Thursday, January 31, 2013

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Seventeen-year-old Mia has loved playing the cello since the age of eight.  Now a senior in high school, she’s awaiting the outcome of an audition to Juilliard.  She can’t imagine leaving her family, friends, and boyfriend behind but music is her first love. The future is unsure, and she has tough choices she’d rather not make.
While enjoying an outing with her family, though, suddenly everything changes.  Family and love become important in new ways.  Mia reviews her life as an observer as she now faces the only choice that has to be made. 
“If I Stay” is an intense novel that was hard to put down.  Alternating between the present and Mia’s past, the reader is taken along on her journey as she makes her most important decision.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

Heaven is for Real has some nice parts and pieces, but in truth, the author didn't have enough "stuff" to write a book, so the first several chapters go on and on about Colton, 3, vomiting a lot, trips to friends' homes, family trips to see a tarantula at a tourist location, etc. I read the first part of the book thinking, "Who cares? Get to the point!" But then we get to the heart of the book, which is just tale after tale of a young kid with a vivid imagination telling stories to his credulous parents. All in all I am quite skeptical that the child came up with all of this on his own. It was a nice book however I think it should be a fiction book rather then nonfiction.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Killing Kennedy by Bill OReilly

Just as Killing Lincoln provided insight and background into one of the nation's most impactful events, Killing Kennedy shares glimpses of what it was like to be part of the Kennedy inner circle.  I was surprised to learn all about the Kennedy's and it was disappointing for me to learn what he was really like.  I had no idea of his behavior behind the closed doors and it is a wonder how he had time to run the country. The story lines revealed Oswald's possible motivations and listed Kennedy's many sexual transgressions. The authors also did a nice job of staying away from making Killing Kennedy another conspiracy book. The authors brought to light some ideas on who might have been interested in seeing Kennedy dead - the list is long - without focusing on this aspect of the assassination.  I learned a lot by reading the book and would recommend it to anyone.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Trial of Fallen Angels by James Kimmel, Jr.

The Trial of Fallen Angels, by James Kimmel, Jr., is a surprisingly realistic and interesting take on the afterlife.  Brek Cuttler, a young attorney, wakes up with no memory in Shemaya Station, which is many things, including the outer rooms of the courthouse of God.  A mysterious man named Luas tells her she is now responsible for providing defense counsel to souls at the final judgment. The book travels with Brek as she tries to figure out where she is, who she was, and what her role is now.  In the form of a narrative, Kimmel explores concepts that have stumped man through the ages, including the debate between revenge and forgiveness.  The book is an interesting read. Recommended.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

The story begins with Father Time, Dor, who is determined to measure the hours of the day.  Then it drifts to Sarah, a teenager who feels time is creeping too slowly to meet with the boy she is so enamored of, only to find out he is not at all interested in her.  On the other hand, Victor, a successfully businessman dying of cancer, is eager to extend his time on earth by extreme measures without his wife's knowledge.  Albom explores different perspectives of time through the alternating narratives of these characters.
The lives of Sarah and Victor intersect when Dor tries to redeem himself by intervening in the mistakes both of these two are about to make.  The imagery towards the end is indelible.
This is a fast reading book but kept me lingering in thoughts.  We have all experienced being bound by time, and most of all wishing we could have spent more time with our loved ones, whether living or departed.