“Your faith in yourself drove you to the top once. And it can drive you there again,” my father says finally. I know that he is right. For decades, my talent and drive were utterly devastating to those who stood in my wake. If each person is blessed with an individual gift, determination is mine.”
― Taylor Jenkins Reid, Carrie Soto Is Back
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel, Carrie Soto is Back, proves once again that Reid is a master of writing books involving multiple characters and threads. The audiobook versions of her books feature an ensemble cast and added audio details that make them some of my favorites: Carrie Soto is Back is no exception.
Carrie Soto is determined to be the best tennis player in the world. Her determination however hasn’t made her very popular, amongst fans and other players alike. When Carrie retires in 1989 at the age of thirty-one, she is the best in the world. She has broken every record in the world and has claimed twenty Slam titles. Carrie believed she deserves and is entitled to every record and title she has won. Her dad has trained her since she was a toddler to be the best. Javier, Carrie’s dad, is a former championship tennis player.
Flash forward six years. Carrie and her dad are in the stand watching Nicki Chan fight for her twentieth Slam title. Carrie is angry that Nicky is even close to hitting her record, let alone that she has the ability to beat her. Her championship record is no longer going to belong to her and Carrie refuses to let that happen. She decides, at the age of thirty-seven, to come out of retirement to defend her title. There are four opportunities to win a title each year. Carrie will win one of them and become the best in the world yet again.
The road to victory is going to be an uphill battle. The sports media believe she is too old to be playing professionally. Her fans don’t want her back. Her body isn’t as limber and fast moving as it used to be. She is going to have to trust her father to be her coach again. Even though there is a slew of negativity determined to push her back into retirement, Carrie won’t have it. She is back and wants that title. She needs to prove to the world, and to herself, that she is the greatest tennis player in the world. After all, Carrie has been told since birth that she is destined to be the greatest. She deserves to fight for that no matter the cost.
This book is also available in the following formats:
Daddy by Loup Durand was a bestseller in France but, amazingly, never a huge hit in the U.S.
Thomas, an 11-year-old genius, is being chased by Nazis, after they discover the boy’s grandfather has entrusted him with information about Jewish fortunes held in Swiss bank accounts.
American millionaire David Quartermain, the father Thomas has never known, is summoned by the child’s mother when she realizes her life is in danger. Not only an incredibly tense cat-and-mouse chase novel, this is also the story of how father and son learn to trust and love each other.
Intricately plotted, there are iconic characters (a sociopathic Nazi, a mysterious sniper/bodyguard and wealthy playboy turned patriot), mysteries, secrets, and the always-fascinating setting of World War II Europe. A great and satisfying page-turner.
I don’t know about your family, but in ours, Father’s Day revolves around golf. Actually, they’d probably go every Sunday afternoon if weather and time permitted, but at least on this day, a round of golf is practically guaranteed.
On our New Materials shelves, you can find Golfing With Dad by David Barrett. Before writing this book Barrett worked as a features editor for Golf Magazine, so he’s very familiar with the professional golf scene. Here, he’s selected fourteen tour pros, including Mickelson, Nicklaus and Palmer, and tells the stories of how their fathers and golf influenced their lives. He also includes several women golfers, so it’s not just a father-son theme. Rather, it seems as if encouragement is the key word, even though each scenario is different.
Another book featuring professionals and their fathers is Golf Dads by Curt Sampson. It’s subtitled Fathers, Sons, and the Greatest Game, yet it does feature a chapter on Michelle Wie. Other well known subjects are Lee Trevino and Ben Hogan.
Finally, there’s His Father’s Son: Earl and Tiger Woods. No matter how you feel about Tiger these days, Tiger has always credited his father as being a big factor behind his success on the golf course. And no matter how you feel about golf, I think you — and you dad — will enjoy these titles.
In Laws of Our Fathers, Scott Turow alternates between a present day murder trial and the turbulent days of the ’60’s. The parties involved in the courtroom drama knew each other during their days as a radicals.
Seth, now a journalist, struggles to find common ground with his father, a Holocaust survivor, both as a college student and 25 years later. Turow brings up the Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac, one of the first examples of a father facing conflicting responsibilities and loyalties
Never a standard thriller writer, Turow’s multilayered novel explores big ideas and themes such as morality, the law – and father-son relationships.
Looking for a different way to honor Dad this coming Father’s Day? How about checking out a movie featuring a fabulous father? There’s a lot to choose from — it all depends upon your interests, or perhaps, more importantly, upon the ages of your kids.
For the younger crowd, The Incredibles is a fun choice, and all the people in that family are pretty amazing!
One of my favorites is Mrs. Doubtfire with Robin Williams. This is a good choice for slightly older kids; it’s hilarious, but also quite touching.
If your kids are older — maybe even adults — you may want to check out Father of the Bride. You can chose the popular newer version with Steve Martin, but it might be refreshing to go way back and view the original movie starring Spencer Tracy. See how things have changed, or possibly, how much has stayed the same!
For those of you who’d rather have a real book connection, why not look into To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch has to be one of the most understanding fathers in the world.
And if you prefer TV shows, you might like watching some true oldies, like My Three Sons or Father Knows Best. Have a Happy Father’s Day!