This week’s winner is Lisa. Thanks to everyone who commented!
Happy Friday, everybody!
I think it might be spring. Since it’s May 9, I would say it is ABOUT FUCKING TIME, but somehow I feel more celebratory of spring’s arrival than I am annoyed by its dawdling. I think this is some kind of trick winter plays on me, up here in the hinterlands of Wisconsin. It lasts and lasts and lasts, and I shovel and shovel and shovel, and then I give up and it keeps being winter, and my hair gets greasy, and I eat a lot of cookies, and then one day without warning it is SPRING! With GREEN things coming out of the GROUND!
And I am all smiles about it, like Tina Fey, here:
Anyway. I had a busy week in a busy travel season, and I missed Wednesday’s what-to-read post, so I’m going to do that today along with the usual Friday giveaway, because I am in charge here, in fact, and I do what I want. I will spare you the gif on that. The book I’m recommending this week is Laugh by Mary Ann Rivers. Here’s the blurb—
Dr. Sam Burnside is convinced that volunteering at an urban green-space farm in Lakefield, Ohio, is a waste of time—especially with his new health clinic about to open. He only goes to mollify his partner, suspecting she wants him to lighten up. Then Sam catches sight of Nina Paz, a woman who gives off more heat than a scorcher in July. Her easy smile and flirty, sizzling wit has him forgetting his infamous need for control.
Widowed when her husband was killed in Afghanistan, Nina has learned that life exists to take chances. As the daughter of migrant workers turned organic farmers, she’s built an exciting and successful business by valuing new opportunities and working hard to take care of her own. But when Sam pushes for a relationship that goes beyond their hotter-than-fire escapades, Nina ignores her own hard-won wisdom. She isn’t ready for a man who needs saving—even if her heart compels her to take the greatest risk of all: love.
Laugh is the second book in Mary Ann’s Burnside Series, which gets all up in the love lives of the four Burnside siblings: Destiny, Sam, Paul, and Sarah. I love this series for a lot of reasons. It’s brave and big, intelligent, deeply emotional. It’s about siblings who are all a little lost after their father’s death, and it’s about how they love each other and how hard they’re trying to figure themselves out and find family again.
It’s about a community and how one family fits into it, and how history is layered over the present, and how friendships form and break apart.
Sam has ADHD, and struggles with it — struggles with himself, his feelings, his love, and how difficult it is for him to put his love into action so that those he love can receive it. It is really beautiful to hear Sam’s voice, how Mary Ann brings him to life. It is beautiful, too, to see him with Nina, who really sees him, understands him, and is probably the only woman on earth who could ever tolerate a happy-ever-after with this particular lovable, awful, lovable man.
Anyway. This is me, reading from Laugh.
What have you guys got going on this weekend? I’m heading to Oshkosh for the Lakefly Literary Conference, where I’ll be at the open-to-the-public reception tonight from 6-8 and then doing a session on rewriting/revising tomorrow afternoon. Details on the Events page.
Is it spring where you are? Are your legs as white and pasty as mine? Do you go for hikes in the woods and spend the entire rest of the day feeling phantom ticks crawl all over your body, or is that just me? Do you like the Burnside Series? Tell me all the things in the comments — or one of the things, I’m not choosy — and I’ll pick one random commenter to win a $10 gift certificate to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes (winner’s choice).