Saturday, February 27, 2016

Review: Interpreter of Maladies

Interpreter of Maladies Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars
Unique collection of short stories highlighting the Indian/American immigrant experience.
Writing was stellar.
But as with most short story collections, I liked some more than others, the last, featuring Mrs. Croft, was the best.
I would certainly read more by this author.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review: Book

Book Book by David W. Miles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A BEAUTIFUL picture book about the power of...books. They do not have a switch, or batteries, or a password, and always work. The illustrations are stunning and whimsical.
A must read for parents with toddlers/preschoolers or anyone (like me!) who loves the power of opening the cover of a book!

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Review: When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the most beautiful, tragic, inspiring books I've ever read.
Part memoir, part treatise on living and dying, part love letter to his career, wife, daughter, family and friends, part scripture.
How could a man with so much potential and talent be taken at such a young age? Sadness for not only his family and colleagues, but for all those who will not benefit from his immense medical expertise.
A required book for all those who will live and die.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Review: Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

Great characters: Shoe Poet (Heinz), Blind Girl (Ingrid), The Prussian (Florian), The Wandering Boy (Klaus), the Nurse (Joana), among others -- some I felt more attached to than others.
The story was excruciatingly sad -- the exodus of all walks of life from the advancing Russian army to a port where ships held hope for rescue and survival. When in fact, over 9000 would perish, mostly children, on a torpedoed ship.
I had a hard time separating my Hollywood/Titanic movie visions from the Wilhelm Gustloff tragedy: separated love interests floating in freezing water. Lots of frozen, dead passengers. Queue music.
I love WWII-themed novels/books.
Expectations: I expected to LOVE this book. I liked it... a lot...but not love.

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Review: Beautiful Affliction

Beautiful Affliction Beautiful Affliction by Lene Fogelberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1 in every 100 babies is born with a congenital heart defect. It's also one of the most deadly - 15% won't live to see their 18th birthday. Lene Fogelberg clearly was on a quest to defy odds.

Ms Fogelberg went undiagnosed for nearly 30 years, she knew something was wrong but doctors wouldn't listen to her, and finally an unexpected employment transfer from Sweden to the United States was what saved her life.

As a mother of a CHD kid, this was an emotional story. Open heart surgery is necessary but scary and risky, even now. Anything can go wrong, and with Ms Fogelberg, it almost did.

Her writing is powerful and compassionate.

My only complaint: her narrative is told in flash back sequences, and they became extremely repetitive -- a constant reflection on how tired, fatigued, she was growing up into adulthood.

Otherwise an excellent survivor story.

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Review: All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Romeo and Juliette type story meets a suburban Indiana high school and mental illness. An emotional riptide throughout. I enjoyed more than I thought I would. Prepare for bawling and heaving at the end.

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