Local Beach Reads — Read ‘Em With Us!

Exeter Girls

 Books to get you through the summer

I’m not sure if I’m more amazed that time seems to pass so quickly or if everyone else says the same thing. Maybe the internet takeover has sped up the Earth’s rotation around the sun, but we’re too busy Googling images of otters doing adorable things to notice. It would be nice if this summer would be spent a little less plugged in, but I know that isn’t going to happen. I’m even predicting a plethora of iPads and other tablets at the beach, used more for video games and creepily taking pictures of coeds showing off their beach bodies. For those of you who want to use your tablets at the beach to read an actual story (or dare I say read the physical book), I created a little idea guide of local authors.

I decided to do something a little different for this article, and write about books I plan to read this summer. Included in each brief description is my prediction of how I’ll feel about the book. I’ll review these books for future Motif articles so you can compare my predictions to my actual opinion after I read the book.

Jason Carpenter — Exeter Girls: Letters From a Feeble Minded School


Synopsis: Personal letters from three female inmates portray their lives while in Rhode Island’s Institution for the Feeble-Minded (Ladd School). Exeter Girls exposes what social services were like in those days.

Prediction: This will be an eye-opening look at how women were viewed and treated during the early 20th century, with more than a few stories that will make me cringe. I expect to read this and be happy to be living in these times.

Bruce DeSilva — Providence Rag

Synopsis: This is a work of fiction loosely based on the Craig Price murders, which terrified Rhode Islanders many years ago. Investigative reporter Liam Mulligan tries to learn about gruesome murders that would be straight out of a horror movie. Caught and soon to be released because he was a juvenile when the crime was committed, people are in fear that he will kill again. Mason, another reporter, feels he should be released.

Prediction: Even though this isn’t completely based on the Craig Price case, I will think of it when reading this. That story was fascinating, and I can’t see this dramatized version being any different.

Richard Galli — Rescuing Jeffrey

Synopsis: While diving at a July 4 party, Jeffrey hits his head and suffers a spinal cord injury that leaves him paralyzed from the neck down. This becomes the story of how the family adjusts to a new lifestyle.

Prediction: I expect to read this book and be inspired. No family has it easy, but suffering such a drastic lifestyle change can be crippling, and it takes a strong family to get through these hurdles. I see myself thinking about how quickly life can change, and will probably pay more attention to my surroundings for a bit.

Hard Luck

Synopsis: This is a collection of 10 stories that deal with people going through hard times and they define Murphy’s Law. This anthology was put out by Burnt Offerings Books, headed by Scott LeFebvre (writer of Condemned).

Prediction: There will be at least one story I fall in love with and one I can barely get through. I can’t wait to read about the predicaments the characters get themselves into. I am hoping for real life situations that are relatable, but I’m expecting a few stories that just get weird.

Stephen Porter — Confessions of the Meek and the Valiant


Synopsis: A 17-year-old man from Southie gets accepted to a prestigious college, only to learn dark secrets about his post-mob family. He now has to put all this in perspective and save his family.

Prediction: While I like mob movies, I’ve never read a book based on the mob. This seems to have a family aspect to it as well, though I’m thinking it won’t be as wholesome as it is in my mind.

Sylvester 
Sviokla III — From Harvard to Hell — and Back

Synopsis: This is a typical “Behind the Music” boy makes it big, boy finds drugs, boy loves drugs, drugs consume boy, boy recovers and makes something of himself story. The only difference is that Mr. Sviokla is a doctor to the stars.

Prediction: I’m a big fan of stories like this. Addiction is a fascinating thing, and I enjoy reading redemption stories. Add in the “doctor to the stars,” and this book should have me reading eagerly.

While there were many other books I had on my list, I laboriously narrowed it down to these six. If you want a bonus book that is a perfect beach read distraction, I suggest Searching for Rhode Island by Dawn Porter, which features over 20 puzzles that teach about Rhode Island.

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