March Book Reading Madness

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
The story of four generations of the Whitshanks, held together barely by the color blue. And I mean the book and the family. Tyler says this, her 20th novel, will be her final finished work. Well, for all things there is a season...and athough I admire her previous books, especially Breathing Lessons, this one is just so-so.

A Slight Change of Plan by Dee Ernst
Recently widowed, Kate Everett is healing and looking forward to a new house, a new job, and even dating. But a few of her kids move back home, and her job is zilch. On the bright side, her old college love re-appears and they take up where they left off. Of course life has a way of confusing the issue and Kate finds herself re-evaluating what she thought she wanted. A nice little easy-readin' book.

Do Not Forsake Me Andre Drapp by John W. Austin
This is Austin's first novel and I can't say much about it becasue I couldn't get past the first few chapters. Time is valuable -- it's actually all we really have, and if a book doesn't grab me and hold my interest -- well, I just move on to something that does.

On Life After Death by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
I wish I'd read this book before my Mother passed away, and I could have shared the stories with her during her final weeks. What joy that would have brought her. Ross draws on her research of more than 20,000 people who had near-death experiences, revealing the afterlife as a return to wholeness of spirit. Such comfort to the dying and such a compelling message of hope to the living to live life to the fullest.

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D.
Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but most scientists say that ND's are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those people, until that is, the day his brain was attacked by an extremely rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a deep coma and his doctors thought about stopping treatment. Alexander suddenly recovered which was a medical miracle -- but the experience he had while in a coma was even more so. Very good book.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
France 1939. Don't you love it already!!? The story of  two sisters who fight their WWII battles in different ways. Older sister Vianne is in the quiet village of Carriveau, while her husband is at the front; and she must play hostess to Nazi officials. Isabelle, on the other hand is reckless and joins the Resistance and risks her life to save the airmen who are shot down over France. Well-written historical fiction that keeps you guessing until the very end.

February I Heart Books

An Absent Mind by Eric Rill
I can relate to the slow, heart-breaking realization that your parent is dying. Although my Mom didn't die from Alzheimer's, I was her care-giver and watched as COPD and congestive heart failure slowly took her life. An Absent Mind is about Saul, and his family as they navigate the progression of Alzheimer's, and explore what their relationships will look like during his final years. Rill's father had Alzheimer's and he felt the need to write about it. You will learn more about this horrible disease than you probably want to know, but it's true, honest, and touching. Excellent.

E-Squared by Pam Grout
My friend, Teena has wanted me to read this book for years, and I finally caved. I'm so glad I did!!
E-Squared is a easy to read, humorous take on visualization/quantum physics -- a sort of lab manual full of simple experiments to prove that you create your own reality and that you shape your life with your mind. The nine, 48-hour experiments are fun and at least for me, resulted in several ah-ha moments. Highly recommended.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Set in Ohio in the 70's, when you thought the US was finally over the race thing, but nooo. Lydia is the daughter of Marilyn Walker, a white Virginian, and James Lee, a first-generation Chinese-American. Lydia, along with her brother and sister are stuggling to figure out just where they belong in society. Will a relationship with the 'bad boy' next door help? When Lydia, an over-acheiver and favorite child, is found dead in a nearby lake, the family begins to fall apart.The story is about expectations, death, secrets, race, un-realized dreams and what length you would go to finally realize them.  Excellent book.

See How Small by Scott Blackwood
The story is based on a similar and still unsolved 1991 case in Austin, Texas-- which is where See How Smal is set. Elizabeth, Zadie, and Meredith, are three teenage girls working the front counter at Sandra’s ice cream shop. Unknown killers assault and bind them, and set the building on fire. The story as told through the eyes of the girls themselves, the devastated mother Kate, town firefighter Jack, and the criminals themselves form the core of the story. Excellent book.