait to discuss it with my book club next week.

Cover image via Goodreads

Cover image via Goodreads

South of Broad by Pat Conroy

Summary from Goodreads:

Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo’s older brother commits suicide at the age of thirteen, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him. Eventually, he finds his answer when he becomes part of a tightly knit group of high school seniors that includes friends Sheba and Trevor Poe, glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father; hardscrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X; and an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades- from 1960s counterculture through the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

The ties among them endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, and Charleston’s dark legacy of racism and class divisions. But the final test of friendship that brings them to San Francisco is something no one is prepared for.

I loved these characters. Sheba, Trevor, and Niles stood out the most to me and I thought they were great. Sheba and Trevor were so strong because of what they’d been through as children and I think that made them so likable. I liked that the AIDS epidemic was a big part of this book and I liked that though racial integration was a big part of this book, we were told the story through the eyes of someone who already believed in equality. Others had to be convinced, but Leo and the other Kings were already on board. The secondary characters in this book were great, too. Mrs. King was very memorable as was Wormey. I’ve never been to Charleston but Conroy had a way of making it come alive that I admired. The setting was truly a character in this book.

Trevor and Sheba were a bit over the top, but that was part of their charm. I thought everyone else was very grounded in reality, especially Ike and Chad. Chad was the deplorable person we all needed to hate with so many lovable characters in this story. Without a person to dislike, I might have disliked Fraser for no other reason that she was a bit annoying. Leo was a good narrator and I liked that he had his own story in addition to the main action. His relationship with Starla was sad but also pivotal to the story. His mother’s travels from the convent were a great background and gave a reason the King family was so rooted in Catholicism. All in all, the characters made this story.

If I have to pick a favorite, it was Trevor. He had to face a lot of criticism because of his sexuality and he always did it with a smile on his face and a sarcastic comment ready. He was unafraid of who he was and was so much like his sister that I think it hurt doubly when Sheba died because the twins were broken apart. I adored how much he loved life and every second of it that he was free. I hoped he’d find a million perfect moments.

There were parts of each character that were relatable. I related to Fraser feeling she had to explain her childhood, Niles feeling he was never good enough, Molly feeling she’d made a mistake, and Leo feeling he had to take care of all of his friends all of the time. I think having so many characters helped Conroy give someone for every reader to latch onto.

Pat Conroy Image via USA Today

Pat Conroy
Image via USA Today

I liked the part of the book in San Francisco. Seeing the friends taken out of Charleston solidified for me how united and strong they were. It wasn’t proximity that joined them but a true and deep love for one another. What they did for Trevor was commendable. The financial commitment and the way they threw themselves in harm’s way for a friend was truly heartbreaking and were a joy to read.

Hugo was my least favorite part. I understand that it was the destruction and rebirth of Charleston who, as I said, was almost a character in this book. I also understand it was the ending of one of the most menacing subplots. And I understand that it was probably historically accurate. But to be honest, it didn’t develop any of the characters in a way I found meaningful. It seemed to me that Hugo was something Conroy lived through and he wanted to put his experiences into the book and there wasn’t an editor brave enough to tell him to cut it.

I was jealous of the friendships between the characters and I felt that was the purpose of this book, but explore friendships. This isn’t the first book I’ve read about how wonderful friends can be even when a family can betray. These characters were so lucky to have each other. Without Ike and Niles, Leo would have a missing wife and a reclusive mother. Without Leo, Sheba would have an alcoholic mother, murderous father, and missing brother. These characters found what was missing from their relationships with each other and it was really beautiful.

Writer’s Takeaway: Conroy’s personification of Charleston was most impressive to me. As someone writing a historical novel, I want my setting to come alive and for people to feel like they are in 1929 Chicago. The way Conroy did this with South Carolina was something to envy and emulate if possible. I felt like I could get around the city without a map after reading this.

This was a great book and it really took me by surprise in a good way. A full Five out of Five Stars.

This book fulfills the 1980-1999 time period for my When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
“South of Broad” Readers Guide (SPOILERS!) | Melodiesintune
Getting Lost in a Novel: Pat Conroy’s “South of Broad” | Laura Stanfill
“South of Broad,” by Pat Conroy | Sense and Nonsense

WWW Wednesday, 18-January-2017

18 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


statesofconfusionCurrently reading: I only have three disks left in World Without End by Ken Follett. The audiobook is so big it will be nice to have it out of my car soon, haha. Yay for progress!
Not too much with The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge this week. I had some irregular lunches and not a lot of time waiting at the doctor this week. It’s going pretty fast, though, and I think I’ll wrap it up in the next month or two.
I didn’t listen to South of Broad by Pat Conroy during my long run this weekend. I needed to concentrate on my breathing in the cold weather so I missed out on about an hour of that. Ah well. I need to finish it up in the next couple weeks for my book club meeting but that should be no problem.
I’m back into Misterio de la Guia de Ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie though it’s slow going. I usually take longer to get through my Spanish books so it’s expected. I hope to wrap up soon-ish.
Again, nothing with Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs. We’re going on a road trip next month and to be honest, that might be the next time I listen to it at all.

Recently finished: I finished up States of Confusion by Paul Jury pretty quickly. It was a fun memoir, but not my favorite. My review for it went up on Monday if you want to check that out. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

I also finished my review for Trap by Robert K. Tanenbaum. It was not a genre I enjoyed, but it was still a fast read. I gave it Three out of Five Stars as well.

Hanging OutReading Next: The plan is still to read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. It’s tempting to put Christie aside and start this, but I’m going to wait it out and try to shrink my Currently Reading list just a bit.

Shameless Plug: If you’re still looking for reading challenges in 2017, take a look at my historical fiction reading challenge, When Are You Reading? Let me know you’re interested and I’ll add you to the participant list. I had 13 people participate last year and I’d love to have a bigger group this year!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 11-January-2017

11 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


statesofconfusionCurrently reading: I’ve made a bit of progress with World Without End by Ken Follett this week. I try to turn it on whenever possible in my car so I can keep listening to it. I’m loving it and I’ll be sad and happy when it ends.
I got to read The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge during lunch twice since last week. I’m at about 60% of this book and I hope to push through and finish it soon.
My friends and I are competing in a year-long running challenge and I’ve been very motivated to listen to South of Broad by Pat Conroy during my runs. I’m finally over half way and I think I’ll just finish before my book club at the end of the month.
I made decent progress with Misterio de la Guia de Ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie but set it aside because I have a new book! (see below)
No progress with Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs this week. My husband and I are very busy now in the beginning of the year. I’m not sure when we’ll get back to this one so it might be on here a while.
My Interlibrary Loan came in! I was able to get through a lot of States of Confusion by Paul Jury over the weekend and I read a bit more since the week started up. It’s a quick read so I’m hoping to finish this one soon.

Recently finished: With that huge list of current reads, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise I didn’t finish a single book! I keep picking up and putting down titles and starting on super long ones, it’s no wonder. I hope to add a few here soon!

I’ve gotten two reviews up since last week! The first is Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell. I really enjoyed this book and will have a report up about my book club’s discussion of it soon. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
The second review is for The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston which I put up yesterday. This book was a fun adventure through the 1920s, my favorite era. I gave it a full 5 out of 5 stars.

Hanging OutReading Next: My class this semester will conflict with my book club meetings so, until May, I’m reading my own book list! I’ve been meaning to get to Mindy Kaling’s book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? I know it’s been on this list a few times but I really REALLY mean to read it soon.

Shameless Plug: If you’re still looking for reading challenges in 2017, take a look at my historical fiction reading challenge, When Are You Reading? Let me know you’re interested and I’ll add you to the participant list. I had 13 people participate last year and I’d love to have a bigger group this year!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 4-January-2017

4 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


libraryCurrently reading: I wasn’t able to make much progress with World Without End by Ken Follett during the holiday break. I didn’t drive anywhere alone and didn’t feel like forcing my husband to listen in so I didn’t make much progress. I’ll press on, though! It’s still really enjoyable.
Also not much with The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge. It’s still enjoyable and I’m moving through it at a moderate pace, but it will still be a while.
I had a cold over the weekend so all of my plans of listening to South of Broad by Pat Conroy and enjoying some long runs were dashed and replaced by me cooped up in bed. Sigh.
I was able to start Misterio de la Guia de Ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie as my Spanish-language read of the year. I hope I can move through this one quickly but my Spanish books always take longer because of the brain power they devour.
My husband and I started an audiobook together while we were driving to Ohio and back. We picked Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs, the third and final book of the Peculiar Children trilogy. We both enjoyed the first book but were not big fans of the second. We’re a bit skeptical about this one and we keep trying to pick out if there’s a traitor. It’s fun trying to be one step ahead of everyone.

trapRecently finished: I flew through The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston. It was a much shorter read than it at first appeared because so much of the story was told through pictures. I would compare it to a graphic novel in that respect. The story was a bit bare boned but it was really enjoyable and I would recommend it highly.
I picked up a book I didn’t intend to this week. My brother’s girlfriend got us all books for Christmas and I finished Frankie Pratt sooner than expected so I picked up my gift, Trap by Robert K. Tanenbaum. It wasn’t my usual genre but I read it quickly. I’ll say that’s partly due to interest and partly due to being sick and unable to get out of bed or off the couch much.

statesofconfusionReading Next: I’m still waiting for States of Confusion by Paul Jury to come in from the library. I’m not sure how long ILLs take so this might be here for a while.

Shameless Plug: If you’re still looking for reading challenges in 2017, take a look at my historical fiction reading challenge, When Are You Reading? Let me know you’re interested and I’ll add you to the participant list. I had 13 people participate last year and I’d love to have a bigger group this year!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 28-December-2016

28 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


frankieprattCurrently reading: It’s going slower but I’m making my way through World Without End by Ken Follett. The case holding the audiobook is huge! I feel bad for anyone who tries to sit in my passenger seat for the next month or so. I’m really glad to be finishing this one.
Two days of lunch-reading The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge as given me moderate progress. I wasn’t expecting the narration to change between shipmates and I can’t decide if I like it yet.
I’m enjoying  South of Broad by Pat Conroy a lot. It’s making me look forward to my runs, actually. The narrator is excellent which really helps.
While I waited for my ILL to come in, I picked up another ‘available at the library’ book off my list, which is The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time because of the images of the 1920s and its unusual format.

onceuponRecently finished: I finished Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell on Friday. The ending was a bit of a let down after the amazing book but it was still enjoyable. I’m thinking of reading more by this author because I enjoyed the main character, Margo, so much.

Only one book review since last week which is Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. I really enjoyed Maass’s book and I thought his suggestions were great because they can apply to so many different genres. I’m still planning on going through the workbook one of these days. I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars.

Hanging OutReading Next: I have a loan request out for States of Confusion by Paul Jury but I’m not sure how long that will take to come in. If I finish Frankie Pratt before the end of the year, I’ll pick up Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling from my shelf. If I finish after the new year, I’ll start my customary ‘book in Spanish’ for the year which will be Misterio de la Guia de Ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie, a Poirot mystery. It would be my first Christie book.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 21-December-2016

21 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


southofbroadCurrently reading: I have good news about World Without End by Ken Follett. I lost my eaudio hold on it (sad face) BUT it turns out my library has an unabridged copy on CD! I swear when I looked before it was only an abridged copy but I asked and was pointed to an unabridged version. I’ll continue with it on CD but it will take a bit longer to finish this way.
Minimal progress on The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge, mostly during my lunch breaks once or twice per week. The good thing is that this is a shorter book so it won’t take long to finish it even at my slow pace.
I’m still in love with Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell and I wanted to have it finished before now. I’m hoping I won’t drag it out longer than next week.
I needed a new eaudiobook so I started  South of Broad by Pat Conroy. Despite its length, it seems short compared to World Without End because it’s half the length!

Recently finished: Nothing finished this week. (Insert sad face here.)

However, I got a few reviews up. The first was for The Tempest by William Shakespeare which I posted on Monday. I think I need to see the play live to really appreciate and understand it. The audiobook was a little much to follow. 3 out of 5 Stars.
The second was Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew S. Grove which I posted yesterday. The book felt very dated to me and it was hard to think how Grove’s advice would apply to me. 2 out of 5 Stars.

statesofconfusionReading Next: Gosh, I really don’t know. I guess it’s time to turn to another library book which would leave me with States of Confusion by Paul Jury. I saw a funny video Jury made about his travels that got me interested in this book. It requires an interlibrary loan so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it comes in. If it takes some time, I’m sure I can grab something off my shelf to fill the time.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 14-December-2016

14 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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onceuponCurrently reading: A lot of my progress with World Without End by Ken Follett came to a halt while I was on vacation. There wasn’t a good time to listen to the audiobook between enjoying the weather and hanging out with my traveling companion. I lose the hold tomorrow and I’m afraid it’s going to be another small eternity until I get it bad. Sad face.
I didn’t make much progress The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge. Her books are easy to get back to so I’m looking forward to it when I find the time.
I am devouring Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell. I’m completely in love with Margo and her terrible life that she’s managing to not only survive but thrive in. I can’t wait to keep reading this one!

breakoutRecently finished: I finished Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass the morning I left Phoenix and I enjoyed it a lot. I got some great ideas for things to change in my book. I’ll be starting on the workbook as soon as I get those changes incorporated into the story and I’m excited to get it out to beta readers!

And reviews! This tidal wave will keep coming, I promise. First was Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler which I really enjoyed. It had the flapper view of Zelda I missed in an earlier book. 4/5 Stars
The second was In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, a long-awaited one for those who have been with WWW for some time. It was worth the wait and, as it happens, I ran into a man at the airport on Sunday who was reading it! He had wonderful things to say about the book as well. 4/5 Stars.
Finally, The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante. This book was not my favorite but I’m still determined to read another of Ferrante’s books that’s on my shelf. 2/5 Stars

southofbroadReading Next: I have another book club selection on my shelf, South of Broad by Pat Conroy. This one is a chunkster so I’m hoping to get started on it with plenty of time to read it before the book club meets at the end of January.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

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