Friday, December 30, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber 288 pages

When Julia meets her Scrooge of a neighbor Cain, her best friend tells Julia that she should kill him with kindness. As Christmas approaches, Julia decides to keep a blog titled The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts at being kind to Cain are met with resistance, however her blog becomes a hit. Julia is very persistent and chips away at Cain’s icy exterior. Julia as well as Cain develop feelings for the other, but Julia has not told Cain about her blog. She is afraid how Cain will react if or when he finds out. Will their chance of love be ruined?  

Finding Father Christmas & Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn 352 pages

Miranda Carson travels to England on a spur-of-the-moment trip in search of her biological father. Miranda is led to Carlton Heath because a photograph of a little boy sitting on Father Christmas’s lap. The photography studio’s information is printed on the back of the photo. When Miranda starts looking for the shop, she learns that the studio is no longer. What she does find is a family who welcomes her with open arms. When Miranda discovers who her father is, she is faced with a decision that will hurt the people she is starting to love.  

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Muallaly Hunt 288 pages

Ally has a hard time reading and she is good at covering that fact up at school. Ally believes that she is dumb and is afraid to ask for help. When her new teacher, Mr. Daniels see how smart Ally really is, he starts tutoring Ally after school. They discover that Ally has dyslexia. As Ally’s confidence grows, she learns that it’s okay to be different.

This was read by Kathleen McInerney. 

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz, 288pages

The full title of this book is "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook--What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing."

I approached this book with trepidation.  I am not a fan of true crime or horror but I am happy to say this truly was a book of hope.  I wanted to read (listen) to this book because my Rotary Club is getting ready to work with a local elementary school whose teachers and staff all plan to read this.  Students who have adverse childhood experiences don't learn or behave like students who have a happy and stable home life. 

We all need appropriate love and interaction from birth and some families are not equipped to provide that.  In order to help traumatized children succeed and thrive, they need adults who can step in and be supportive and love them even when they are acting out.  That's a tall order, but this book explains why and how caring adults can impact lives.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, 652 pages

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is book six in the seven book series by J. K. Rowling.

Harry is sixteen and Professor Dumbledore is working with him this year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, to help prepare Harry for the showdown he is destined to have with the greatest dark wizard of all times, Lord Voldemort.

The only problem with finishing this great book is in knowing that there is only one book left in the original 7-book series and when I'm done with that one I will have to put the magic of Harry Potter away for awhile.

Monday, December 19, 2016

"Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming is a book that is found in the juvenile section here at the East Hills library. This book is very different in terms of the way that it was written and set up. The book is divided into four different parts and each part are written in poems. The whole point of the making of this book is that it is a memoir of the authors life as she grew up in the 1960's and the 1970's. Growing up all in the midst of the Jim Crow laws. This book is different, exciting, emotional, and happy all at the same time.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, 302 pages

Ann Patchett's latest novel spans 50 years and tells the story of a blended family.  It all begins when Bert Cousins crashes Franny Keating's christening party because he wants to avoid his own four children and wife.

By the end of the party, Bert has kissed Franny's beautiful mother Beverly, which eventually leads to divorce and remarriage and six children being thrown together as step siblings. 

Love and families are complicated.  What shines brightly through this story is the love and loyalty that binds them together.  Ann Patchett is an incredibly gifted novelist and wowed me again.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Whistler by John Grisham, 374 pages

I listened to John Grisham's latest and it was read by one of my favorite readers, Cassandra Campbell.

Lacy Stoltz is a lawyer and investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, an underfunded state agency that investigates judges for misconduct.  She is given a case that involves not only misconduct, but likely corruption on a scale rarely seen.  It's not long before Lacy and her agency are in over their heads.

This was a fast-paced thriller that wrapped things up nicely at the end.