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The Tenth Island: Finding Joy, Beauty, and Unexpected Love in the Azores

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  454 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews

From a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer comes an exuberant memoir of personal loss and longing, and finding connection on the remote Azorean islands of the Atlantic Ocean.

Reporter Diana Marcum is in crisis. A long-buried personal sadness is enfolding her—and her career is stalled—when she stumbles upon an unusual group of immigrants living in rural California. She follows t

Kindle Edition, 225 pages
Expected publication: August 1st 2018 by Little A
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  • The Tenth Island by Diana Marcum
    The Tenth Island: Finding Joy, Beauty, and Unexpected Love in the Azores
    Release date: Aug 01, 2018
    From a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer comes an exuberant memoir of personal loss and longing, and finding connection on the remote Azorean Islands of t ...more

    Format: Kindle book

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    Availability: 100 copies available, 729 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jul 04 - Jul 31, 2018

    Countries available: US

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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30)
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    Goth Gone Grey
    I enjoy biographies and learning about other places - traveling without ever leaving my couch. This semi-fiction, semi-autobiographical book seemed a great choice for this month's First Reads selection.

    The book is filled with her experiences, but more with her longing for more. More peace, more romance, more beauty, more.. Saudade. The indescribable longing for something that you're not sure of, whether it be happy or sad, that's just out of reach with your fingers, and slipped away from your to
    The author is a journalist, she is in a slump with nothing going right - no permanent job, no love life and no fulfilment. Through her work she meets some of the many emigrants from the Azores who make an annual pilgrimage back to their homes. She decides to visit this set of islands firstly for a couple of weeks, then a few months and years later for a year.
    Not surprising she finds happiness in the simple, community-based life style. She writes well, always with the respect of a visitor who is
    Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This was neither a travelogue, nor a history book, nor a "lost my shit and found love in a foreign land" book. And I'm good with that.

    I was initially concerned that I was reading another version of Eat Pray Love (based on the notes on Amazon) but found that the author was less a lost soul and more of a searching one.

    The Azores sound so beautiful and welcoming, and the format of each chapter almost as a short story was very effective. The Murphy stories in particular were very entertaining.

    I rarely give 5-star reviews, but this beautiful—and beautifully written—memoir most definitely deserves one. Kudos to journalist Diana Marcum for combining the depth and breadth of excellent reporting with the singsongy lyricism of a veteran novelist. I enjoyed every word and have added the Azores to my travel bucket list.
    Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing

    As a collector of words, saudade, loosely and inadequately translated to heartfelt longing, spoke to my soul, as did this entire novel.

    A newspaper reporter explores the lives and stories of Portuguese emigrants and immigrants between the Azores islands and Central Valley, California. Told with a mixture of wistful saudade, humor and descriptive personal experiences, Marcum allows you to travel vicariously to these beautiful islands. I've added a new destination to the top of my bucket li
    Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Jul 17, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
    Kindle First Reads - July 2018
    Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Lovely book, part autobiographical and part fiction, an ode to the Azores, 9 islands off the coast of Portugal. The Tenth Island is carried in the mind of an Azorean drawing him back to his ancestral home no matter how far or for how long he has been gone. I learned there are 3 North American places with the most Azorean immigrants: California's Central Valley (where the author first encountered them), Boston and Toronto, and where these immigrants share much in common including a feeling of sau ...more
    Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
    Rather odd

    None of the other Kindle first books for July appealed, so I defaulted to what I thought would be a charming travelogue about the Azores. This book did not turn out be what I had expected. I think I learned more about California than the Azores. I was reminded of how different the USA is to the UK and that we are divided by a common language. The narrative was rather introspective and very autobiographical and I had trouble being into the book because I kept wondering why I should be
    Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    I once lived in the Acores.

    When I say the cover of this book I knew where the picture was taken. I lived there. I was a Military wife at Lakes Field. I too fell in love with this mystical place. The people are amazing. I spent 2 years there (December 1992-Feb-1995). An adventure I will hold in my heart forever. Your book brought back so many memories, and yes once you have been chased by a bull in the streets,you never forget it. I lived in Bel Jarden. Then a year later move on base. I still use
    Jennifer Barber
    Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Great book!

    I got this book for free as part of my Amazon Prime subscription. This is actually the first month I realized that Prime members get to choose a free book from a short list each month. I picked a great book on the first try! I found this book really fascinating because my family comes from Sao Jorge in the Azores and some migrated to the Central Valley in California which are both major themes in the book. I loved the first hand descriptions of the islands and the amazing people there
    Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: literary-fun
    This was a fast read. There is no plot, rather a voyage of self discovery, with vignettes from two geographically different, yet connected places and people. The experiences are from real life and are gentle, filled with humour, and are relatable.

    I found this to be an excelelnt summer read.

    As someone who has driven up and down the Central Valley, faced the drought, fire, and water crises in California, and also traveled across the Atlantic in search of Whatever, I enjoyed reading someone else'
    Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I was in the Azores solo last month and planned to take family there again in July so I was pleasantly surprised to see this book come up in the Kindle First selection. It gives a great overview of Portuguese culture in general, as well as for the Islands. I also enjoyed her different theories/perspectives about life which I found interesting, relevant, and applicable. Worthwhile for anyone whether you intend to head to the Azores or not.
    Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I'm the grandchild of Portuguese immigrants from the Azores, so this was a charming read for me. She captured saudade well. I appreciated that this was partially a travel memoir, but didn't feel like just another self-exploration tale in the string of post Eat, Pray, Love novels. The author's personal experiences and specific appreciation for Portuguese culture enhanced her ability to tell stories of the Azores alongside her own.
    Joel Robbins
    Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it

    Marcum makes the reader fall in love with the Azores, their people and traditions. In the middle of the book I stopped reading and surfed for flight/hotel packages for the islands. I dreamed over Google images of the different land- and seascapes. I finished the book and now hope I get to experience what Marcum described some day.
    Shirlee Croson
    Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Unexpected Joy, Beauty & Awe of the Azores and Their People

    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.
    Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: memoir, travel
    I really enjoyed this book. The author does a great job of weaving in her personal story, with the stories of the Azores, primarily on the islands, but also their experiences in the US. The themes about migration in the book were also interesting to think of in today's context. Her writing style is engaging and funny; I highly recommend to those who like travel and memoir.
    Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Fictionalised autobiography, that is confusingly laid out in terms of times, locations and names. It is a shame that is is somewhat inconsistent, because it could have been very good - needs a good editor
    Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Surprisinly enjoyable.

    I got this book because it seemed the best of available options. But it turned out to be a very enjoyable read. Not a page burner but quite interesting. And I learned a lot! Would and do definitely recommend it.
    Nancy Phy
    Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing

    This is a wonderful story and I love the characters. It makes me want to go explore the islands and meet the people. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys learning about other cultures.
    Philip Davies
    Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Very much enjoyed this gentle book. Too me back to my own visits to the Azores in the mid-nineties. Captures the culture extremely well, the author's heart is certainly in the writing. If you intend to visit the Azores, or have been there, then I really have to recommend you read this.

    Sally Parcels
    Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Best travelogue ever.l

    Diana captures the beauty, mood, soul and body of the Azores and the people who live there and the emigrants who come back.
    It makes me hope that there is still a place where the people interact sans the internet.
    Betsy Hensley Smothers
    Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
    An easy read. I felt like I too was a friend with each character.

    I enjoyed the narrative biography of Ms. Marcum. The description of the places visited were vividly described. I'd like to visit the Azores one day.
    Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    This was a great summer read.

    I liked Diana's writing style very much. Particularly enjoyed the people development that she did, as it makes the characters very familiar feeling -knowable and likable!
    Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Thank Diana

    I very much enjoyed this book.
    My father's side of the family is from the Azores.
    They ended up in Hawaii in 1880, working in the sugar industry.
    Thanks for including part of the history of the Azores islands.
    Ginger D
    Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Finally home

    Really interesting story. Makes me sorry I’m not from there somehow. I am going to travel there someday, and hope it is close to the same atmosphere as in this book.
    Deana Cleason
    Jul 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
    Couldn’t finish! That is rare for me.
    miss s l johnson
    Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Loved it

    Now I want to go to the Azores, this book gives you a real feel for the beauty of the land and the warmth of the people
    Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I really enjoyed reading this book written by a journalist that traveled from California to Azores Islands and falls in love with the culture and people there.
    Nanci A. Mahenski-Quick
    Not what I expected

    The book could have been so much more but she rambles. She jumped around with stories and experiences, made it hard to follow
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    “There is a Portuguese word, saudade, that they say has no translation. It’s bigger than homesickness or missing someone. It’s a yearning that can be expressed in no other language. It is, as one Azorean friend puts it, “a strictly Portuguese word.” 1 likes
    “Home—it seemed like a fragile idea to me. Is it where we’re from or where we are?” 0 likes
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