Thursday, May 24, 2012

Me and You by Niccolo Ammaniti

This book is a short read. The author is becoming known for his powerful stories. Lorenzo Cuni is the main character. He is a teenager about 14 years of age. He has told his mother that he is going on a ski trip for a week with some friends and their parents. However, he was not really invited and has successfully planned to hide out in the storage cellar of his own home.
     While there, his half-sister, whom he has only met once, shows up and wants to stay there too. She is estranged from their mutual father and has become an addict. They are not friendly at first, but do manage to develop a camaraderie over time.
      The story leaves lots of room for thought and would be great for a book discussion, or for a high school or college literature class. I liked how the story was NOT tied up in a pretty bow at the end, but seemed realistic and life-like.

Spooning By Darri Stephens

Charlie Brown, JP Morgan, Jane Dough makes Spooning a hilarious and a clever must-read that roped me in with the characters names alone! For every girl out there that is, or once was, in their mid-20's this is an all too true witty account of life after college. The embarrassingly funny mishaps and constant drama in the lives of Charlie and friends kept me fully engrossed and left me wanting more when I finished the book.

Where Children Sleep by James Mollison

This book is composed mostly of pictures. On the left side is a photo of a child and a description of where he/she lives, how old, and a little information about their situation. On the right side is a full page photo of where the child sleeps. The author was first going to call his project "Bedrooms", but soon discovered that many children don't have a bedroom.
     The interesting thing that comes through is the fact that a child's life can clearly be defined by where he/she sleeps. It is a reflection of their life. Children of wealthy parents have a lot and children from poor families, orphans and third world countries have little. It was captivating to read the stories and feel sorry for some and feel like others were spoiled. I actually spent a couple of hours with the book and was able to finish it cover to cover. I think this would be a good educational tool for children, so they can see that not everyone has the same sort of life and to feel empathy for someone in a different situation. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it especially to people who learn visually.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken is the true story of Louis Zamperini.  A one-time Olympic runner, Zamperini was a bombadier in WWII.  His bomber crash landed in the Pacific Ocean in 1943. Three men survived the crash, only to find themselves adrift in the ocean with few supplies and little hope of being rescued.  When they finally hit land, it was a Japanese-occupied island and they became prisoners of war.  This is a riveting story of courage and survival.  I'm amazed that anyone could survive what those men went through!    

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Thunder and Rain By Charles Martin

I have read everything Charles Martin has written.  His writing has depth and his characters are developed slowly as the book unfolds, making it much harder for me to put the book down!  Thunder and Rain is about a Mother and daughter; and a Father and son both scarred by life circumstances.  How they meet and what happens form the basis for this story with occasional flashbacks to earlier life incidents.  I enjoyed this book and recommend it.  Another winner by Charles Martin