Monday, June 29, 2015

Music Monday - "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys (1966)


I have always loved the Beach Boys.   They are second only to the Beatles in my list of musical favorites.  I change my mind from time to time about my favorite of their songs, but I keep coming back to "God Only Knows."  This is such a beautiful song, written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher, and featured on the album Pet Sounds.  The lyrics and harmonies are beautiful.  The song begins:


"I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I'll make you so sure about it
God only knows what I'd be without you"

I also  love the instrumentation, which includes French horns, violins, cellos, and even accordions.

This song was featured in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy.  I saw the movie this weekend, and if you love retro music and the Beach Boys, it is a must see!  I think it may be my all-time favorite musical biopic (and this is a genre I love).  It is beautifully written, with strong performances from Paul Dano, John Cusack, and Elizabeth Banks.  The way that love brings Brian Wilson back to his life, and ultimately saves him after a breakdown, is both moving and uplifting.  I've included the trailer from the movie for you:

Do you love the Beach Boys? Have you seen Love & Mercy? I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Book Review - Beyond the Ashes by Karen Barnett



Head back to 20th-century San Francisco as the city rises from the ashes of the 1906 earthquake and Ruby and Gerald face their fears in book two, Beyond the Ashes, of Karen Barnett’s The Golden Gate Chronicles series. Ruby and Gerald’s fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they’re striving to cure. Together they must ask—is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

Where better to rebuild and face one’s fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes?
Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she’ll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn’t anticipate finding new love.

Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he’d always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert’s widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed.

Ruby and Gerald’s fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they’re striving to cure. Together they must ask—is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

My Review

This novel is set in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquakeThe historical setting of this book interested me.  California history from the late 1800's on is one of the settings I always enjoy.  The historical details in this book were well researched and fascinating to read.

This book is the second in a series (The Golden Gate Chronicles).  I have not read the other books in the series, but this novel worked well as a standalone.

Ruby is a strong, likable protagonist.  I enjoyed seeing her romance with Gerald blossom slowly as she learned to love and trust again.

As a lifelong dachshund person, I also loved the scenes that involved Ruby's dachshund!

This is a heartwarming and inspiring story, and it would make a great Hallmark movie.   I highly recommend this book for readers who enjoy a historical novel told with warmth, great characterizations, and a compelling story.

Karen Barnett

More About Karen Barnett

Karen Barnett is the author of “Beyond the Ashes,” “Out of the Ruins,” and “Mistaken.” Named the 2013 Writer of Promise by Oregon Christian Writers, Karen lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband and two kids. When she’s not writing novels, she loves speaking at women’s events, libraries, and book clubs.

Find out more about Karen at http://karenbarnettbooks.com.


I received a copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.