Monday, August 30, 2010

The Murder's Daughters

The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers is a haunting tale by a first time author.  After convincing Lulu to let him in the house, Lulu and Merry's father murders their mother, stabs Merry and tries to kill himself the day before Lulu's 11th birthday.  Lulu had run to get help and had escaped the attacks but blames herself for everything that happened.  Merry and her father survive but the repercussions of this horrific act haunt the girls throughout their lives.  Known as the murderers daughters, no one in the family wants to take care of them so they are shuffled from an orphanage to a foster home.  Lulu tries to escape her past burying herself in school and work while still trying to take care of her sister. Merry believes her father needs family and finds herself as his only link to the outside trapped between his neediness and her sisters denial that he exists.  

This book is powerful.  I finished it in two days.  I couldn't put it down.  It really examines how you can't outrun your past, that denying it doesn't make it go away.  It isn't until the girls are confronted with another trauma that they are forced to face their past leading them to heal their future.

I am still in awe of this book, it touched so many emotions that I think it will sit with me for a long time.  Anyone who has been touched by a dysfunctional family or domestic violence may find themselves within these pages.  I look forward to what more Randy Susan Meyers has in store for us.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blog Hop

Book Blogger Hop
Okay so this is technically something that is supposed to happen on Friday but since I just stumbled across it today (Saturday) I guess this will have to do.

This weeks question is: Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so what is it and why? Well I just started this blog, but I've been logging my books for years the old fashioned way in a notebook.  In the beginning I tried to use a rating system but I just couldn't keep it up.  I hate rating things 1-5 or whatever, if I like it I'll say that, if I hated it, you'll know, if I thought it was okay, it won't get a rave review.  Some books I read are more fun than fantastic so I would never know how to rate them so instead of the stress and pressure to rate my books and reviews I just say how I felt about it and let others decide what rating they think I give it or better yet read it themselves and give it one themselves.  This way the pressure is off me!

Water Witches

Water Witches by Chris Bohjalian - I love this author.  I read Midwives several years ago and then rediscovered him when I picked up a copy of Before You Know Kindness which I loved.  So what does any good book junkie do when they read two books by the same author and love them?  They go out and find all of this authors books to collect dust on our book shelves until we get around to reading them of course!

Water Witches is about a family of dowser's (people who attempt to locate ground water, buried metals or ores, gemstones, oil, gravesites and many other objects and materials, as well as so-called currents of earth radiation, without the use of scientific apparatus.) in a small Vermont town.  The local ski lodge is planning  an expansion and wants to use the local lake to help make snow in case of another winter without much snow fall.  The problem is a drought has hit the area that has seriously affected the water table creating a problem for both the ski lodge owners and the town itself. Scottie Winston, husband, father and in-law of the town's most famous dowsers is the attorney for the ski lodge which puts him in a precarious position with his family.  After an outing with his daughter Scottie witnesses something that makes the struggle between doing his job and doing whats right even harder. 

I really liked that the line between what is right and what is wrong for this town is sort of murky and not completely defined.  You could see both sides of the argument, even though the author clearly falls on the side of nature. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hello, I love you

Hello, I love you by Ted Kluck - Ted is an all around jock, sports writer and coach, but when it comes to adopting his sons from Ukraine Ted is a fish out of water.  One of the few adoption books written from a fathers perspective (although this does seem to be a new trend) this book is witty and real. Ted covers up some of his frustration with humor but you have to have humor when you are told something different every day, are stopped on the street by elderly women who tell you what you aren't doing right, and have your door broken down by the police and a gun pointed at your head because you forgot how to work the alarm system in your apartment.

International adoption is not for the faint of heart which this book shows in glowing detail.  One minute you believe you are adopting a daughter and the next you wind up with a son.  You think you only need to make one trip to be told that you will now need to make three.  You travel with thousands of dollars strapped to your body hoping that you don't get mugged and while people are friendly you spend most of your time staring at your spouse because she is the only one who understands your language.  But the catch is that it is all worth it in the end.  While this book had a little too much praying and "God will provide" for me it wasn't like reading a bible and he wasn't quoting bible verses every few pages.  His reliance on God did help him through the unpredictable and often frustrating times which is what its there for and after all Ted was a missionary at one point in his life so I don't know what I was expecting.  Overall a good funny book with a realistic look at adoption in Ukraine.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Homo Domesticus

Homo Domesticus - Notes from a Same-Sex Marriage by David Valdes Greenwood - before marriage was legal in Massachusetts David and Jason got married and this is the tale of their life. Recounting how his in-laws embraced the wedding while his family did not, instead opting to pray that he would change.  This isn't all roses and sunshine just like any marriage it is filled with ups and downs, and plenty of learning.  When gay marriage becomes legal in their state David and Jason don't jump at making their union a legal one, instead they sit back and decide whether or not they need or want a state sanctioned union.  In the end they decide that since one of their goals is parenthood that it would be in their best interest to tie the knot legally.  After that detail is out of the way they venture into the world of adoption and family.  I thought this book would be light and fluffy but I found that it had an underlying rawness that made it very real.  I appreciate David's willingness to put the good the bad and the ugly of his relationship on paper showing the world that same sex unions are just as complicated and normal as heterosexual ones.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Adventures in Reading

I've always loved to read. My mother and my grandmother used to read to me when I was little and I always saw my grandmother reading something.  As I got older I would often find myself calling her to share a book title that I thought she would like.  Now that she is gone that is one of the main things I miss the most.  I often find myself finishing a book I know she would like (something about history is what she loved best) and wishing I could pick up the phone and call her.  Since I can't do that I thought I would share my books with whoever stumbles across this blog.

I'm a bit of a book hoarder.  I can't seem to stop myself from buying books or accepting them from people who think I might like something.  My house is filled with books, books on the stairs, book shelves lining the walls, books in drawers, there is never a lack of something to read in this house.  We also have two kindles which I bought for when I travel and also because some books are cheaper to download then to buy.

I give away most of my books after I'm done reading them, so the books that line my shelves are either first edition signed copies, old books that have been handed down through my family, or ones I haven't gotten around to reading yet.  Every now and then I purge some that I know I had great ambitions of reading by know I will never get around to.  I feel sad about it but I know someone else will enjoy them.

I read all types of books, historical fiction, romance, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, gay fiction, self help, young adult, you name it I've probably read it. I encourage interaction on this blog so if you have a recommendation, by all means share it!  Don't like my take on a book, thats okay too, let me know, debates are always welcome.  So welcome to my adventure!  I hope you find some good reads along the way.
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