Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

6 Summer Reads

On vacation and in between vacations (well, I guess the whole summer's really vacation, but I mean vacation, vacation, like actually leaving home vacation) I got busy and did a bunch of reading. Only one of the books on this list is a YA book That book is the first on my list: Deadline (audio) by Chris Crutcher. Chris Crutcher is one of my favorite YA authors. He writes about tough experiences, and bases a lot of his writing on the work he does as a therapist for adolescents. His work, including this one, is always thoughtful and though provoking. Many of his books have been challenged because people thought they dealt with topics too mature for kids. I think this one is a little advanced for middle school both topically i na few spots and philosophically, but it is great writing and would be perfect for high schoolers.

Deadline focuses on Ben Wolf who discovers, just at the beginning of his senior year, that he has terminal cancer. his parents don't know, and since he's 18, he can decide whether to tell them or not. He decides not to. He's trying to save his family from pain. As a grown up I can see how that's never going to work, but I admire his idea of protecting the people he loves. The book is a roller coaster of emotion and has really funny parts, and really sad parts, as you can imagine. I, of course, was bawling near hte end, and if you're home reading where no one can see you, it's one thing, but if oyu're sitting in your car listening to a story while everyone in the parking lot can see you crying your eyes out, you get some looks, let me tell you!

I'll just give you a quick blurb of the adult books:

**Whistling in the Dark - Kagen I read this for my reading group. It was OK, but not great. It just never really grabbed me.
**Seven Wonders - John C. Ryan This was a fabulous quick read of seven inventions we have that if more people started using them could probably save our planet! Some of the things are (1) the laundry line (instead of the dryer), (2) the library (instead of buying new books all the time - that's a lot of paper!), (3) the bicycle (instead of cars)
**The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Bauby Incredible story (now a movie) of a very successful man in his early 40s who suffers a massive stroke and is imprisoned inside a non-functional body with a completely sharp mind. He dictated this story through eye blinks! Amazing and utterly distressing.
**Water for Elephants - Gruen I loved this story about life in a circus in the post-Depression era. It was fascinating. Great photos to accompany the text.
**Thunderstruck (audio) - Erik Larson We'd already listened to another of this author's novels (Devil in the White City) which we enjoyed, so we thought we'd give this one a try. Interestingly, he followed nearly the same format. Two separate stories that after a LOOOONG time, come together. This one, too, had a mystery as one storyline, and the other storyline was that of Marconi, the inventor of wireless communication. Imagine if he could see what "wireless" means now! A little too much of the Marconi for me, but it was enjoyable, nevertheless. The reader could have been better. His voice as a little too soothing, and I kept falling asleep. Luckily, I wasn't driving!

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