Thursday, November 20, 2014

October Book Reviews 44-49

Child of the Mountain - Marilyn Sue Shank
Do you remember how last month I was obsessed with books about the age group 11-12, well this book falls right into that category.  The year is 1953 and we are following the life of Lydia Hawkins.  Her family, her mother, little brother BJ, and grandmother live in the Appalachian Mountains and while they might not have much money they are extremely tight knit and very happy.  Then Gran dies and her brother BJ who was born with cystic fibrosis continues to get sicker and sicker.  He is spending more and more time at the hospital but at this time period there isn't much they can do and the medical communities constant criticism of the families' Appalachian Mountain cures puts them at odds with the family.  Finally Lydia and her mom bring BJ home to die and that results in her mother being throw in prison.  Lydia is sent to live with her uncle.  The story kind of follows the next year of their lives.  This was a great book.

First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich - Howard Reich
I've read a lot of books about the Holocaust and World War II.  I thought a lot of people have.  It was sort of weird turning point for the world and so many atrocities happened that it has really stimulated a lot of thought and writing, but this was the first book I ever read that really discussed after the war and then went back to the war.  Howard Reich is the son of two Polish Jewish survivors.  His father spent the war in a work camp and then was moved to a death camp.  His mother lived by hiding in the woods and being taken in by strangers who hid her for the war.  He honestly knows nothing about this almost his entire life.  He lives in a Jewish community but his parents never talk about their past and he never ask.  Then after his father dies his mother goes nuts.  She's running the neighborhood screaming that people are trying to kill her.  Multiple times in the hospital and institutionalized it finally becomes clear that she is not slipping into dementia or Alzheimer's but instead has been stuck in PTSD since the war and the death of his father has just made the symptoms more obvious.  Thus begins Howard's look into his parents past.  This is a typical Holocaust story in the fact that it is sad and what happened to his parents is truly horrific but you do have this interesting look into how people who have survived the worst manage to keep moving on for good or bad. 
So these last three books I got out of my father in laws collection.  I think he has hundreds of these books in his collection.  That is not an exaggeration...I'm pretty sure if you counted up all the books on the shelves and boxed up you'd be close to 500.  I'm not really going to go into a lot of depth on these.  They are basically all the same.  He loves mystery suspense novels.  That's what all of these are.  Some interesting bits...The Just One Look book, the main character is a stay at home mom.  I kind of liked that.  Things didn't work out all that great for her, but I like to see myself as more than just a diaper changer, so that was sort of fun.  Hold tight had a similar aspect in the fact that the protagonist was a Hockey Playing Doctor dad.  It brought up some interesting issues like whether or not parents should feel free to spy on their children.  I personally am of the opinion yes.  I think people put way more weight into expected privacy and the right to keep secrets then they should.  That being said I know I'm in the minority and I'm sure my kids will hate me if I do spy on them.  I guess it's a good thing I have a few more years to figure it out.  The Robert Parker book has this main character Jesse that pretty much all woman lust after.  What is the deal with that?  I've never seen in real life a normal person that everyone is just throwing themselves at.  You know my theory about most authors just writing their main characters as who they wish they could be...well apparently Robert you want every woman to want you...I'm just saying.
Just One Look - Harlan Coben

Night and Day - Robert B. Parker

Hold Tight - Harlan Coben

The Pit - 
I can't for the life of me find this book but it was a mystery novel I read at Bob's house.  It follows a investigator trying to find out if an money is being misappropriated at the dig where they are building an underground railroad in Boston.  Their is a murder of course and a hot undercover agent.  You get the idea.

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