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, 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. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Restless Souls by Alisa Statman and Brie Tate

Restless Souls: The Sharon Tate Family's Account of Stardom, the Manson Murders, and a Crusade for Justice
After the heinous murder of Sharon Tate, her unborn child, and four other people at Sharon's Cielo Drive home by the "Manson followers", Sharon's family was absolutely devastated. Part of their lives had been ripped from them. Sharon's mother, Doris, didn't even want to talk about it, knowing in her heart that if she did, the reality of Sharon not living any more would rip her apart. Sharon's sister, Patti, held on to her mother as if there was no other buoy for her to hold. 
Doris became involved in making sure that when the killers came up for parole, that she was there to do everything in her power to stop that from happening. She became a very strong advocate of Victim's rights and when Doris died of cancer, Patti carried on her mother's work. 
Patti then died of breast cancer and her daughter, Brie, has carried on the work of her grandmother and mother.
This is a very strong family with tight bonds to each other and learning of the heartache these people have been through will break your heart.

http://alisastatman.com/

http://brietate.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Falling Under by Danielle Younge-Ullman

Falling Under by Danielle Younge-Ullman This is one of the best debut novels I have read in a very long time.
Mara is a young girl whose parents are divorced and she hides within herself so as not to be "stepped on".
She is an artist who becomes friends with Bernadette, a girl from school, and they become so close that Mara finally has someone who she can tell anything to.
During her young years, she becomes involved in relationships with men that are intense, emotionally and sexually. She has many lovers that are just that, lovers. She has a hard time committing to that elusive sense of love, afraid that it will fall apart.
This is very intense and you are so involved and know so much about the characters, they almost feel like family and you can almost know what their reactions are going to be.
Danielle Younge-Ullman is definitely an author that I will continue to watch for.

http://danielleyoungeullman.com/

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Living Dead Girl

How intense! This is so well written, you are gripped from the first page to the last. Done from Alice's point of view and you are feeling her pain, her uncertainty, her heartache as is it were your own.

Alice is living with Ray, who took her from a school trip and has abused her for 5 years. This is a girl who can't even remember her actual name, only the address where she lived with her parents, as Ray is consistently telling her that if she does not behave, he will go kill the people who live there.

Elizabeth Scott has written a book that will not soon be forgotten by anyone who takes the time to read it.





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