Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Club Friday-- Kid Carolina and Gone Girl.

I've been reading like crazy recently.  I'll credit it to the fact that I've picked books that kept me WANTING to read them.  I've read two this week:  Kid Carolina and Gone Girl.

Good Reads Synopsis: The Reynolds tobacco family was an American dynasty like the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Astors. R.J. "Dick" Reynolds Jr. was born into privilege and decadence, but his disastrous personal life eventually destroyed almost every relationship he cherished and stole his health at a relatively young age.  Dick Reynolds was dubbed "Kid Carolina" when as a teenager, he ran away from home and stowed away as part of the crew on a freighter. For the rest of his life he'd turn to the sea, instead of his friends and family, for comfort. Dick disappeared for months at a time, leading the dual life of a business mogul and troubled soul, both of which became legendary.  Despite his personal demons, Dick played a pivotal role in shaping twentieth-century America through his business savvy and politics. He developed Delta and Eastern Airlines, single handedly secured FDR's third term election, and served as mayor of Winston-Salem, where his tobacco fortune was built. Yet below the gilded surface lay a turbulent life of alcoholism, infidelity, and loneliness. His chaotic existence culminated in a surprise fourth marriage and was shortly followed by a strange death, the end of a life every bit as awe-inspiring as it was disturbing.

My Thoughts:  I've grown up around the Reynolds family lore my whole life, so when I saw this book, I was very excited to read it.  It was a truly fascinating story that seems almost like a movie because it's so far-fetched.  But yet, it's true.  I call the Reynolds family "the Kennedys of The South" because they're so similar.  A wealthy family; a family business; wild, uncontrollable heirs; young deaths; mysterious deaths; rocky marriages; and more.  I just wish that this book had been more in-depth.  It's incredibly well-researched, but it's pretty sparse.  The story could be so much more enthralling, but she skims over important events in mere pages instead of a whole chapter or more.  It was 357 pages but should have been twice that.  I just needed MORE.

Good Read Synopsis: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?  As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

My Thoughts: This book was incredible. From almost the minute I opened it, I was completely engrossed and couldn't put it down. Seriously. I read it everywhere-- even at stop lights and in line at Chipotle. I just HAD to know what was going to happen!  Gillian Flynn is an amazing writer. I loved the way it went back and forth between the voices of Nick and Amy, giving both perspectives. I was slightly disappoint in the end, but I suppose it was fitting for the book.  So I'm not going to let it bother me too much.  Although the story was fairly depressing, I highly recommend this book!

Next up for me? Something light and fluffy. I need it after a string of suspenseful/dramatic/violent books. Suggestions?


  1. I'm reading Gone Girl right now. Only about 3 chapters in but really excited since I've heard good things about the book!

  2. Gone Girl is on my list and I cannot wait to read it! I'm about 35% into Les Miserables, so I still have a while with it!

  3. i recently read gone girl too and couldn't put it down and then it just ended so lamely...i was craving more!

    happy friday!

  4. LOVED Gone Girl! I agree about the ending, but not sure there were too many other way to end it. I have never heard of Kid Carolina- what an interesting person! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I've been DYING to read Gone Girl. I just need to find the time! I hear it is so good and I love books that you can't put down!

  6. Just bought Gone Girl yesterday and cant wait to read it!

  7. Everyone has said Gone Girl is one of those books you can't put down. I need to get a copy asap