This week I have read:
The Beet Fields: Memories of a Sixteenth Summer by Gary Paulsen
Not as strong as his other stuff. Wow, he has had quite a rough life and faced some horrible things. Still, this is not one of my favorites…
Soldier’s Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers by Gary Paulsen
This is a sad story that really dives into the heart and soul of a soldier. It is a novel but also a psychological evaluation of what seeing so much death and destruction can do to a person. This is a sad, sad story, but a really important one. It seemed so timely with the death toll in the Middle East constantly rising.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
There is no way to describe this book. But I’ll give it a shot anyway. It is a fiction book but feels like more like non-fiction. It is about the Vietnam War. It is storytelling at its finest, but it is also about the art of storytelling. It is one of the first things that I’ve ever read that really and truly made me understand why my Dad will not speak about his experiences as a Marine is Vietnam and why still, 34 years later, he has nightmares every night. All I can really say is that you really need to read it.
I apologize for not having the time to write real reviews for these books, but I just want to get the list out there before I forget what I’ve read lately. I’ve been out sick this week and since I couldn’t feed my stomach, I decided to feed my brain…
Freaky Green Eyes by Joyce Carol Oates (what a powerful book–just as good, if not better than Big Mouth Ugly Girl)
Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen (oldie-but-goodie)
Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen (I think he is one of the best writers alive today!)
Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales from a bad neighborhood by Hollis Gillespie (talk about heart and heartache and humor and love and friendship and wackiness–this is an awesome adventure)
Cirque Du Freak: Book 1 by Darren Shan (I finally got to see what all these middle school boys are so hyped about. This starts as a fun and playful story and has quite a chilling ending. Can’t wait to see what happens to Darren in The Vampire’s Assistant)
Izzy Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voigt (We have this shelved in children’s and I really think it should be a YA book. Anyway, Cynthia Voigt just never disappoints. Izzy loses her leg in a drunk driving accident. How will she cope? How will her family cope? How will her friends cope?)
The World According to Humphrey by Betty Birney (A classroom pet, Humphrey the Hamster, becomes more than a pet when he starts making weekend visits with the students in his classroom)