Late November Reading
I've done a lot of reading this month, most of which titles came from my recommendations at Amazon.com. I don't buy the books from them for the most part, mind you, but rather I get on the waiting list at the library and go to pick them up. Getting on the waiting list is done through the computer from home or work. One of the women who calls to tell me my book is in leaves a voice mail that says, "This is the Abington Liberry calling." She sounds so proud to be working at a real liberry. I've become fond of her and of her messages..
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Digging to America by Anne Tyler was mildly disappointing. It is one of that currently popular genre of a Middle Eastern person trying to settle in to American culture. In addition to the Middle Easterners, there are a couple of Korean adoptees. The one American woman is so overbearing and opinionated and always right; you just want to walk away from her. I'm not totally sure why I finished reading it. There wasn't one really likeable character in the book, and the turns of the plot were relatively predictable. I'd give it a C+.
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Halfway House by Katherine Noel was better. It's a story about how the various members of a family cope -- independent of each other -- when the daughter has a mental breakdown. I didn't like the mother one bit and the father only a little bit. The best part of the book for me was the insight into what it might be like to have a child dealing with serious mental illness, which is the case for one of my good friends right now. Halfway House gets a B.
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Lisa Tucker's Once Upon a Day was downright insulting in its lack of credibility. The gist of it is that a very wealthy and famous man kidnaps his two children and raises them in isolation on a vast ranch in the southwest, keeping them away from their mother and everyone else. Eventually the boy makes a break and when the father becomes ill, the girl, now in her 20s, heads on out to St. Louis to find her brother. Dressed in 50's style clothing and with plenty of money she's taken from the rich father, she takes up with a taxi driver who has just lost his beloved. Together they heal, blah blah blah. Give me a break. I'd give it a C-.
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You're Not You by Michelle Wildgen is excellent. Certainly worth an A- and maybe even an A. A young woman, ambivalent about her college courses, and otherwise normal and relatively healthy emotionally take s a job as a caregiver for a woman with Lou Gehrig disease. Bec is likeable and credible; Kate, the beautiful, tasteful, and rich patient is less credible but also likeable. It was fascinating to read how as Bec's caregiving, of necessity, becomes more and more intimate, the line between her self and Kate's self becomes fuzzy. Beautifully written and engrossing. Give it a try!