Great Philosophy

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."-Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The Interestings

The Interestings are a group of 6 teenagers who are attending Spirit-In-The-Woods art camp in New York. Jules (Julie), Ash, Goodman, Ethan, Jonah & Cathy, all fledgling artists of sort. They all come from different backgrounds with artistic endeavors.
Ethan and Jules try to make a relationship work, although that doesn't work out. Cathy & Goodman form a bond. Eventually Ash and Ethan become a couple
The summers end and each goes their own way. Ethan and Ash end up getting married. Jules becomes a counselor and marries. Jules and Ash stay best friends throughout.
They share marriages, bad times, children, etc. Their worlds become a little divided, as Ethan becomes very famous in his career.

The story is compelling as we watch kids who thought that their artistry would carry them far. The story is well drawn with many underlying twists that keep you wanting more.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You

This is a most compelling read about lives that will definitely make you think about how you are raising your children and trying to change them and live your life through them. The whole novel is all about secrets and things that didn't turn out right for some and how this married couple put all of their hopes and dreams into their daughter, never really letting her be who she was.
In so doing, there were two other children that never felt the ability to reach their goals, or to even want to reach them. Everyone's lives centered around Lydia and, technically, everything that her mother was not able to attain in her own life.
 The father also put those burdens on his daughter, as he was Oriental, thinking that people always looked down upon him because of his race. Therefore, with his daughter being half-Oriental, he was always trying to teach her to be a sociable, friendly person, to no avail.
This is a really compelling, sad look at a family that was so dysfunctional, yet not the kind of dysfunction that that term presently incurs.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy by Wendy Leigh


While these letters between Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy are tentatively not real, you start to read them and are swept into them. I have much admiration for both of these women, they were both in love with the same man, and with so much research done in writing this, kudos to Wendy Leigh for creating what seem like real letters to each other.  

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn


This book has you guessing the whole way through about the murders that took place in the Day home 20 years ago.
Libby is the sole survivor, besides her brother, Ben, of a murder that took her mother and two sisters 20 years ago. Her brother, Ben, was jailed for the murders and little Libby, at 7 years old, was one of the reasons for his conviction. 
Libby has lived with her aunt Diane, as a little girl, then has been on her own, living off the "fame" of being the one who survived. That money is coming to an end and she is contacted by a group of people who are convinced that Ben did not commit the acts.
They agree to pay her to go talk to some of the people who were involved with the family in the past, including her father, Ben's girlfriend, Diondra, his friend Trey, etc.
Gillian Flynn leaves you guessing right up until the last chapters about the real happenings that night and it is scary to read.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins


Rachel is one complete mess. Her ex-husband is remarried with a little girl. Rachel has become an alcoholic with no job. She rides the train that takes her past her ex-husbands house every day. She observes the neighborhood and makes stories about other people's lives, like the couple that live two houses down from her ex-husband. 

She creates a world in her head about these people. She continually bothers Scott, her ex, about problems, usually in a drunken state.

One of the couples that Rachel has watched from the train seems to have run into some trouble. Then it is found that the female of the couple is found killed under the underpass of the train.

The story is told from the view-point of three females, Rachel, Anna (her ex-husbands new wife, and Megan, the woman living two houses down.)

The book leaves you guessing about many things until the end. 

I liked the book, just probably wouldn't consider it one of the best books I have ever read.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

This was a very nice romance that doesn't fall into the normal romantic genre. Louisa Clark is a very individualistic young lady who lives in a very small world. She can count how many steps it takes her to get from her job at the local cafe to her home, where she lives with her parents, grandfather, sister and her sisters young son.
Her world kind of falls apart when the cafe is closing and she has to apply for another job with an agency that really has nothing too good to offer. The only position that appeals to her at all is the one of a care-giver for William Traynor, who has become a quadripalegic after an accident.

Her main job is to keep Will occupied and maybe bring his spirits up. Will was a very rich, very active man and this accident has really taken his whole life from him.

Louisa is dating a man, Patrick, who has become obsessed with training and running and that leaves Louisa out a little.
Louisa is a very individualistic person with her outlook and her attire. She dresses colorfully and has a very upbeat manner, which hits Will the wrong way at first.
They slowly become friends and Louisa is avidly trying to find things for Will to do that are more adventurous.

This is a very good modern romance. Not a normal romance, as it is between two people that have lead very different lives and with him being handicapped.

The characters are very well-defined and you are very taken with both of them and the way they feel about things.

Me Before You

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Winterfrost by Michelle Houts

 Winterfrost by Michelle Houts

 This book was provided to me by LibraryThing for review.

Bettina Larsen and her baby sister, Pia, are alone in their home because their parents are away visiting. It is up to Bettina to take care of Pia and maintain the chores in the house and in the barn. It is just after Christmas, the first Christmas without Farfar.
Farfar was always talking to Bettina about nisse. Nisse are creatures who help people take care of homes and barns and yards. In all of the hubbub about family at the past Christmas, Bettina had forgotten to leave the oats in the barn for their nisse.
Klakke is the nisse in the barn. He was a little upset with Bettina and as Bettina puts Pia outside one morning to take a nap, he takes Pia away.
Bettina is devastated, not really knowing what has happened to Pia. She is unaware of the nisse in the barn.
Bettina goes on an adventure to find her baby sister and we learn of the nisse traditions and creatures.

This was well-written and takes you back to fairy tale stories of youth.