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

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Schroder by Amity Gaige


Eric Schroder is from Germany. He lives in Dorchester, MA with his father. Since he is from a different country, he feels that he does not fit in. He finds a pamphlet for a summer camp and applies, using the name Eric Kennedy, hoping that the name helps him fit in more. From that point in his life, he uses that name.

He attends college and falls in love with a woman, mostly referred to as "You". They have a child, Meadow. He never goes back to using his correct name.

The marriage falls apart and Eric gets visitation with his daughter and takes a long trip to Vermont, New Hampshire and maybe a run to Canada.

The book is really about Eric learning to know who he himself is. His love for his wife and daughter are really just lackadaisical attempts at knowing about himself.

Saturday, June 1, 2019


Jojo is a young boy who is essentially raising his younger sister, Michaela/Kayla, with the help of his grandfather Pop. His Mam (grandmother) has been stricken with cancer. His mother, Leonie, is so encompassed with her passion for Michael (the children's father). Michael is in Parchman Center (prison). This family suffered the loss of Given, Leonie's brother, at a young age.

Leonie doesn't really have the means to be a mother, her own needs will always come first. Michael and drugs are her priorities.

There are ghosts in this story who are looking for a way to leave this earth. Song seems the best way to get them where they should be.

This novel is so beautifully worded. The language draws you completely in.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Troop by Nick Cutter


Scoutmaster Tim Riggs has taken his troop to Falstaff Island for their annual wilderness camping trip. The five boys all trust and respect their Scoutmaster and are hoping to have a grand time. A gentleman comes onto the island and he is paper-thin and starving, always hungry. Tim gets the boys to keep to the cabin and attempts to take care of the man.

That is when the danger starts. The man is full of worms that have taken over his whole body. The worms attach themselves to Tim and the contagion begins.

This novel was well written and snags your attention. The boys are pure boys and you feel their distress as they watch each other become people that they didn't know.

The book is a bit gory in parts, but I think it was essential for feeling the devastation that the boys were experiencing.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

In The Shadow of Wolves by Alvydas Slepikas


What a sad part of history that you had women and children from Germany who were left all alone and starving. The women and the children were taking treks into Lithuania to scavenge for food for themselves and their families. They travel through absolute wilderness to find any way of acquiring food. They live in abandoned sheds, barns, etc,  because their homes were taken by others.

While the history of this is terrible, I found this novel to be so disjointed in the telling of that story. We keep being introduced to characters that don't get blended and we are at a loss sometimes to remember who is who. This really could have flowed better, with more substance given to the characters and their connections.

This book was sent to me by OneWorld for as an ARC for early review through the Early Review group.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Ten Days In A Mad-House by Nellie Bly


Nellie Bly is a reporter and has been asked to do a story on the women's Insane Asylum on Bellevue Island in New York. She prepares herself to appear and seem crazy. When she enters the institution, it is dirty and the food is really bad, the treatment of patients is bad.

She is released after a ten-day period, but leaves behind women that were going to be in the Asylum for the rest of their lives. Some of those women were not crazy, and Nellie understood that.

Good essay on the bad things that can happen to good people.

Nellie Bly - Wikipedia

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Bear by Claire Cameron


Anna, her mom, dad and brother Alex (Stick) are camping. Anna and her brother are in the tent to go to sleep. Anna hears her parents talking, but suddenly her mother screams, which is very unlike her mom. Next, dad comes and puts her and her brother in a large Coleman locker, but shuts it with a secure way of getting it open.
Anna hears noises that aren't quite right. She feels a big black dog sniffing at the opening of the cooler. When that sniffing stops, she gets her brother out of the cooler and finds her mother. Mom tells her to get her brother into the canoe and go for a ride and that she and dad will meet up with them.
What has actually happened is awful. And keep in mind that Anna is only 5 years old and Stick is only 2. Anna gets them in the canoe and from there scary things happen.
This is written in the wording of a 5 year old taking on the wilderness, taking care of herself and her brother.

This was a very unique concept. You feel so helpless reading this little girl's thoughts, trying to remember that she is as young as she is.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Nicotine by Nell Zink


Psychedelic misfits. I really had a hard time understanding these characters. Maybe it is because I am from a different generation. Could not understand people who seem to have nothing to do but squat in empty homes for causes that I couldn't understand. It seemed to me that the individuals certainly seemed to have enough money for doing things, just not paying rent.

The writing was intense, with much verbiage of a political tone. I just think I am not all that politically knowledgeable, so it didn't fit in my little world.