REVIEW: The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

the prince of tidesFormat:  Audio CD
Genre:  Fiction / Southern Fiction
ISBN:  978-1-4418-0791-5
Published:  1986 (1988 audio)

Rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Back of the Book Blurb:

Pat Conroy has created a huge, brash thunderstorm of a novel, stinging with honesty and resounding with drama.  Spanning forty years, this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born.

Filled with the vanishing beauty of the South Carolina low country as well as the dusty glitter of New York City, The Prince of Tides is Pat Conroy at his best.

My Thoughts:

I am convinced beyond any doubt that Pat Conroy is one of the finest writers living today, and perhaps one of the finest I have had the pleasure to read. This is the book that put Pat Conroy on the literary map, and deservedly so. It is an epic story, and I don’t mean in the “beyond awesome” sense of this generation’s iteration of epic, but in the true definition of the word. It is a work of art, a story that tells of exciting events and adventures, a story “extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope.” (Merriam-Webster) This is certainly true in the good and happy sense, but even more true in the bad, dark and disturbing sense. The story sprawls the decades of the Wingo children’s lives, hitting expected highs, but also dipping to horrifically disturbing lows. Maudlin & melodramatic? Perhaps so, but there isn’t a single thing that Pat Conroy could conceive in his mind where something more maudlin, more dramatic, more horrific, more disturbing has not occurred time and again in real life. It has been said many times that fiction contains truth, and Conroy’s fiction portrays the truths of life, ugly or otherwise, in language that penetrates my soul.

These (Books) Should Have Some Staying Power

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Everyone is welcome to join.

Just link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out your list! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday Topic:
These Should Have Some Staying Power
(or Books Written In The Past Decade That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 2042)

1.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Excellently written and deeply moving, this is a powerful & thought provoking reminder of part of our nation’s history.

2.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows – A beautifully written epistolary, and definitely worth of a place in the literary canon.

3.  Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling – Not only are they well crafted and packed with action, the story line from start to finish is incredible, and they have been instrumental in getting kids (even professed non-readers) steeped in reading again.

4.  Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larssen – With an unusual protagonist and an oddball sidekick, technological intrigue and danger in spades, this is a detective / mystery series that rises above the rest.

5.  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – So well researched and realistic that it is hard to believe this is “just” a novel, but it is, and it is stellar.

6.  The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas – Controversial, and therefore so worth the read.

7.  The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – A gripping story that spans a generation (or two), an emigration to the U.S., and all the difficulties and joys that are part of life-changing events.

8.  No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy – It’s dark and disturbing and violent, and written so well that you can’t help but be effortlessly carried to the end on McCarthy’s words.

9.  Rain Gods by James Lee Burke – As will all of his novels, the writing is wonderful, but this one is an especially gripping, disturbing tale of serial murder.  Similar in scope & setting to No Country for Old Men, it is my favorite of the two, though both are worthy of being in the literary canon.

10.  South of Broad and My Reading Life by Pat Conroy – Really, I would say anything by Pat Conroy should have longevity, and there are several that have already proven their mettle, but since we’re focusing on the most recent decade, I must include both of these books.  Pat Conroy is as accomplished an author as we have currently writing, and I believe all of his works will have staying power for decades to come.

Appreciating the Zealotry

Well it’s time for APPRECIATING THE ZEALOTRY. The purpose of this challenge is to re-post a favourite post you wrote in April that perhaps many people did not get to read due to the craziness of the month. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a romantic post – just go with your favourite, whatever that was – a story, a post about writing, a guest post…

Read full details here

How to do it? Re-post your post (s) onto your blog, then link up wherever you see the linky list…After you link, visit others on the list and have a great time reading and commenting on everyone’s favourite post for April.

Open to all, so link up…linky open until Sunday 20th.

Have fun!

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I did this challenge over at Spotts in the Valley of the Sun, but this particular post was all book related, so I’m reposting it here.

April 2 (B)…Books (and a Bookish Nerd)

If you know me personally, you had to know that today’s topic is a no-brainer. 

I love books.

I love reading, and try to do so every day.  I listen to audiobooks in my car constantly, and I set (often unattainable) reading goals each year, hoping not only to improve on my totals from the previous year, but to push myself to read things I would not ordinarily pick up.  And every year, I have had had great surprises, failures, disappointing revelations, but (nevertheless) satisfaction at having added to my reading history.

A few years ago, I was introduced to Goodreads, and I was instantly hooked.  I have always had a personal library, and Goodreads was the tool that allowed me to catalog my books, track my reading, get new book recommendation, publish book reviews, follow other readers’ reviews and comments, and interact with a group of people who love books as much as I do.

So I cataloged, organized, categorized, and made lists.

Most importantly, I started formally tracking my reading in 2007.  This has proved to be one of the most satisfying endeavors I have ever undertaken during my reading life.  I have learned a lot about my reading habits and my taste in books.  I discovered, for example, that pre-planning my annual reading is an absolute FAIL for me, as my mood is the dictator of what books wind up on my bedside table.  I also discovered that I am a relatively slow reader, in comparison to the many bookworms I encounter on Goodreads, in the blogosphere, or wherever we happen to connect.

Here are some stats:

2007:  40 books; favorites – Family Baggage and Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney
2008:  44 books; favorites – The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan, Becoming Finola by Suzanne Strempek Shea
2009:  84 books; favorites – My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peal Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
2010:  49 books; favorites – Rain Gods by James Lee Burke, The Water is Wide and South of Broad by Pat Conroy, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
2011:  54 books; favorites – Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, My Reading Life by Pat Conroy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
2012:  12 books (to date); favorite (to date) –The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan

The best things about this project are that I am getting better at picking books I love, and I have at my fingertips book recommendations galore…to share with others, or to peruse when I’m in a slump.

I’d love you to connect with me bookishly.  Comments, complaints and snide remarks are welcome and encouraged.

Here’s where you can find me: My personal book blog:  https://bookishnerd.com/ Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/346637

I also revew books on Amazon.com.

So, from one book lover to (hopefully) many…happy reading!

Bookishly Quotable

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Everyone is welcome to join.

Just link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out your list! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday Topic:
Bookishly Quotable (in no particular order)

1.  “I’ve had an elegant sufficiency; any more would be a superfluity.”  –Fred Chappell, I Am One of You Forever, Uncle Gurton (character in “The Beard”)

2.  “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”  –Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

3.  “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”  ―Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!

4.  “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”  ―Kathryn Stockett, The Help

5. “People are often unreasonable and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.  Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.  Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.”
–Kent M. Keith, Paradoxical Commandments

6.  “Do you remember me telling you we are practicing non-verbal spells, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.
“Yes, sir.”
“There’s no need to call me “sir” Professor.”
The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.”
―J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

7.  Acts 20:24…However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

8.  Psalm 73:26…My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

9.  “Books are living things and their task lies in their vows of silence. You touch them as they quiver with a divine pleasure. You read them and they fall asleep to happy dreams for the next 10 years. If you do them the favor of understanding them, of taking in their portions of grief and wisdom, then they settle down in contented residence in your heart.”   –Pat Conroy, My Reading Life

10.  “Honor is the presence of God in man.”   –Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline