Sunday, July 26, 2009

Book Reviews

I've read a few books this summer. A couple non-fiction, and three fiction (see, I'm trying!). Well, actuallyI'm still working on the third fiction one, but I'm 200 pages into it, so I'm fairly confident that I'll finish.

Mercy - Jodi Picoult

This book was lent to me by a friend. I knew that Jodi Picoult had also wrote My Sister's Keeper. I thought I might like this book. I didn't hate it, but I did find myself skimming through it after I got about half way through it.

Basic Plot - Cameron MacDonald is the chief of Police in a small Massachussets town. He is married to a woman who runs the local floral shop. One day, a cousin of Cameron's, Jamie, comes to town, with his dead wife in the car, and confesses that he killed her (later it is revealed that his wife had cancer and they had agreed to have Jamie kill her if the situation became hopeless). On the same day, Cameron's wife, Allie, hires a woman, Mia, to help out in the shop. Allie ends up getting involved with Jamie's case, and Cameron ends up getting involved with Mia. (I won't tell you the end in case you want to read it.)

The infidelity in the book seemed to happen SO quickly, it seemed completely implausible. And overall, I just didn't care about the characters in the book, and it made it difficult to get through.

Overall rating: Thumbs down. (Sorry Stacey!)

The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl - Shauna Reid

I saw this book in the New Books section at the Library. It was a quick read.

Basics of the book: A 351 pound, 23 year old woman decides to lose weight. The book follows her on the 7 year journey where she loses some weight, gains some back, loses some weight, falls in love, gets married, loses a little more weight, plataues at a weight higher than she had originially wanted to be,but still half the weight she used to be. In the end decides that she isn't that fat person anymore. Now she is a happy, active, person.

I liked the book. It isn't really a diet book. It is more a book about having the strength to change, and the strength to do it for more than one day. But it is also written in a very witty, funny way.

Overall rating: Thumbs Up.

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not Getting By in America) by Barbara Ehrenreich

I picked this up at the Thrift Store. It looked like something I'd be interested in. And it was an interesting read.

Basics - A journalist decides to try and live off minimum wage in three different areas of the country. She works as a waitress & a hotel worker in Florida, a maid in Maine, and a worker at Wal-Mart in Minnesota.

The author is very upfront that this isn't a REAL study of people living on minimum wage. She had money to use for a deposit on an apartment. She had a car. She said that she would never become completely homeless. The really interesting part of the story are the other people. The REAL people living off minimum wage.

One thing that she addresses a little in the book, but I would have liked to hear more about was the lack of benefits, specifically health insurance, that most minimum wage workers go without.

Overall rating: Thumbs Up. (I'm done with it, but I own it now. Anybody want to read it next?)

Matters of Faith by Kristy Kiernan

I checked this book out from the Library. The title looked interesting.

Basic Plot - Cal and Chloe Tobias have two children: 18-year-old Marshall, who witnessed the death of his best friend as a child and has been exploring religion ever since, and his younger sister, Meghan, who suffers from a severe peanut allergy. Marshall comes home from college for spring break with his girlfriend, Ada, who is religious, but doesn't seem to be a believer of any traditional religion. Ada convinces Marshall that they should try and expose Meghan to peanuts in small amounts to cure her of her allergy. The first attempt ends disasterously with Meghan ending up in a coma. On the recommendation of an ER physician, the district attorney decides to charge Marshall and Ada with child abuse. Marshall and Ada flee town, and leave Cal and Chloe left to deal with Chloe, Marshall's disappearance, and the problems that they had before all of this happened.

This book was different than I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to talk more about Faith. But it was still a very interesting read, and the author gives a very realistic look at both the son and the mother in this novel.

Overall rating: Thumbs Up.

Reading Right Now: Good Grief by Lollie Winston

Picked it up at the Thrift Store. So far, Really Like it. Reminds me kind of a fiction version of Dietgirl, but about grief instead of Diet. It is sad, witty, funny, realistic look at a woman in her 30s, who became a widow after 3 years of marriage and how she dealt with it.

1 comment:

Stacey said...

I am not offended-I can't even hardly remember the book so I either thought it wasn't good or I haven't read it. I have some other VERY good books ready to lend out so just let me know when you are ready!