July 25, 2017

Bestie Beatriz Binge // Five Reasons to Read Beatriz Williams


It all started back in 2013. I was on a beach vacation with my family and made sure to visit my favorite independent bookstore, Sundog Books, while I was there. I spotted a gorgeous hardcover on the New Releases table - A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams - and knew that I had to buy it. I couldn't resist! I didn't read it right away, and it ended up just sitting on my bookshelf back at home... as did each subsequent Beatriz Williams book. Yes, you read that correctly. I kept acquiring each new release - in hardcover, no less! - even though I hadn't read any of them yet. At least I can admit that I have a problem?

I just had this feeling in my gut that she'd become a new favorite author! I finally picked up A Hundred Summers last year and fell in love. But I never reviewed it, which I blame on my postpartum forgetfulness. Then Kelly came to visit earlier this year, and it changed everything. She was browsing my shelves and noticed all the Beatriz Williams. She was curious, too, and added them to her TBR. She knows how to manage her TBR like a boss and started her first Beatriz book almost immediately. I could tell from her texts that I was missing out. I finally had the motivation I needed to get started: we could binge them together!

We spent a few weeks in June reading through all of Beatriz Williams' books, and it was honestly one of the best reading experiences of my life. I loved the books, just as I'd expected. But even more than that - I loved reading them with my friend! We texted constantly while reading (with no spoilers, of course!) and then had lengthy phone conversations after we finished each one to chat about our reactions to all the twists and turns. We wanted to celebrate the power of books to bring friends together, and so Bestie Beatriz Binge was born. To kick it off, here are five reasons to read Beatriz Williams:

When I started making my list of reasons to read Beatriz Williams, I knew that the characters had to come first. There's something so magical about the way she writes about these people that live in her imagination - you start to believe they might be real! I've always been a huge fan of movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, and the dialogue in these books totally captures those same special patterns of speech. I could almost hear it all in my head while reading! The characters are all well-developed, vibrant and compelling, and they don't feel repetitive. They have their own histories, desires and fears. I may have favorites, but I loved them all.

In general, I'm not a fan of dual timelines in books. While it's something that makes Kelly more likely to pick up a book, I'm usually the opposite. I don't know why exactly, but I have this internal bias against them. And I tell you that because all of Beatriz's books have dual timelines, and I loved them. Y'all, I had to put this on my list because it was so shocking for me! There wasn't a single book where I preferred one timeline over another or wished one timeline didn't exist. In every case, they both drew me in, made me more invested in the book and felt absolutely necessary to the story being told. Plus, the format heightened the tension and drama!

If I had to describe Beatriz's books in just a few words, romantic and dramatic would definitely make the short list! These sweeping sagas are packed with love stories that survive time, distance, and numerous obstacles (both internal and external). And here's the thing: most of the romances fall into "instalove" territory, but Beatriz somehow makes me believe in all of them. I set my skepticism aside while reading and just enjoy the dramatic twists and turns - rooting for the hero and heroine to find happiness and for love to prevail. And the path it takes to get there is almost never what I expect. Beatriz constantly surprised me, in the very best way. 

I love historical fiction, and I'm so happy that I've found a new favorite author in this genre. And you know what makes it even better? Beatriz Williams often focuses on a unique time period or aspect of history. For example, she writes about the 1938 New England hurricane, Manhattan socialites in the 1960s, and Florida in the 1920s. And even when she tackles more well-known time periods, like the two World Wars, there's an interesting lens, such as a female ambulance driver on the Western Front and a female physicist in prewar Germany. Of course, I can't forget about the Jazz Age with its bootleggers, prohibition agents and speakeasies. So fun!

And finally, I've got to take a moment to praise the writing. These books are so readable and engaging! You'll find high-stakes drama, whip-smart dialogue, all-consuming love, life-like characters and well-developed settings on every page of these books. But they contain important questions and themes, too, like defying societal expectations for women. These books are fun and a little soapy with all their intrigue, but I love that they've also got depth, intelligence and complexity. And to me, that comes down to the writing. I became so invested in what I was reading and found it endlessly discussable with Kelly. What more do I need to say?

Beatriz Williams is so talented and creative - something that was highlighted by the fact that I binged all of her books in like two weeks. I honestly never got tired of reading them and sincerely wish there were more! I hope my post today has helped put her on your radar if she wasn't already there... but I've still got three days left to convince you if you're still on the fence. We've got some fun things planned, y'all.

Check back tomorrow for more from the Bestie Beatriz Binge,
and be sure to look at Kelly's five reasons, too!

5 comments:

  1. I'm certainly intrigued! I have a few on my shelves already including one I won in a Goodreads giveaway and I haven't read any of them yet. They might be a little too chunky for me at the moment (I'm slow!) but they're definitely on my TBR. Reading them with a friend sounds like an awesome way to enjoy any book, but especially books you both love :)

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  2. Reading Kelly's post got me even more hyped to try out Beatriz Williams! I have a similar history with her- I picked up A Hundred Summers YEARS ago and I still haven't read it but I constantly come back to the beautiful cover. And her newer releases have been on my radar but I haven't sprung for them just yet but hearing both of you speak so highly of her work has caused me to add a couple more titles to my cart!

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  3. Guys this was great! It's hard for me to pick up historical (even though I typically love it when I do) but you are definitely tempting me!

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  4. Love Beatriz Williams!! I'm really hoping for a Hollywood presentation at at least one of her books.

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  5. I JUST NEED TO READ BEATRIZ WILLIAMS. I really like all the elements of her novels that you highlighted in your post! It sounds like her stories will be right up my alley, and I hope I get to them eventually. Love that you and Kel read them together!

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