Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis

Three young men, connected only by their friendship with Isaac; when suddenly he's gone, what do they have left?

These guys couldn't have less in common, and yet there's something special in each of them and it's not just Isaac. The book is told in three separate parts (you read all of one before you get to the next), so there's a bit of back and forth over the same timeline, but from different perspectives.

Each struggles with his grief differently - and all have unique ways of dealing with the loss. They're written as realistic teenaged boys: keeping secrets, making dumb choices, figuring things out.

What an awesome book! I'm going to be handing this one over a lot in the near future.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Origin by Dan Brown

These books are my weakness. If I can find the time, I'll read it in a sitting. This one took me longer, but that's not the book's fault.

The world's leading computer scientist is murdered on the cusp of a world-altering announcement. His friend and mentor, symbologist Robert Langdon, is in the audience and immediately takes on the task of finding and releasing his friends legacy to the world before it's lost forever.

Religious subterfuge! Bullets flying! World monuments and astounding architecture!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I know, stunning, but I had never read this. We chose it for the library's book discussion, which seemed like as good a reason as any to finally commit.

I listened to the audiobook, read by Rob Inglis, and I think that made a HUGE difference for me. Having the dramatization, the accents and all of that really helped draw me into the story.

Suddenly, having read this, much about pop culture makes more sense to me.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly

Short, in all senses: tiny stories - some just a sentence or two, none longer than a couple pages - compiled into a 100-page collection.

This series of vignettes is a look at a life. Fennelly writes about her husband and kids, about her father-in-law, about her own childhood and about her observations of life around her. Many are funny. Some are a little sad. All are relatable.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Secret Art of Being a Grown-up: Tips, Tricks, and Perks No One Thought to Tell You by Bridget Watson Payne

The title is almost longer than the book, but it's a fun, graphically interesting, perky little reminder about the important things.

Wear what you want. Get outside sometimes. Ask for help when you need it. Perfectionism helps no one ... you know these things, but it's always nice to have a refresher. This would be a good gift book. Or a good addition to your personal library for those occasional "brush-ups" on the things that need reminding.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault

In this sensitive, sad story told in a mostly gray-scale graphic novel format, a boy juggles the emotions of his first big crush and his family's turmoil after his parents split up.

The only spots of color (yellow, blue, pink) in the book highlight hope: the girl he's in love with, happy memories, bravery, sobriety. They're few and far between - a physical depiction of the small, bleak lives of Truffle and Louis, their mom, and their distant dad. But there is, nonetheless, that hope for the future.

I loved this - it's a fantastic book about the tolls of alcoholism. It's not a happy story, but it's a truthful story about rebuilding a life and moving forward. I think it's an important book, an appropriate way for older kids and teens to either see themselves reflected or to better understand others.