I am super excited to be participating in the Book Sparks Summer Reading Challenge. I’ll be reading (and reviewing) one new book a week from now through Labor Day. Between my cozy reading chair and my favorite spot on my back porch, I’m going to be unwinding with books every night.
I’m a reader. I was born a reader. I chose my English major in college because I loved the looks of the reading lists in the college bookstore. Since starting back to work, my reading has taken a more professional turn as I have soaked up books on event planning, fundraising and business strategy. That is good reading as well. . .but I miss novels. This reading challenge will get me back on track!
The first book of the 2014 Summer Reading Challenge officially released yesterday. The One & Only: A Novel
by Emily Giffin is a rare treat for me. It is a must-read for college football fans; and yet is enjoyable for someone like me who can hardly tell a home run from a touchdown.
From the Publisher:
Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.
But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.
Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As I mentioned earlier, I am no football fan, and yet, the human side of football was displayed so well, that I hardly minded the sports references. Giffin’s characters are well developed and true. While I may not have made the same decisions Shea did, I could relate to her conflicting loyalties between career and team.
I enjoy reading about complex family interactions, as it lets me know that perhaps, just maybe, I’m not alone. I enjoyed the “inside look” at the world of college and professional football, though I suspect that it was a pretty sanitized glance.
There are racy moments in the book–not 50 shades racy, but racy–so this is not for the easily offended. (and, the racy parts are easily skipped).
This is a great, relaxing, poolside read.
Emily Giffin is the author of six New York Times bestselling novels: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You’re With, Heart of the Matter, and Where We Belong. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she now lives in Atlanta with her husband and three young children.
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Purchase The One & Only: A Novel
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to facilitate my review. I received no monetary compensation and I was not required to give a positive review.