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What Are We Reading? October 1, 2014


What books have we read? What music have we checked out or downloaded? What have we watched?

  • Libby: “(Re)Watching on DVD: Moneyball and Trouble with the Curve, my personal solace for the Red Sox being in last place.”
  • Nancy W.: “I’m currently reading The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee“.
  • Laura: “I’m currently reading Soldier Girls by Helen Thorpe, a non-fiction narrative about three women in the National Guard who were deployed to both Afghanistan an Iraq. It really touches on what it’s like to be female in the military as well as both the horror and boredom associated with deployment, and the feeling of not quite fitting in upon arriving home. This is a great read for anyone interested in gender studies, the military, or who wants a better understanding of what’s going on in the world. I’ve also recently read the intense and exceptionally detailed memoir/graphic novel Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Going from the sublime to the ridiculous, I read the parody graphic novels, Darth Vader and Son and Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown, which imagines an alternate universe in which Darth Vader raises Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. The results are both funny and heartwarming.”
  • Janice: Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion by Derek Hough. “Those who are DWTS fans (or Dancing With the Stars, for the uninitiated) will recognize Derek Hough as one of the series’ favorite pro dancers. His new book takes us from his first dance lessons at age 11 through his years in England, where he was mentored by the parents of fellow pro Mark Ballas. This book is actually a very inspirational and uplifting guide to getting the most out of your own talents and learning from your challenges.”
  • Paula: “I recently finished 50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple’s Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany by Steven Pressman. Eleanor and Gilbert Kraus from Philadelphia set in motion a very dangerous plan to travel inside Nazi Germany, rescue 50 Jewish children and travel back with them to the United States. This is an amazing story!”
  • Maureen:
    • “Just finished listening to The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (digital download). This amazing story takes place in Nazi Germany late 1930s-1940s. Liesel Meminger is living in a foster home where her foster father teaches her to read and opens a wonderful world to her despite the extremely meager existence they are experiencing. Death is the Narrator and it is mesmerizing, Liesel “steals” her books from the Mayor’s wife, who turns a blind eye to the stealing even leaving particular books for Liesel. Liesel reads these books to herself,her family,a Jewish boy,(they are hiding in the basement) and to neighbors when sharing the time together in the bomb shelter. Through her experiences Liesel comes to know the true meaning of what makes us all family. A truly wonderful story, one that will stay with you for a long time.”
    • “Currently reading Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof. A quirky cast of characters makes this debut novel a true delight. A small college town inhabited by some really quirky characters where a small orphan boy, Henry, drops into their midst and changes their lives. It beautifully written with some humorous as well as somber moments.”
    • “Just finished reading Vertigo 42 by Martha Grimes. The latest Richard Jury mystery,( your typical English Pub mystery) involving 2 past murders and 2 present murders that seem to be connected. It is up to Jury and his zany friends to once again put the puzzles pieces together and solve the mysteries.”
    • North of Boston by Elisabeth Elo is another debut novel set in and around Boston filled with mystery and intrique. It starts out as a murder mystery and turns into something much more sinister and compelling. The main character is Pirio Kasparov, a Boston-bred confident woman of Russian descent who doesn’t shy away from confrontation. She is sharp witted and gutsy determined to find the truth and risk her life in the process. A great read and my thanks to Pat O. for the recommendation!”
  • Louise: “Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects is aptly named. Camille Preaker works for a second rate newspaper in Chicago. Hoping to boost her lackluster career, she reluctantly accepts an assignment in the town where she was raised. Camille has to try and investigate a series of brutal murders. She also has to try and stay sane while staying in her mother’s outwardly perfect, inwardly tension filled home. This novel will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.” Louise is also currently listening to The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff.
  • Virginia:
    • “If it’s September it must be time for the new Jack Reacher thriller from Lee Child. This one is called Personal. It is a quick & fairly satisfying read as Jack hunts down an assassin in London for the U.S. Army. Despite the well-honed suspense & sudden bursts of violence, the recent books are no longer edge-of-your-seat, can’t-put-it-down stories like the author’s earlier thrillers. A fun read anyhow.”
    • Fatal Conceit by Robert K. Tanenbaum. Over the years I’ve read many of this author’s continuing series about ‘Butch Karp, N.Y. District Attorney’. I’ve always enjoyed the twists & turns and the memorable characters. But this time? Not so much. I was really disappointed to find that this conservative author has gone off the political deep end with his hatred of the Left & the Obama administration. The thriller is spoiled with some despicable characters representing the whole Democratic party. So sad to see this series ruined by the writer’s politics.”
    • The Price of Silence : a Mom’s Perspective on Mental Illness by Liza Long (non-fiction). One in every five American children will suffer from some sort of mental illness during childhood. Long tells the true story of her son as they battle to get an accurate diagnosis & appropriate treatment for the boy’s condition. The book covers many aspects of childhood mental disorders including the stigma & self-stigma visited on mothers, to blame them for their child’s disorder. Insurance companies do everything they can to avoid helping the situation until many parents are forced to turn their children over to the state so they will qualify for affordable care.. It is a sad reality in this well-written & researched book.”
    • “I also enjoyed reading two YA comics. Yes, it’s true, I am a comic book fan. I read Nightwing : Old Friends, New Enemies about the career of Batman’s sidekick Robin after he got too old to continue as a juvenile action hero. I also read Guardians of the Galaxy as the costumed heroes encounter new universes & a slew of super villains. The Young Adult area has a fine collection of Marvel & DC trade paperback comic books & I really enjoy them.”

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