I've spent last nine days with my mom at the hospital at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. I will undoubtedly be spending the next days, weeks, months helping my mom and dad at their home.
I'm still reading. I'm still blogging. I'm here. Be patient with me.
While I have these hours today, while my aunt is here helping out today, let me catch up on the reviews of the books I've read:
Bialosky uses the diaries and letters of her younger sister, Kim, to tell the story of Kim's life and death. Kim was only twenty-one when she fought with her boyfriend and chose to kill herself. Bialosky has reflected on the events for twenty years before writing this book, a story that includes little poems and reflections from Kim's writings and little stories from the author's own life. It's a poignant memoir.
Elizabeth Berg, your first half-dozen books were keepers for me; I could read lines from these books over and over again and they would make me cry and laugh at the same time, every time. Not so your last three novels. (I feel terribly sad telling you this. Yet I feel I must tell you this.)
You start with a promising premise: A man and woman marry, both feeling great misgivings about the wedding, and later divorce. But it never felt like you loved these characters like I felt you loved your characters in past books. And that's what I thought was missing from the last few books.
I probably will continue to try your novels, but if it continues to feel like you are just going through the motions, I probably won't finish them. (Please know that I write this painful review only because I loved your first books so much.) Honestly, the design of the cover is the best part of this book.
This is a zinger of a novel. (And why, why, why, I ask, am I reading this novel at this time? So mysterious.) No one is looking after Mom and, after a while, Mom just wanders off. Her family doesn't even realize she is missing until she has been lost for some time.
And where does she go? No one knows for sure, but her family sees her, or what they think is her, everywhere.
Told alternately from the point-of-view of the various family members, this is a powerful story. I think I would love it even if I wasn't trying harder than I've ever tried in my life to Look After Mom myself.
Do they get any sadder than this story? It's the story of a family, trying to survive in the wilds of 1870 Texas while the head-of-the-household is off herding cattle, who takes up with an old ugly mutt. The older son, Travis, is trying to protect his mother and little brother from wild bulls and boar coons and bears and sickness and hunger. In the process the family comes to love an old good-for-nothing dog. (And you know what happens....I'm not giving anything away, right?) The death of Old Yeller has to be one of the most painful scenes in childhood literature.
A young girl and her dad---an elementary school librarian---decide to make a vow to read together every night. And they do so, extending the original promise from 100 nights in a row to just seeing how long "The Streak" could last. Amazingly, the girl and her dad ended up reading 3,218 nights in a row, until the girl went off to college.
Alice Ozma (Do you see how much reading impacted these lives? Even our author's name!) tells the story of the reading adventures she and her dad shared for all those years in a lovely story of the power of sharing books.
Peter Webster is an EMT. One night, he runs across a drunk driver who has smashed her car into a tree. Webster finds himself drawn to this woman and he begins to visit her and help her. Before he knows it, he has a child with her and marries her. The woman, Sheila, soon abandons her husband and young daughter.
Fast forward to present day and we find Webster trying to deal with his teenage daughter, now deeply troubled. Webster reconnect with Sheila in an attempt to save his daughter.
You know what you get with Anita Shreve. She will not let you down with this book.
Photo Op: 52 Inspirational Projects for the Adventurous Image-Maker by Kevin Meredith
Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters' Guide to Shooting from the Heart
Though I've signed up for one and attempted to sign up for another, I haven't actually attended a photography class yet. It will happen one of these days. In the meantime, I'll focus on reading wonderful photography books like the two I've read in the last few weeks. These books are filled with great ideas for great picture taking; I probably could just skip the photography class and try out ideas from these books.
And that's it for the reviews. I could certainly use some light reading at this time in my life. I'd love to hear your suggestions.
And don't forget about
my June Giveaway here at Readerbuzz...
Anna and the French Kiss!