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The Girl Who Played Go
Shan Sa, Adriana Hunter
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Malcolm Gladwell
Someone: A Novel
Alice McDermott

The book of Aron

The Book of Aron - Jim Shepard

Aron was a young boy living with his mom and dad in a nice house in the Warsaw countryside. When Hitler invades Poland all Jews are gathered up and relocated to what will become known as the Warsaw ghetto. I, think this is the first book I have read that takes place only in the ghetto. The people starving, a street smart Aaron and a group of young boys find ways to get out of the ghetto to bring back much needed items. The ghetto gets smaller and smaller as many come down with typhus and whole streets are closed off.

The random raids by the Nazis, men taken for work crews, promises of food, and never seen again. Eventually the deportations start and Aron who has lost both parents comes under the care of Janusz Korczak, a man running an orphanage trying to save as many of the children as he can.

Janusz Korczak is a real person and what a man He was. I looked him up on wiki and if you read this you, should to. A difficult book to read at times but a book that shows the relationships and hardships of the Jews living in this time and place. I was very impressed with the writing and the story.

ARC from publisher.  

in a vertigo of silence

In a Vertigo of Silence - Miriam Polli

3.5 this is one of those quiet stories that creep up on you slowly. Three generations of women, starting in the 1920's, when the matriarch arrives with her husband from Poland. He find employment in the mines, but dies there as does her second husband, Boris. Alone she raises her three daughters, one who has some severe mental issues that is never really talked about in the beginning of the book. A few family secrets will eventually come to light, discovered by Emily, a granddaughter who was basically raised by her grandmother. When she is older and finds out the secrets they will change much in her young life.

Loved the characters and Emily's relationship with her grandmother reminded me so much of the one I has with mine. Not that my mother was ill, but she worked and my grandparents pitched in. The grandmother  was my favorite character. The writing is wonderful and it is hard to believe this is a first novel. A generational novel that shows how different members of a family can be and how the mother daughter relationship can be so difficult.

ARC from netgalley.

The Ice Twins

The Ice Twins: A Novel - Peter Tremayne

Moving to an inherited island in Scotland, this family wants only the chance to start over after the death of their daughter, one of a set on identical twins.

The setting was alternately beautiful and intimidating. Very descriptive writing and the suspense and tension rarely let up, throughout the entire book. But which twin died? Who is keeping secrets and is the twin that is left telling the truth?

A good, twisty and creepy, a little suspension of belief is needed here as we follow the unbelievable, and attempt to learn the secrets of that fatal day. Loved the black and white pictures before each chapter. Really helped me picture their location.

Good story that kept me reading to find out what would be the final reveal. Did I guess? No I am never food at that even though with all the mysteries I read one would think I would be a pro. Oh well.

ARC from publisher.

The Love Object

The Love Object: Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien - Edna O'Brien

3.5 Edna O'Brien is an author I have always wanted to read but until now never have. Her first book Country Girls was banned in Ireland upon its release for its depiction of female sexuality. Her writing is elegantly descriptive and though their are a few stories I didn't really care for, there were some I absolutely loved.

The rug was one, a rug is unexpectedly delivered to a family, or is a beautiful purple rig and they spend time trying to guess who has sent this rug that they now all loves to them. There is of course s catch but it would a spoiler to tell you the rest. In another a young country girl is thrilled to be invited to her first party, but finds out things are not as she thought. And of course the mother, daughter story which I am always drawn too.

A wonderful collection of stories of want, love and failed expectations. Now I need to get my hands on Country Girls.

ARC from publisher.

Being Mortal

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End - Atul Gawande

A very eye opening book on aging, what happens as we age, and where do we go, when we can no longer take care of ourselves. This book asks some very interesting questions, makes one really think about the importance of making these decisions while one is still able. What is important to us, what are we willing to give up, are some of those questions.

The writing is clear, and concise, the information extensive but not at all confusing. The people whose life's are presented are treated as real people, not just case studies. One person is very close to the author and we see all the decision making that goes into his final acceptance. Sad, yes sometimes, but we are all going to age, no matter where we live and this book covers so much. I consider it a must read, a gaining of intelligence and a new way of looking at many things. Wonderful book.

The Day we met

The Day We Met - Rowan Coleman

3.5 a little different take on a book about a woman with Alzheimer's and the struggle of her family. Of course the nature of the disease itself is sad this book is written in a way that leaves the reader feel a great deal of joy and understanding as well. The story is told partly by thereon with the illness as she realizes what, she is doing and what she will lose. The characters though are wonderful, little three year old, Esther provides a great deal of comic relief.

Ultimately this is about the strong bond between mothers and daughters. How even though someone's path may be different the family toes will be remembered by someone. Lastly, the enduring quality of love for those lucky enough to find it.

ARC from publisher.

Girl Underwater

Girl Underwater - Claire Kells

All Avery wanted to do, all she has trained for is competitive swimming. Coming back, the plane she is on goes down in the Rockies Mountains, with a fellow swimmer and Olympic hopeful Colin. They survive and are able to save three very young boys. For fice days, in freezing temps, with Colin injured, they manage to stay alive and keep the small boys alive as well.

After the event and the rescue it is apparent that what the media believes happened is not all that happened. A good look at PTSD as Avery tries to regain her life in the water and out. Her character is what drew me to this book, her character and all her doubts, faults and fears make her a very real person to relate to. Also, loved that not only was this an adventure story but a poignant one, showing how close a serious incident can draw people together for the longest time. Loved the ending and the peace she makes with herself and her fellow survivors. The ending a bit predictable but fitting after everything Avery goes through, A good first book and definitely a writer to watch.

ARC from publisher.

The descriptive and narrative power in this book is what hooked me. Rural Mississippi, two boys, one black, one white will become entangled in each others lives for years to come. The amazing thing to me is I kept thinking that Silas, who is black grows up respected, very unusual in the south during this time, while Dave, who is white is treated as the towns albatross. Die to a missing girl years back and a missing girl in the present. Very strange mixture of characterizations and yet Franklin pulls it off.

Very gritty, hard scribbled people and I couldn't help, wonder why Dave stayed in this town, though his mother is ill but it was almost as a sort penance. Secrets are revealed, though one is easy to guess, and I loved the life goes on ending, with maybe just an few changes.

crooked letter

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter - Tom Franklin
Reblogged from Beamis12:

crooked letter

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter - Tom Franklin

Little Life

A Little Life: A Novel - Hanya Yanagihara

Such an incredibly hard book to read, and yet a beautiful book too, on the true meaning of friendship. Written so tenderly, poignantly and with raw honesty. The characters run the gamut from those among us who are the most cruel, the most hateful and those who are able to offer a love that is profound, unconditional and where many of us probably fall, wanting to be netter than we are.

The characters are human, flawed, some almost too good to be true, and yet it is the moments we don't see, that we hear about that defines this book, in the thoughts of the characters, the empty spaces. How does one forgive one's own past, a place and upbringing that was not ones choice? Why do we hang on to a place, a state of mind, that causes us nothing but pain?

The writing is exemplary, the abuse scenes can be graphic, but offset by friendships that are amazing, love that is wonderful. I have read so many articles where critics and readers both decry, "Where are the published books that will later be considered a classic?" I think this one will, one of the best, most sincere, if painful books, I have read in a long time.

Sisters of heart and snow

Sisters of Heart and Snow - Margaret Dilloway

3.5 It is always tricky when writing a story with two very different time lines, usually I end up liking one way more than the other. In this case I likes them both and they complimented each other very well. Present day finds two sisters trying to regain a relationship to help their mother who is in a convalescent center, remembers very little and is fading fast. In one of her normal moments she asks her daughter to find a book that is in her sewing room. This starts a journey onto the past, back to the days of the samurai, and a very special woman who was a female warrior.

Interesting back stories, present and past, but this book is about relationships.
Sisters of blood, or sisters that you come to love and care for, protect and defend. And of course the relationships, so often complicated between mothers and daughters. The father in this book was a major piece of work and I really wished bas things for him, but maybe loneliness as he ages will ne his just punishment.
Good book, probably my favorite by this author.

ARC by publisher.

American Ghost

American Ghost: The True Story of a Family's Haunted Past - Hannah Nordhaus

3.5 Although I expected this to be more of a ghost story, which many different, psychics, dowsers, and other paranormal professionals die five their opinions, I found so much more. The story of a Jewish family, settling Santa Fe, in its earliest days. So much history, politics, the railroad and the family with Julia as its matriarch and Abraham as the paternal head. From the beginning Julia missed Germany where her family was very prominent and she never truly embraced her new home. They had many children and it was interesting reading about they family, many whom suffered from depression and other forms of mental illnesses.

Julia many times went to sanitariums and made many trips back home to Germany, in hopes of a cure for her lingering depression. Many times her daughters would accompany her. Abraham became very successful, building a huge house and hiring help for Julia, even bringing cousins over from Germany as a companion for her, but nothing seemed to have a lasting effect.

Of course the archbishop Cather fame is mentioned as is his relationship with both Julia and Abraham and the church he built. Found this book quite fascinating and loved how the author went about uncovering and discovering the pieces of her family. So not exactly a ghost story, though it is said that Julia's ghost does roam throughout the hotel, which used to be her house. Well who knows, stranger things have happened.

ARC from publisher.

colorless Tsukuri

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Philip Gabriel, Haruki Murakami

For most of his teenage age Colorless was part of an inseparable five person group, three boys, two girls. Until one day he wasn't, told he had done something so terrible he was cut out off the group, they would no longer acknowledge him nor have anything to do with him. But why? What had he done? Almost driven to suicide but never really asking what had happened, it will not be until many years later that he will get some of these answers.

I had a weird relationship with this book, when I was reading it I was really into it but when I put it down it didn't cry out, pick me up, find out what happened. Anyway it took me over a month to finish this book, but I am glad I did. Japanese books take patience, their emotions are minimalist at best and their reveals are slow. Colorless, as yes the name means quite a bit in this book, may have turned out to be the luckiest, even though he stayed somewhat stunted emotionally. I liked the openness of the ending, it was fitting, letting the reader decide what they think will, happen. A mind boggling, psychologically  creative novel, one I can't seem to quit thinking about.

Pain Cire RX

The Pain Cure Rx: The Yass Method for Diagnosing and Resolving Chronic Pain - Mitchell Yass

Very interesting and informative book about different areas of the body and where pain actually originates. Not to just believe the first thing we are told, based on MRI's or scans but actually get different opinions. Learn to strengthen surrounding areas and muscles and just learn to be tour own best advocate. We are overly medicated world, it is easier to take a pill than do the physical work necessary to live without pills or pain.

Learned alot and appreciated all the diagrams and the format of the book that takes it area by area within the body. 

ARC from NetGalley.

the Haunting of Sunshine Girl

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Book One - Paige McKenzie, Alyssa B. Sheinmel

3.5 A fun book that comes with some you tube videos that I kind of fell into, knowing nothing about the videos nor the story. Can see the YA group eating these paranormal stories up, watching the corresponding videos. Interesting storylines, with some interesting characters trying to find their niche in life while delving into the land of ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night.

ARC from NetGalley.

This little piggy

This Little Piggy - Bea Davenport

3.5 late 1980's, a miner's strike and the death of a young toddler bring ugly suspicions to a head.. Violence, strike breakers, a lifetime of camaraderie threatens further violence.

Clare, a young reporter, has constantly been reminded not to become part of the story, to remain professionally courteous, keeping information, something she finds hard to do. While investigating the case she becomes close to a young girl, a girl that wants nothing to do with her.

Enjoyed Clare's character, her courage and brashness, she makes a good heroine to cast your faith on. Where this case will lead will change something irrevocable and even affect her life and job.
Good solid read, with some gritty atmosphere.

ARC from NetGalley.