Memorial Day was nearly a month ago, and I haven’t made it to the beach or pool yet, but I will. Instead, I’ve been reading. I’ve currently got my nose in three books, and they couldn’t be any different from one another.
A friend and co-worker lent me her copy of “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle. Doyle’s perspective will make some people uncomfortable, but I have found common ground with her. Her book, a memoir, is based on her self-discovery after a divorce, and is peppered with practical advice and insightful humor. Her style reminds me very much of Ann Lamott, one of my favorite non-fiction writers.
For those of you who love to read the works of local authors, grab a copy of “The Road to Hell,” the fourth book by St. Simons Island writer, artist, and my friend, James Calemine. In this collection of short stories published by Snake Nation Press, due out June 22, Calemine weaves together a series of short stories that he stated “should be read in one sitting – straight through – like riding a bullet train. Like there is no tomorrow …”
Calemine says everyone will see themselves in the stories, which address topics such as “mass shootings, hurricanes, social media addiction, power grids, corruption, gambling, criminal liars, toxic water, UFOs, the coronavirus and other eerie realities of modern America.” See snakenationpress.com or jamescalemine.com, to order.
On the lighter side, there’s always room for a beach read, and Savannah-based best-selling author Mary Kay Andrews is my go-to. Her latest novel, “Hello, Summer,” tells the story of big-city journalist Conley Hawkins, who returns to her family’s small-town newspaper to help out. As is typical with an Andrews novel, it’s not long before secrets and scandals rear their heads. Of course, in addition to dealing with the news of the day, our heroine also has to contend with fractured family ties and a troublemaking old heartbreaker while fanning the flames of a new love. You can pick up, or order, copies of both the Doyle and Andrews books at Righton Books, in Redfern Village, or GJ Ford Bookshop, in the Shops at Sea Island.
Now that you have the right books, it’s important to have the right look. In “Cheri’s Shore Things,” Cheri Leavy features hats and bags with “vacay vibes” available at local retailers, including Planter’s Exchange, Shackelford Shoes, Cloister Collection, Cloth + Label, Restoration Imports, Sea Island Surf Shop and that favorite gem of everyone in the know, St. Simons Drug Store.
All that’s left to decide is where to go, and we have suggestions for that, too. Our Coastal Illustrated feature is full of options for places to visit that allow you to relax and enjoy some recreation while social distancing. The St. Simons Land Trust has acres of land available for hiking, biking, picnicking and more. Or, if you prefer to stay indoors, our Coastal Home feature, “Wild About Wicker” addresses the versatility and comfort found in wicker furnishings and accessories, many of which can add to the perfect setting for an afternoon of reading.
Our columnists return with their usual great recommendations – Jim Henderson puts the spotlight on tiki bar drinks, including a great recipe for one that really packs a punch – the infamous Zombie. Cary Knapp, in her literary column, recommends Brit Bennett’s newest novel, “The Vanishing Half,” which addresses family issues, and the existence of colorism within a race. Meanwhile, Anne Ditmer, our horticulture columnist, speaks to the difficulty or organic gardening in the Golden Isles, and provides some helpful tips.
In the Local Q&A, meet Love Davis, a personal assistant who loves seafood, admires her pastors and enjoys spending time with her family. In our Realtor Q&A, Cristi Kavanaugh, a wife, personal trainer, Realtor and mom of four, tells us what she likes to do in her all-too-rare spare time, and her family’s tradition of “Pancake Saturday.”
Real estate reporter Gordon Jackson talks to Kris Maichle, president of Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals about the advantages of renting a house for summer vacation.
Social distancing protocols are beginning to loosen, but take care, and keep washing your hands. Enjoy the issue.