Great Philosophy

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."-Dr. Seuss

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline


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Molly is a young girl who is living with her current foster parents. She was placed into the foster care system after the death of her father and her mother becoming unable to care for her. She dresses in "Goth" to make herself unapproachable, distant. Easier for her not to get close to anyone.

She currently lives with Richard & Dina, although Dina doesn't have much tolerance for her. Molly gets the distinct impression that the fee for housing and taking care of her is the only benefit Dina gleans from having Molly in their home.

Molly has a boyfriend, Jack, who really likes her and has gotten behind all the ways Molly has of shutting herself off from people. Unfortunately, Molly has stolen a book from the public library, one she has always wanted to own, "Anne of Green Gables".

She has the opportunity to do her time with helping a 90-year old woman, Vivian, clean up the attic of her mansion instead of going to juvenile detention. Jack's mom, Terry, has helped to set this up for her, even though Terry is not really that fond of the relationship between her son and Molly.

As Molly is helping Vivian clean boxes in the attic, we learn Vivian's story of the Orphan Train and her experiences in her youth.

This is a very good novel that brings you into a lonely world, a scary world, of children that were orphaned and placed into homes that weren't always the best places to be.

This book will make you appreciate your family and remind you that, while relatives may be whatever they are, at least they are a connection to you and your life. The children on the Orphan Train never had that luxury.

http://christinabakerkline.com/

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

19288043Nick Dunne has met the girl of his dreams in Amy Elliott. She is smart, funny and very beautiful. They have met at a friends' party and click right away.

Nick is a writer who is currently creating questionnaires for a magazine. Amy is the daughter and inspiration for her parents' series of books "Amazing Amy". Both are extremely good-looking and make a beautiful couple.
Nick and Amy live in New York and they both lose their jobs weeks apart from each other. Nick receives a phone call from his sister, Margo (Go), that their mother is ill and needs to be cared for. Nick and Amy move back to Nick's hometown in Missouri.
This is when the trouble between Nick and Amy begins. Nick has found Amy to be intolerably picky and has co-purchased a bar that he runs with his sister, "The Bar". From this point, the shenanigans get very serious. Amy devises plans, Nick falls into traps.
This is psychological thriller par none. The scheming and game-playing are mind-bending. This is a book you definitely must read and then cherish the real relationships that you have in your life.

gillian-flynn.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Letters to Jackie: Condolences From a Grieving Nation by Ellen Fitzpatricks

Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation


These are letters that were written to Jacqueline Kennedy (a few to Caroline or John) after the assassination of John F Kennedy. The letters are so heart-felt and you can actually feel the trauma and heart-break these people are feeling.
The letters were written by all age levels, all races, all political parties.
It really brings to your mind the absolute devastation the country was feeling at the time. And this is just a very small portion of the deluge received by Jackie. This is definitely a record of history and should be cherished and preserved.


http://www.ellenfitzpatrick.net/

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Among Animals: The Lives of Animals and Humans in Contemporary Short FictionThis book of short stories was absolutely fascinating. The need for humans to study and understand animals is so prevalent. One story really got to me. Greyhound has made me think about looking into adopting said breed.
All of the stories were not as compelling, but brought to mind all of the fascination we as humans have for other creatures. The world would not be as fascinating without all the other creatures.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Joyland by Stephen King

JoylandDevin Jones has taken a summer job at Joyland Amusement Park for the summer before entering college. He is hoping to forget Wendy, the girl who has broken up with him. Devin's father is sad to see him leave for the summer, being alone, but understands the need to find something to take Devin's mind off the girl. Devin is going to attend college in the fall, and this might be the best way to get over things.
Devin becomes very acclimated to Joyland and the "carny" way of life. He meets friends who also work there and are going to be attending college in the fall. We meet many characters during this time: the fortune teller, the ride masters, etc.
Devin becomes aware of a murder that took place in the Horror House many years ago and becomes intrigued by the fact that no one ever caught the perpetrator. A couple of his friends have also become interested, although their time is certainly not taken up with that. It is simply intriguing to them.
Every morning and evening as Devin is walking to work on the beach from the room that he rents, he walks by a young boy and his mother in a large green Victorian mansion that is right on the beach. He becomes friendly with the boy, Mike, and his dog, Milo. The mother is a little discerning in her behavior towards Devin. Mike is in a wheelchair and it is obvious that Annie, the mother, is aloof to strangers.
The story is not one that I would have thought of as a Stephen King novel, being a huge fan. This is really well written and involves you from the get-go. This just proves to me that this man can write anything.

stephenking.com/index.html

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Silver Star by Jeannette Walls

The Silver Star
Liz & "Bean" Holladay are two young ladies growing up in 1970 with a mother who is "finding" herself and leaves them alone a lot. They are 13 & 15 and manage to live on pot pies. In coming home from school one day, the police are around the house and they decide that they need to go find their mother's lost uncle in Virginia and go visit him for a spell.
Uncle Tinsley allows them to stay with him and gives "Bean" the information about her father that she never knew. He had been given a Silver Star during the war.
The girls become quite comfortable in their new environment and take on jobs, even though Uncle Tinsley did not want them to. There are incidences of racial tensity, abuse, etc. Living life is what the story is really about.

The story is good. I was just a little confused about the choice of the title for the book, as the Silver Star barely makes a showing in the story. The character of "Bean" is fully meshed and you become very familiar with her feelings. Liz is a little harder to read. She starts out more full.

http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Jeannette-Walls/19723841

Monday, November 25, 2013

Crossing by Andrew Xia Fukuda

Crossing
This is a good novel about the angst felt by a Chinese student in a high school of all white students except for him and one female Chinese student (Naomi). Xing (pronounced Shing) and Naomi have been friends since she came to America and Xing is in love with her.


There start to be some disappearances of students at the school and each of these students have touched Xing in some manner. One being a bully that had a fight with Xing, one being very intelligent and having strong contact with Naomi, one being the lead in the school play, which Xing is the stand-in for.
As the lead has disappeared, Xing becomes the star of the play and works up his courage to do so. He has never had the confidence to believe that he is as good as his music teacher has declared.

As we proceed from this, you can almost tell the ending, but the novel is well worth the read. You really feel for Xing and his exclusion from the people around him. Whether it is his own making or not, you will have to read the novel to figure that out for yourself.