Readers Recommend: The Prince of Tides and The Long And Faraway Gone

June 12, 2018 Book Recommendations 20

Readers Recommend


Welcome to the first ever installment of Readers Recommend, my new monthly feature where “regular readers” (i.e. readers who do not have their own book blogs) share their book recommendations! 

I recently surveyed my blog readers for the first time and one of the most surprising things I learned was that over 70% of you do not have your own book blogs. This means you are not book bloggers, but “regular readers”! That’s a large chunk of Sarah’s Book Shelves readers with fantastic book recommendations floating around in their heads and no place to share them. I’m thrilled to be able to mine all this brainpower for some great books! Prepare for your TBR to explode…

If you’d like to be featured in an upcoming “Readers Recommend” post, leave a note in the comments section or email me at

Let’s welcome our first guest…

Get to Know Dotty

  • Home: I am a native of Atlanta, GA and have lived in the Atlanta area for most of my life.  I did spend some time in Florida and Las Vegas, but eventually made my way back to Atlanta.
  • Career: I am a retired teacher. I taught Pre-Kindergarten for many years. I continue to do some volunteer work with young children.
  • Hobbies: Other than reading, my hobbies are playing the guitar, walking my dog, Daisy, and yoga. I am taking guitar lessons with the hope that I could one day play like Joni Mitchell, Ha Ha. Is spending time with my grandchildren a hobby? (Sarah: Yes!)
  • Favorite TV Show: My current favorite TV shows are The Crown and Life in Pieces. I loved Mad Men and still miss it.

Dotty Recommends…

An Old Love

Prince of TidesThe Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Fiction – Literary (Released 1986)
679 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon











My favorite author is Pat Conroy and The Prince of Tides is my favorite book. Conroy had me at the first two sentences of the novel. 

My wound is geography.  It is also my anchorage, my port of call.

The characters are complicated and tortured. Conroy’s language is intricate and beautiful.  It’s sad, but there are times when I laughed out loud.  This novel is southern literature at its finest. Give it a try. It’s worth it!

My Take:
Well, Dotty, you know the way to my heart! Pat Conroy is my favorite author too. Our only difference is The Lords of Discipline (my review) is my favorite of Conroy’s novels. I re-read The Prince of Tides (my review) a couple years ago and still loved it, but did think some portions were a bit overwritten (however, not that first line, which is a beauty!). But, I totally agree with you that Conroy is Southern literature at its finest!

A New Love

Long and Faraway GoneThe Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney
Fiction – Mystery (Released February 10, 2015)
467 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon











I recently read The Long And Far Away Gone by Lou Berney.  This book was a $2.99 pick from Book Bub. It is not the type of book that I usually read, but I read the sample and I just had to buy it.  It is a mystery, but it is also very character driven. I can’t tell you too much because I don”t want to give anything away.  The author won a number of awards, including the prestigious Edgar award, for this book. I just could not put it down! I recently read that Lou Berney has a new book coming out in October!

My Take:
I’d never heard of this one, but I admittedly don’t often read mysteries. But, this one does sound intriguing! Especially since it was compared to Laura Lippman (Sunburn) and Dennis Lehane (Since We Fell), the authors of two of the rare thrillers I’ve actually really liked!

A “Didn’t Love”

Whered You Go Bernadette Where Did You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Fiction – Brain Candy (Released August 14, 2012)
330 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon








Please forgive me, but I did not like Where Did You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.  In fact, I had to force myself to finish it. I know it is supposed to be sarcastic and funny, but I found it to be more sad than funny. Except for the daughter, the characters were not likable. For me, it was a short book that was too long! 

My Take:
We differ on this one. I loved Bernadette (my review) and did think it was sarcastic and funny. Light, but also had serious depth…a balance I always appreciate. 

What do you think of Dotty’s recommendations (or her “Didn’t Love”)?

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20 Responses to “Readers Recommend: The Prince of Tides and The Long And Faraway Gone”

  1. Lori H

    Dotty, thanks for the recommendation of The Long and Faraway Gone – I have put it on hold at our library. I agree with your review of Where’d You Go, Bernadette? It had so many great reviews that I looked forward to reading it. It is rare that I do not finish a book but I could not get through that one. To each his own, as with any recommendation. I have been an avid reader all of my life, Sarah, so I am really glad that I found your blog! (I am not a blogger of any type, but enjoy reading many)

  2. bermudaonion (Kathy)

    Dotty lives in my part of the country! I loved The Prince of Tides too. I also loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette but I experienced on audio and the narrator was spectacular. I haven’t picked up The Long and Faraway Gone.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I’ve heard such great things about the Bernadette audio…I read it.

  3. Kathryn

    Thanks Dotty, and Sarah, this will be fun! We’re all Conroy fans, and that’s enough for me to put Berney on my TBR list. As for Bernadette, I loved it, but maybe because I listened to it and the reader WAS Bernadette for me. It’s one of my top 10 listens. I’m going to look forward to your “Readers Recommend”. Currently reading Visible Empire, half way through, and loving it!

    • Dotty Gross

      Kathryn, I am looking forward to reading Visible Empire. I remember the plane crash at Orly. I was nine when it happened, and I can still remember the awful headlines in the Sunday paper that day. It was a very sad time for Atlanta. It will be interesting to read a novel the focuses on different people in Atlanta during that time.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      So glad you’re loving Visible Empire! And a fellow Conroy lover!!

  4. Jan

    Thanks Dotty and Sarah! I love that you both weigh in on the books. But I feel like my avid reader card is going to be revoked after admitting I’ve never read Pat Conroy. (I will have to fix that!).

    I also listened to Where’d You Go Bernadette and absolutely loved it – the narrator was fabulous. I’m adding the Berney book to my tbr.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Oh my gosh, Jan!!! Had I realized that, it would’ve been one of your personalized recommendations for sure!!

      But, you still need to try him 🙂

  5. Darlene @ lostinliterature

    Love this feature Sarah!

    And thank you Dotty for the recommendations. I adore The Prince of Tides but I cannot find a hard copy for my shelf to suit me. I read it on Kindle and listened on audible which was Uh-mazing!! But I want a copy for the shelf.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Thank you!

      And I tried to find a great hardcover for my new bookshelves recently and had such a hard time. I wish they’d updated with gorgeous, new editions when he died…

  6. Lauren

    Dotty sounds awesome, I really like this feature and getting to know more of your readers. I have never read Prince of Tides (sacrilege, I know, but darn those 600+ pages), but Lou Berney’s Long and Faraway Gone is also a favorite of mine and Lou is one of the nicest people you could ever know. He has a new one coming out in October!

  7. Gabby

    I am on Team Dotty here re Bernadette! It’s hard to be on the “not for me” side of a book everyone else loves, and I had the same issues with it.

  8. Debra LaTerza

    I was so excited to see “The Prince of Tides” in my inbox! It is my all-time favorite book, as well, and I rarely hear anyone talk about it. Maybe that’s because it is an older book. But, I was happy to see it. This is a funny story (I think): Oprah recommended this book to me, several years before she started her book club! I bought tickets to see Oprah here in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) when I first moved here from NJ. It must’ve been 1987 or 1988. It wasn’t a panel discussion – just Oprah, doing what she does best. Talking. Motivating. Without a single note card. It was interesting and I remember laughing and crying but the thing I remember the most is that she mentioned a book she had just finished. That’s right. The Prince of Tides. I bought it the next day and couldn’t put it down. that’s why I say Oprah recommended it to me! I also love the movie. Some of those scenes – driving across those bridges – are so incredibly beautiful. I have also liked mostly everything Conroy has written and was sad when he passed away at such a young age. “Beach Music” is my second favorite of his. I’m unfamiliar with “The Long and Faraway Gone” but since Dotty liked it, I’m putting it on my TBR list right now!

  9. Brittany

    I knew I was a fan of Dotty as soon as she said Life in Pieces was one of her favorite shows. And I’m totally agreed re: Bernadette. I did not enjoy that book all that much, though it did make me want to go to Antarctica.

    I may finally have to prioritize reading Conroy – y’all speak so highly of his work!

  10. Naomi

    I love this feature! I’m nosey about what other people read, whether I know them or not. And it’s always nice to get new ideas, or to be reminded of old ones!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Beach Music is up there for me too – and I’m due for a re-read!

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