Camino Island by John Grisham

Camino Island

Somehow I missed CAMINO ISLAND last year when it came out in hardcover. But it’s out now in mass market paperback and I just  gobbled it up. It’s so perfect for book lovers. PERFECT. It was my Mother’s Day read.

Takes place mostly on a small island off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. Small.  Santa Rosa is a sleepy little town with lots of character and plenty of small restaurants that will beckon to you. Bruce Cable owns the little bookshop named Bay Books. He’s built up a following of authors and has plenty of bookie friends nearby. But what most people don’t know is that he sometimes dabbles in stolen material.

Another great cover.  It’s about books and is at the beach.  But it begins with a great heist on the property of Princeton University’s Firestone Library, far from any beach.  The criminals have their heads together planning a fantastic operation. They are about steal five of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s original manuscripts right out from under the school. How do they do this? Who the hell are they? And how will the beach come into play?

Mercer Mann is a writer who had one book success years ago and has passed her deadline for the next book by three years. Yes, she’s blocked. She’s been teaching and that job is disappearing. So when she’s approached and offered a job making a lot more money than she’s making now, well, she goes for it.  She’s being asked to spy on a little bookseller who owns a small Indy store on Camino Island….. You see, the insurance people do not want to have pay out. They heard maybe Bruce Cage has the manuscript buried in his vault beneath his shop. But does he?

And we move to the beach. Mercer is living in her dead aunt’s cottage right on the beach.  And she becomes deeply involved rather quickly with the bookseller and his cronies. There are long lunches complete with wine. Dinner parties to die for. You’ll meet a host of book lovers who will make your head spin. And I learned so much about the world of antiquated books…. A feast for those of us who truly love our books.

I so enjoyed this novel. Of course it took me to the beach. Gotta love that. But it had me engrossed in the very special book world that I love right from the start. I hope they make a movie out of this book because the part of Bruce Cage just has to be played by Ashton Kutcher. I can so picture Ashton in one of Bruce’s signature pastel seersucker suits, complete with bright yellow or red bow tie and scuffed up old buckskins and no sox, ever.  Yes, a real character!

Such an enjoyable read. Made me want to go directly to this island and have lunch and visit the bookstore. Ha ha.

So the end is satisfying but leaves you wanting more of these people and this so atmospheric island. Low and behold, CAMINO WINDS has just been published and is getting rave reviews. I’m halfway through it and I’m loving everything about it except that it takes place in the midst of a cat 5 hurricane. Yikes. Too close to home.

We have copies  at Copperfish Books  of CAMINO ISLAND in mass market paperThey’re in stock and ready for pick up or delivery.  Do not miss this. You are going to love it. We also have copies in stock of CAMINO WINDS, hardcover marked at 20% off.  They are hot off the press and ready to go.

Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner

 

Summer Longing

Jamie Brenner is back with another delightful novel set in one of my favorite places: Provincetown, Mass. What’s so special about this novel?  Everything.

Ruth sold her very successful cosmetics business for a fortune.  She was only 58-years old. Was that too young to retire? Not when you’ve spent your entire life working, nonstop.  Provincetown called to Ruth as the place she remembered being the happiest in years past. So she rented one of those gorgeous old homes downtown for the summer.

Ruth arrives in Provincetown via the ferry.  This is a great way to introduce this novel. All the sights and smells surround you as the ferry approaches the dock, slowly.

The house is perfect. And it has a name: Shell Haven. Ruth would have preferred to buy a house  but she was told nothing was for sale.  Clifford Henry, Ruth’s  very flamboyant real estate agent, assured her that the best thing was to rent and get to know the people of the town. Clifford assured her people would be much more likely to sell to someone they knew.  Elise and Fern own Shell Haven and  decided to rent it out just for the summer to establish a bit of a cushion for their savings. They own the cutest shop in town: Tea by the Sea.  They intend to live in the small apartment atop their store until summer’s end.

And then Ruth  answers the doorbell her first morning at Shell Haven and finds an infant  car seat has been left on her doorstep. With a sleeping baby inside. Boom!

That’s certainly a way to get your undivided attention. What we do know is that Elise and Fern who are a married couple have been trying to have a baby for a couple years now.  Elise has not been able to carry a baby to term and it’s been a real bone of contention between them.  So when this “surprise” infant arrives from the “stork” you can only imagine the intensity of emotions that are going to arise.

What we discover next is that Olivia who is Ruth’s somewhat estranged daughter,  is about to enter the picture. When she finds out her mother has moved to P-town, she’s convinced her mom is sick and getting her affairs in order. What a mess.  So she decides to make the trip to see for herself what the heck is going on.

Provincetown

I have to tell you that all but one of the  characters in this novel are pure delight.  And the one character who is not a delight is  that horrible person that you will love to hate.  I loved revisiting the lives of the characters brought back from previous novels and I loved meeting the new characters and getting to know them.  Portuguese families are very close and very Catholic.  The family we meet  is all of that and then some. Deeply caring and outgoing, the Barros family is one of the most endearing families I’ve met in a book in a long time.  The food, the ethics, the outpouring of sympathy and the warm,  wonderful friendships are refreshing.

From the quaint tucked away little cafes and shops to the Portuguese bakeries and craft classes, there is always something to do in Provincetown. You can even take writing classes.   Not to  mention the carnival-like atmosphere that takes over  this vacation paradise during the steamy days and nights of summer. And then you can go on a whale watching tour and your life may never be the same. I have actually done this and it is a memory I will cherish forever.

I’m still thinking about the lobster rolls and the fresh oysters. And I’m thrilled to discover that Beach Rose Inn was inspired by The Anchor Inn Beach House in Provincetown. 

The scent of the ocean and the sense of family and friendship will linger in your mind for a long time, maybe even forever. Don’t  miss this new novel. I absolutely loved it.

You’re going to want to read Jamie Brenner’s other wonderful novels. She has three others  that take place in Provincetown: THE FOREVER SUMMER; DRAWING HOME; and THE HUSBAND HOUR.  I’m always happy to find out a new favorite author has more books…..

Jamie Brenner

I read my review copy of SUMMER LONGING digitally. My copy was provided by Little, Brown and Company via Edelweiss.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

We at Copperfish, hope you’ll consider ordering your copy through our online store.  It’s discounted 20% and we can ship it straight to your door.

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Big Summer

I just love this bright cover. It lets me know it’s time to go to the beach.   Jennifer Weiner has outdone herself with this new novel that arrived just in time to take us away to the beach and  away from all of our masterful troubles during these challenging days.

I read a digital review copy of BIG SUMMER. I had intended to just read a chapter to get the feel of the story. Low and behold, before I knew what had happened, I was well into the book.  The main character is Daphne  Berg who is a plus-size influencer on Instragram and other social media. She’s young, she’s strong, and she’s very popular…. After a terribly embarrassing reveal on Instagram Daphne has picked herself up, dusted herself off, and moved on.

I think a lot of readers are looking for something that will sweep them away right now. And Cape Cod is a great place to land. When Daphne’s estranged best friend Drue Lathrop Cavanaugh  flits back into her life quite unexpectedly, a red light comes on because it can only mean trouble. They did not have a good split.  And then we find that poor Drue who is the meanest girl ever, has no one to be her maid of honor and here she is about to star in the wedding of the year. She’s marrying Stuart Lowe who is the star of a reality show that is a spoof on The Bachelor. LOL.  Why would Dahpne even consider helping this mean girl out? That’s a good question.

So off they go to Cape Cod where a king-size bed has been set up on the beach for the rehearsal dinner. Party guests can roll around while taking pics of themselves with selfie sticks, all paid for by the mattress company… Then they can imbibe in  a feast of gorgeous and delicious food as well as specialty cocktails made for the event of the season.

Bright and smart, BIG SUMMER hits all the sweet spots you want in a great story. The fashion, the beach, and the mystery that pops up. It’s a quick read that’s witty and downright funny while being entertaining and filled with all the social media that is hot today. And it’s even shocking at times.

Hashtags abound : #fiercefatgirl #bodyaccept #mybodyisnotanapology  . The moral of this story is that you do not have to be thin to have a happy ending. It’s #alongtimecoming and #abouttime.

Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner is the NYT best-selling author of more than a dozen novels and a memoir. She’s also written a couple books for young readers.

I read a digital review copy of BIG SUMMER on my ipad on Eidelweiss. Thanks to the great publishing people at Atria, a division of Simon & Schuster. A real pleasure.

Colson Whitehead Wins Pulitzer Prize For Fiction Second Time.

The Nickel Boys & Colson Whitehead

Wow, wow, and WOW! I was thrilled to discover that Colson Whitehead won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his amazing novel, THE NICKEL BOYS. It’s his second win after winning in 2016 for THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD.

Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad

THE NICKEL BOYS is a slim novel packed with a monumental punch. Of course it takes place here in Florida. Most of the crazy stuff does. But this story is based on what actually happened at the Dozier Home for Boys in Northern Florida. Not all that long ago. When Whitehead read an article about the graveyard behind the school, he hit the ground writing. He is the master. He has managed to take home this prestigious award twice in a very short time, something that’s rarely been done before. I am linking to my review of THE NICKEL BOYS so you can see what I’m talking about. The book is available to purchase in hardcover with a soft cover release later this summer.  If you haven’t read this one, do it now.  It’s already a classic!

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

You can get your copy now from Copperfish Books.

Maurice’s May Musings

This is a May like no other. The future is a big fat question mark. However, great books are appearing on the near horizon and some of the country is even daring to open beaches and malls to the public.  I sincerely hope that people will respect each other’s space. Be careful.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

Copperfish Books is keeping their doors closed to foot traffic for now.  We are continuing curb side pick up, local delivery within five miles and mailing out. We are now open on Saturday. I am still working from home until I feel it is the right time for me to return safely. Meanwhile, I’m reading like a lunatic. What am I reading today?

Summer Longing

I’m about in the middle of a digital review copy of SUMMER LONGING by Jamie Brenner.  I am loving this story that takes place in Provincetown which is located on the tippy end of Cape Cod. I visited Provincetown a few times years ago and fell in love with the area and the friendly people. This novel takes me back and reminds me how much the area has to offer people who love art and charming small communities on the water. Review coming very soon as this book will be available tomorrow.

We really miss seeing the grandkids during this time of the virus. We did a zoom meeting on Easter and saw some of the kids. They get big so quickly. Like everyone else our family has its share of challenges right now. Adults are working from home. Kids are learning from home.  Here in Florida it is pretty much summer or spring all year round so we are used to having  warm weather to frolic outside in.  But for our family in North Carolina it’s a bit more challenging. And now with the weather beginning to warm the parks and hiking trails that are open are jam-packed with people… creating another challenge; social distancing.  We will definitely come out of this pandemic with a new perspective on our lives and how we live.  I just pray we all stay safe.

Hello, Summer

I would love to hear from you readers. What are you doing to keep your sanity? Are you cooking more? Do you get out to exercise? Reading something great? We are eating way too much.  We love to cook but are feeling that three meals a day is one too many so are cutting out lunch as we know it. Making it more of a snack. The beaches have opened in our area to some extent.  I just really hope people listen and do not start congregating.  Please don’t ruin it for everyone.

Mother’s Day is coming right up. It’s this coming Sunday. Oh my gosh. If you’re wondering what to get your mom, may I suggest HELLO, SUMMER by Mary Kay Andrews. It’s just out tomorrow and will make a perfect gift. We have copies available beginning tomorrow at Copperfish Books and they’ll be discounted 20%.  You can pick your copy up tomorrow.

Enough about the virus. I’m looking forward to working in the garden this week.  Have been watching the mangoes grow and hang from the trees in our backyard neighbor’s yard.  We enjoy seeing the neighborhood dogs walking in the evening. Two stunning standard poodles waltz down the street along with their people.  I even get a kick out of watching one couple walk their dogs in prams. I don’t get it but it’s fun to watch.

The Naples Philharmonic posted Elaine Newton’s Critic’s Choice Summer Reading List 20-CCSummerReadingList a few weeks ago and Naples Daily actually printed it along  with a synopsis of each title. That’s a first. Big deal. Great titles for you to choose from.

What are your plans for this coming summer? Are you still in SW Florida? Would you normally be in your northern home by now? I want to know.

Porch Posy

We had some heavy wind about a week ago and one of my prized orchid plants fell off its pedestal.  So here is one of the blossoms that fell off.

orchid blossom

This orchid blossom is a survivor. It’s determined to live as long as it possibly can sans mother plant. So far, it’s doing a great job.

We are all survivors at heart. We are strong. We know what we have to do. Now, let’s do it! And don’t forget to read.

 

 

Maurice Introduces Great Summertime Reads!!

I always look forward to summer. I begin sniffing beach reads out in the middle of winter. Some years I am rewarded with several really good ones. This year I feel I have hit the jackpot and then some!!Boy oh Boy do I have some great titles to throw your way. They are not all coming out at once so you can pace yourself. One after the other, after the other. I just could not believe my good luck.  And, here, without further ado, is a list of some of  the best novels coming out this summer. They are all well-written with memorable characters and great stories.

28 Summers ( June 16 )

I’m posting 28 SUMMERS by Elin Hilderbrand first because it’s the first great summer novel I’ve read this year. It’s so good that I totally lost myself inside it. I know you will too. Pub date is June 16.

Big Summer ( May 5 )

I downloaded a digital review copy of BIG SUMMER a couple weeks ago. Did not expect to read nonstop, but that is exactly what happened.  And look, another great cover.

Hello, Summer( May 5 )

With HEllO, SUMMER,  Mary Kay Andrews brings us to the beach, introduces us to rich and colorful characters, and throws in a mystery.  This one truly has something for everyone.

SUMMER LONGING by Jamie Brenner takes us back to the summer playground of Provincetown, Mass.

This is Jamie’s third or maybe even fourth novel and if you’ve not yet read her you are in for a treat. If you are already a fan like me, well, here you are.

Summer Longing ( May 5 )

ON OCEAN BOULEVARD by Mary Alice Monroe is taking us back to Isle of Palm in South Carolina. Back to the beach. Back to the characters I’ve fallen in love with over the years. And back to the beloved sea turtles. This year Monroe is tackling that big pile of plastic in the oceans. She’s done it again with this new novel. ( May 19)

On Ocean Boulevard

 

BEACH READ by Emily  Henry is coming out in a trade paperback form. Perfect for tossing in your beach bag. The cover will beckon and the characters and the light story will keep you involved in this contemporary romance that is just right for now.

Beach Read ( May 19 )

 

SECOND HOME will have you sitting on the edge of your seat as you think you are getting to know a midwestern family who travel each summer to their much-loved cottage on Cape Cod.  This one is not quite as light. It  made the Critic’s Choice Summer List.

The Second Home

Christina Clancy ( June 2 )

 

THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST  is graced with a perfect cover and a story to go with. I love Key West and this novel about the unnamed hurricane that struck the Keys in 1935 is just what you need. It’s a real winner. ( June 16)

The Last Train To Key West

THE KEY LIME CRIME by Lucy Burdette is a yummy cozy novel that’s the latest in the Key West Food Critic’s series. Reading this  mystery novel is like taking a trip south to the island paradise that we know of as Key West. Revisit the restaurants, ride the Conch Train, and even be at the sunset celebration to catch the sights. Oh, and their’s a murder…….

The Key Lime Crime ( July 7 )

 

THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES by Kristin Harmel

The Book of Lost Names

is well worth waiting until late July for.  Kristin is once again in France during the Holocaust. She’s using the background of real forgers, and one a woman, to tell a story that begs to be told. For you WW11 history buffs. Do not miss this.

There will be more but this is enough for now. I think there is something for everyone. Even the lighter  novels are so well-written. I would not usually be covering this many beach reads but, this is certainly the summer for it!

Your friends at Copperfish Books will have copies of most of these books in stock on their pub dates.  They can always be ordered and shipped as well. Please do take note of the on-sale date for each book as they will not be available beforehand.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

Cheers!

Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews

Hello, Summer

Conley Hawkins is coming home. Home to the tiny coastal town of Silver Bay, Florida, about forty miles south of Pensacola. She’s dragging her tail behind her and  hating every mile of the journey from Atlanta where she’s been working as a journalist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

So, why’s she coming home? The job she thought she had in Washington, DC, fell through after she quit the AJC job. Bummer.  And what’s she coming home to? Good question. Her family still owns the town’s only newspaper, a small-time paper called The Silver Bay Beacon. Her sister Grayson’s been running the paper and barely keeping it going ever since their grandfather passed away.  But Conley is not about to work for her sister…or is she?

Conley is depending on her grandmother, fondly known as G’mama, for room and board and a shoulder to relax on.  And so she pulls up in front of the old homestead downtown knowing she has a safe place to land.  There’s also a beach house and even though it’s mostly in disrepair,  it seems like paradise to the family.

The state of print publishing is in the toilet these days. That’s a profound statement. And so we know that even though Conley has great credentials she’s going to have a hard time finding another job like she wants.  And then when she’s the first one on the scene of a deadly accident in the middle of the night, the door opens for investigation and work—at The Beacon.

Mary Kay Andrews has managed to include everything you could possibly want in a great summer read. She’s thrown in a gorgeous beach, summer cocktails and sunset, Southern hospitality, a hilarious old dog and a cat needing rescuing. And that’s only a wee part of it. There is so much more. Let me tell you.

So G’mama has a companion named Winnie who is almost as old as she is. Winnie has a “background” you  might say. What a great character. Then there’s an old boyfriend  named Sean, who now owns the town’s only drug store: Kelly’s Drugs.  The scenes in the drug store bring back so many memories for me. There is a lunch counter. Now, when was the last time you saw one of those? I used to pony- up  to the soda counter at our local drug store after school with my boyfriend and we would sip root beer floats. Aah.

A very mysterious DJ works the midnight hours of the local radio station. He drives a white 1986 Corvette and goes by the name of Buddy Bright. Now you have to know that surely can not be his real name. And does he have a real name?  And who is he really?

Senator Symmes Robinette brings politics into the story but they are of the local variety.  He has a sordid past and it brings a lot of mystery and intrigue into a story that is already a page-turner.  And then throw in a murder! Holy cow. Really? Yes.

I haven’t even mentioned Rowena Meigs who’s been the society columnist at The Beacon FOREVER.  She can’t spell and makes so many mistakes someone ends up having to completely redo her work every week. So why keep her on? You will find out. Reading her columns will make you laugh out loud.

Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews

Dip your toes in the surf, grab your favorite cocktail and settle in to read HELLO, SUMMER. You are in for such a treat!!

Don’t forget that you can order your copy of HELLO, SUMMER through Copperfish Books. We will have some copies in the store come May 5th. And they will be discounted 20%.

Mary Kay Andrews will be doing a zoom cast on Tuesday, May 12th at 5 o’clock. You won’t want to miss that. You can sign up on the website at Copperfish Books.

My review copy arrived from the  very generous publishing people at St. Martin’s Press. I am so grateful.