Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lost and Found by Brooke Davis

This untraditional look at grief peeked my curiosity. There are three main characters in the story; Millie Bird, age 7, Agatha Pantha, 82, and Karl the touch typist, 87. Each character has lost someone very close to them. They all react in their own individual ways. I think most people would easily accept Millie's way of grieving, after all she is only a child. But Agatha, still shouting at passersby after seven years, and Karl typing into the air with his fingers would find less social acceptance these days, I fear. They really do seem rather crazy. In the end the characters in the story do find a sort of peace, that only comes from their experience of being together. The book does lead one to think about grief. Is there a right way to grieve? Is there a right amount of time to do it? Are the stages of denial, isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance what all people experience? The article at the end by the author is very enlightening. After all, everyone dies. This book was definitely not a fun read, but very thought provoking it was.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pogue's Basics by David Pogue

          When I first purchased my “smart phone”, my youngest sister asked me if I was smart enough to use a “smart phone”!  My first response was, “YES”.  However, as the time went on and I now have my second “smart phone”, I am still learning. 

Technology can be intimidating but Pogue’s book gave tips that anyone of any age or ability would be able to follow.  I was able to find some different ideas on how to save my battery life and learn a few shortcuts for my specific phone I was also able to learn about some new apps and shortcuts for using Google.

Although I didn’t read the entire book I now know there is an easy to follow guide that will offer me the help I need, if I am not smart enough for my phone!


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar

     Remember the Chilean mine rescue in 2010?  You know that all 33 men came out alive, but this is the whole story.  The men made a pact not to reveal what happened underground for the first 18 days (before a small hole was bored 2000 feet down to provide them with food & communication), until they were ready. 

      This book makes you really understand the trials the trapped men were facing, and the difficulties the rescuers and families were experiencing.  Also fascinating is how the men felt about becoming instant celebrities.  It wraps up with a “where are they now” update.  I highly recommend this book!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Descent by Tim Johnston

A young girl disappears while out for a morning run while on vacation.  The father, mother, and brother left behind struggle to cope with the loss and the mystery of what happened to her. When do they stop searching?  This book is a page-turner that offers psychological as well as plot suspense.  Johnston is a former Iowan.

Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel rides the commuter train to and from London every day.  The train stops in roughly the same spot each day and Rachel enjoys watching the people who live near the stop. She lives vicariously through their seemingly perfect lives, even as her own life spirals out of control. Her observations from the train lead her to involvement in a missing persons case.  Unfortunately, Rachel has a drinking problem and can’t always remember what she has done.  No one is quite what they seem in this psychological thriller.  There are plenty of plot twists to keep the pages turning. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hell's Angels by Jay A. Stout

It’s about bombers—not bikers. Author Jay Stout takes you into the lives of those who were members of the 303rd Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force in World War Two. The “Mighty Eighth”, as they have become to be known, flew missions out of England over Nazi-held Europe from 1942-1945. Stout takes the readers behind the scenes of all aspects of a bomb group. From the pilots, the bomber crews, the ground crews, the commanders and all other positions that comprise a group, the authors has compiled some wonderful first-person accounts.

Stout covers the group from start to finish, looking at not only the missions, but life on leave, on base, and behind prison camp wire. By this point in history (2015),  the Eighth Air Force has been covered in many books; but with “Hell’s Angels”, Stout has given us a fresh account that keeps the pages turning. Once you start his book you will find it difficult to put down.