Hello everyone! Time to make that New Year’s resolution to push the envelope and read some books you normally wouldn’t read. The 2021 Thoughtful Reading Challenge provides monthly book categories that are broad enough to find something good that catches your eye. I blog about my pick each month and ask readers to write about theirs in the comments. Continue reading
The Round House is a powerful exploration of the impact of rape on a family, focusing closely on how a teenage boy deals with the trauma and the helplessness of not being able to bring the rapist to justice. It’s set on an Indian reservation and casts some needed light on cultural and legal complexities of convicting non-Indians of crimes committed on reservations. Continue reading
The 14th Colony, which is the 11th book in the Cotton Malone series, is a political thriller that explores what would happen if the president-elect and VP-elect both died before the inauguration. It’s an interesting concept and I enjoyed the Cold War references, but I would say this book falls under the category of “brain candy” – it’s mildly entertaining and I’ll soon forget it. Continue reading
American Dirt is a gripping novel about a woman and her son who have to flee Mexico and migrate to the US in order to escape a violent drug cartel. It’s a sympathetic and suspenseful take on one of today’s biggest political topics – illegal border crossings. Continue reading
Dear Committee Members is a clever epistolary novel mainly composed of letters of recommendation written by Jay Fitger, a cynical creative writing professor at Payne University, located somewhere in Minnesota. The letters are mostly hilarious and reveal a lot about Fitger, academia, and the practically of an English degree. Continue reading
Flyboys is the devastating story of nine American aviators (Flyboys) who were shot down over the Japanese island of Chichi Jima during World War II. Eight of the nine were captured and died under mysterious circumstances. I credit the author for finally telling their stories, but I found his agenda-driven account of history to be a distracting disservice to the men whose story he is telling. Continue reading
I have ALS so this request is very personal.
This is my annual request for donations to my ALS walk team. Nationwide walks are the ALS Association’s primary fundraiser. This year the walks are virtual. I’m a bit worried that will have a negative impact on fundraising and I’ve vowed to do my part to raise money.
As many of you know, I was diagnosed with ALS in 2011 and I’ve been paralyzed and on a ventilator for about 6 1/2 years. Luckily, the disease hasn’t silenced me – I use eye gaze technology to communicate, which includes writing this blog.
Only about 20,000 Americans have ALS. We’re a select group that absolutely no one wants to be a part of. Because the number of people with ALS is so low, care and research funding tend to get shortchanged. However, the ALS Association advocates for us and provides much needed resources.
Please consider donating to my walk team to support the ALS Association’s ongoing work by clicking this link.
The Guest List is a highly satisfying suspense novel that takes place during the wedding from hell on a completely inhospitable island off the Irish coast. A cautionary tale about destination weddings? Perhaps! Continue reading
The Shipping News, published in 1993, is a personal evolution story about Quoyle, who transforms from a downtrodden big oaf to a content, well-regarded man. It took awhile to get used to the writing style and I didn’t care for the first part of the book, but I ended up enjoying this novel. Continue reading
Evvie Drake Starts Over is about a young widow who’s stuck in one of those places in life that can be hard to get out of. I would say this book is mostly a romance, but it also has strong themes of friendship, family, and breaking free of what’s holding you back to finally move forward. Continue reading