And Unexpected Love in the Azores - Finding Joy

By Diana Marcum

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nichola
This writer has a powerful way of telling a story that instantly captures your attention and takes you there, as if the tale was unraveling in front of you in real time. I learned so much and fell in love with the islands and its people.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
charmaine
This book was well written and engaging. The characters were well developed and the essence of the Azores was described beautifully. I also found myself laughing out loud at several points in the book, especially when Murphy, her dog was involved.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
nancie
This book was different than what I usually read. It seemed disjointed and I often wondered what the storyline actually was. It was more like a journal where the author left out parts that would have helped tie thoughts or actions together.
A Thru-Hiking Adventure on the Appalachian Trail - Balancing on Blue :: The Wild Truth :: Into the Fire (The Bridge Series) :: Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles) :: A Delightfully Awkward Journey Across the Alaskan Tundra
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ullasa
Really liked the life's lessons shared from the Portuguese characters inhabiting this book! A good read about the community of Azores immigrants in North America and how they are still connected to their old country culture.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
angforce
Loved The authors observations of the Azorian culture and traditions. I hope one day to have an adventure in the Azores myself. One of my best friends grew up there and I now understand her passion of the tenth island.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
david hoopes
I enjoyed reading The Tenth Island and give it a strong 4.
Being familiar with the California Central Valley, but not the Azores, I appreciated the movement between the two settings , the two cultures, and the search for love and self. It is much more than a beach read!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
j matt
This frenetic style of writing is not my cup of tea. Interesting to read about the Azores and its natural and cultural beauty. Too many characters without any depth of a story. This book is more travel stream of consciousness than story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sean snapp
The list for July did not appeal to me, however, travel does and since I had little knowledge of the Azores I thought I'd give it a try. She nearly lost me in the beginning, the build up to going was too long. I loved all the book when she was actually in the Azores, I now experience Saudade, wanting to be there sitting on a wall overlooking the ocean eating fresh bread and cheese. She does tend to over analyze and over describe.
California is California, The Sierras are magnificent as is San Francisco and the coast, the central valley not so much, she doesn't spend too much time describing it and the people are interesting, tho I got lost on who was who, Armenians or Azoreans. All in all the book held my attention and if I can I will visit the Azores. I recommend this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gaurang tank
I chose this book so that I could know about my father’s Azorean heritage, a gap he didn’t fill, and it definitely helped. It showed the strong connection Azoreans have for their islands that make them travel (or want to travel) yearly between America and the Azores. I wasn’t too wild about the author’s jumpy style of telling her story, so it took me longer than usual to read the book. She breaks her storytelling into chapters that don’t necessarily flow into each other, and sometimes leaves a story seeming incomplete, but it is still enjoyable. Although the author talks about her own state of singleness, I would not call this a personal love story. It is something between a memoir and a travelog, and I longed for more details about where she was and more history of those places and people.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hanlon
I loved traveling the Azores & meeting all the very real people along the way. Having had almost no knowledge of these islands & their Portuguese people, I now almost feel as though I have been there. It was a very heartfelt and enlightening read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
deborahazzi
This is one book I just couldn't put down. Diana Marcum writes in a vibrant yet conversational style, and her descriptions of the places, events, and characters she experienced in this mini-memoir give a heartfelt glimpse into a snapshot of her life. I have visited the Azores myself a few times, and her descriptions of the land and people bring back vivid memories of my own experiences, and also make me want to return and feel the sense of community that one can only find when staying in a place longer than a few days. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I can't wait to read more of her writing!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
elizabeth bassett
I kept waiting for this book to draw me in, but it didn't. I try very hard to give all books a chance, and I realize the effort authors put into their writing, but I simply couldn't make it to a point where I found it worth finishing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
leigh statham
Quick, easy read that has me thinking about heading to the Azores! Some poignant parts, some parts that were choppy (and I had to make sure I didn’t skip a page!). Some great insights and interesting stories of real people, I appreciated it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hardy
Had no idea of the number of people from the Azores that are in California. I live in California and had no idea of the large Portuguese population and their traditions. Made for a
great read. Nice to learn about the islands of the Azores.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rhenda
I hoped this would be like The Illegal Gardener (Greek Village series by Sara Alexi)
I was afraid I would judge this by my love of that series - that was not a problem!
WHAT I LOVED about this book:
This is not a typical memoir - it is not perfectly linear on a timeline.
It is written more with a glance forward and past and inside and out as the story is told. The writing style sort of feels like meeting someone and hearing the story of their life in their own words with the experiences of their life weaving in and out to form a tapestry of vibrant colors that gives you a fuller picture with every new thread.. Not sure I am explain this correctly but the style "feels" more intimate than most memoirs.
WHAT I LOVED: THE STORY - the experience - the theories - the set and settings!
I live in California in Oxnard - and the drought of the central valley is all to real here.
The Azores - have never been on my map and now I am in love.
The PEOPLE - the heart and soul - I did not want the story to end - I WANT people like that in my house - my neighborhood - my life! WOO woo!
The lessons - we are living in fragile times - ok we always have been and it may be a part of everything - but we can pay attention and be grateful for all that there is!
The Theories - (OMG)
Where I live there is a huge apartment development threatening to take over a huge portion of a quaint though derelict Fisherman's Wharf in a small boat harbor (one of the last on the coast with open space). The powers that be have made it derelict for years so they can claim apartments are the the only solution. Many who live here want to maintain the gateway to the Channel Islands as a place to bring the family and simply enjoy the space the place the water...

This book makes me more determined than ever - to do what I can in my own backyard to preserve what can be preserved and to respect the place I am.

PLEASE write more!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katie magee
A couple of notes that I didn't see covered in other reviews:

This book is episodic (very much a series of article like chapters that don't necessarily need to be read in order, though it helps). So it is a great pick up / set down read. On the downside, after the last article it just sort of ends. On the plus side, I'd buy the next book in the series (if there is one).
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
c j carter stephenson
I was predisposed to love this book. I grew up in the Central Valley in Tulare with Azorean friends. In 2016 after a stormy June passage from Bermuda we sailed into Las Flores, the westernmost island of the Azores and fell in love with the island and its people. There were vignettes in the book that brought tears of memory to my eyes, finely written about Axzoreans in California and the poignant trips by the author to the Azores. Beautiful and moving. What I did not find was a coherent plot. There are themes in the book such as the Azorean diaspora and the summer return of Azoreans to their island. Even her unrequited love is a constant theme. But the absence of a plot made this book les of a joy than it should have been.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marcella demars
I found myself laughing to myself or out loud, with big smiles on my face, on many occasions.
This is so enlightening and interesting from a historical point of view, as a native Californian. Also, as a person who lives in small fishing/sutfing village in Costa Rica, i can appreciate the humor and cultural differences in a small town.
The author has a fabulously silly sense of humor. A kind heart and joy that shines through.

The only problem: i was hungry the entire book..breads, foods galore..

I.never had even heard of these islands. Boy thanks for opening up my world a little more Diana.
You go Moody!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
katie baxter
The Tenth Island: Finding Joy, Beauty, and Unexpected Love in the Azores is by Diana Marcum. The book was written in first person. I did not like this book and was unable to get involved with it. I am still not sure where she had planned to go with this story. After reading a quarter of the story, I had to quit reading it. Perhaps someone else would really love the book; but I didn’t. I did appreciate her choice of words and descriptions of the Azores.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rolando
A wonderful story about reexamining life through the lenses of the generous people of the Portuguese Azores. As someone who has visited the Azores, I think the characterization of the inhabitants is spot on. Who could not love each person Ms. Marcum describes? They are each charming in their own way. As a dog lover, I will say that Murphy, the Lab, also plays a key role in adding humor and warmth to the story as well. The book left me feeling grateful for meeting the interesting personalities Ms. Marcum introduced.

Sequel, please?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
david mcgee
I enjoyed this memoir; it was not dramatic, but loosely connected thoughts, characters, and events. The descriptions of the Azores and the history connected up California made me start researching. The storyline did seem disjointed in a few places and some events did not add to the story. However, it's a memoir, so everything was memorable and important to the author, so an interesting glimpse into her thought process.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susan
Any book that draws me in as completely as this one did, gets my top rating.

I love the way she took all the bits and pieces of her life and the lives of those around her and wove them into a book. As I read, it felt as natural as if she was sitting beside me, just talking. Perfect.

And then there's the whole immersion in another place and culture, hearing (even second-hand) about the Azores and it's people's, both on and off the islands.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julie demange
Having just visited the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, I learned how important the people from the Azores were to the whaling industry. The people from the Azores were critical part of the growth and industry of New Bedford. I just happened upon this book after visiting New Bedford. After reading the book, I now want to add the Azores to the list of islands that I would like to visit.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ayyaz
I found myself skipping parts already in the second chapter because I just could not get into it and found it very boring. I read A LOT, but I like the book to catch my interest within the first 2 chapters. I have found that if it doesn't and I keep reading to try and get into it, I end up wasting my time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kendra camplin
What a great story! This is a total departure from my usual crime stories. I got it because it was free but not so sure I would like it. I was totally surprised! Very easy read and so enjoyable. I felt like I was right there in the Azores! Makes me want to go there and check out the beauty for myself. Well worth reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bianca
Diana Marcum has written this wonderful story in a way that makes me want to fly to Tercier immediately and soak myself in the wonderful people and customs there. I loved all of it. Knowing some of the Portuguese people of the Central Valley of California even makes it more real in every way.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
talil
At first I didn't want to finish this book. I'm glad I did! As the Azoreans were introduced, it was obvious that these people were as colorful and interesting as you would ever hope to meet. Their concerns were as real as mine, even if we thought and did totally different things.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
krystal vanduysen
I read this book and really wanted to like / relate to It but it was too detailed for me. The historical sections seemed to take me off track on story one. I did appreciate the beautiful descriptions of landscape of islands, but this wasn't a book I couldn't put down for awhile.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
annette tang
As usual, I stumbled on this feast of emotions, well defined characters and beautifully described land.
what a wonderful stumble!
I think that anyone lucky enough to read this calm descriptive ? book could only thank their lucky stars for having done so. Lynn Porter
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
st expeditus
As a former reporter, I loved the way the adventure opens simply, as Diana Marcum begins a quest to explain a photograph of a man in modern California driving a team of oxen, gesturing with one hand and clutching a cell phone with the other. How often are our lives changed when we simply feed our curiosity and connect with the people we meet along the way?

Well done!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hadley seward
Office fans will catch the reference. Seriously though, I will be going to the Azores in 2020 because of this book. What a fabulous story. Well written and interesting. I can't wait to go inside a volcano myself. Thank you for introducing me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bhushan bapat
What a beautiful way to learn about the Azores! I thoroughly enjoyed Diana's journey to the islands of the Azores. Learning about the local customs and traditions through her eyes and experiences was a true treat. How wonderful that Murphy broke the ice in a variety of instances!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
peter metcalfe
While I lived in the Central Valley of California, I never knew of the connection with the Azores. I love this book and the author's willingness to step off the beaten path to get to know a different world and share it with her readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rodzilla
This book is a joy to read. Several times I caught myself laughing out loud. It’s a interesting story about an island culture and the people that live there: Their quirks and customs, and their stories.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
charlotte
Readable, but if you like to read nonfiction, this isn't the book for you.

Usually, quotation marks are for direct quotes. Not in this book. Here, the author's just fine with a brief "Conversations are from my memory..." in the fifth paragraph of the Author's Note.

And a thing that bothers me a LOT is that she puts words in the mouths of people who "...knew I was a writer" but "had no reason to believe I would write about *them*"

Sounds like it's done without their knowledge or consent.

So she made up names, she said, and invented some details, she said...and of course the quotations aren't real either.

But that's ok because "...this is not a work of journalism, exactly."

It was readable - and engaging - but it's fiction.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
anna pollins
I rarely write reviews & I always try to give every book I read a fair chance, but I gave up on this one after 3 chapters. The Azores sound fascinating, but this author can’t seem to find a decent narrative & I simply couldn’t get “into” it. Based on the other 1 star reviews I just read, I’m glad I didn’t waste anymore time trying. Wish I’d taken the time to read all the review first.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gayle brandeis
The book just took over my life and I didn’t want to put it down til I finished the last word. I found my self getting on google maps looking up the various places in this book. What an unexpected delight!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
chelsea cripps
I felt this book had so much potential. I was disappointed by writing structure, for example: He seemed sad. It dragged on and was an overall bore. It did not inspire me, in fact it was stultifyingly dull. But maybe that’s just me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
basil godevenos
I really enjoyed this adventure and felt like I was along for the ride. I lived in the Central Valley and even attended a bull fight in Stevenson... which I loved! It brought back many good memories for me of the community. The "theories" of life were quirky (in a very good way). We never know what life has for us around the corner. Here's to everything!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
natalie tynan
My grandfather was from the Azores but never went back after immigrating to the US. He did not speak about the islands much. This book gave me insights I had long for. Interesting, educational, and entertaining. Thank you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sara liliana
Many years ago, I met an Air Force couple who had been stationed in the Azores. I wish I had asked more questions about their experiences. This book painted such a beautiful portrait of the islands and the people who inhabit them - both full and part time - that I want to add the Azores to my bucket list.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rdbarrett
It was an interesting store of how people open there world to us though story of life in there county , it was great to under stand how there came ad made there life in this country ad still go back to old ways,
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
sewlyfluff
Interesting subject matter, but in telling her story the author inserts a lot of side commentary. I got the impression she wants to tell the reader what to feel. I think a good biographer lets the story tell itself.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kiran
I managed to get through this VERY boring story, it was inconsistent and hard to follow as the characters where all over the globe. The only thing I found interesting is the Azores Island and that is the beauty but where was the joy & Love?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ilana weinberg
I just finished reading “The Tenth Island” and found it a great read. I loved following this woman’s journey in life, it was real and relatable. I loved the warmth and quirkiness of the Azorian people.
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