Monday, September 19, 2011

I May be MIA but I've Still Been Reading

I may be MIA but I've still been reading!

Here's an update:


Things We Didn't Say by Kristina Riggle

Casey, a young adult, is engaged to a Michael, who has three children.  His teenage daughter is a brat and his teenage son runs away.  The kids' mom is around the house more than Casey would like, and this threatens to ruin the relationship between her and Michael.


I finished it but felt I wasted my time.  The writing wasn't bad but the storyline was dull.



This Common Secret:  My Journey as an Abortion Doctor by Dr. Susan Wickland

Dr. Susan Wickland endured a painful abortion while growing up in rural Wisconsin. Later, after becoming a doctor, she saw how many women shared her ordeal of unwanted pregnancy and subsequent hidden abortion, and felt called to become an abortion provider.  She tells of her experiences, including having to wear a bulletproof vest and carry a gun.

LOVED   5/5

Very controversial, obviously, but I loved how caring and compassionate she was with her patients.  The threats to her and her family were absolutely astonishing.  She was afraid for their lives on a daily basis.  I'm embarrassed for the people who treated them like that and sickened by their behavior. Honestly. 

Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman

In 2005, Novelist Francisco Goldman married a young writer named Aura Estrada.  The month before their second anniversary, during a long-awaited holiday, Aura broke her neck while body surfing. Her family blamed him for her death for some ridiculous reason...he wouldn't go in the water with her when she invited him in.

OKAY   3.5/5

I hate to say it, but I loved the part where he discussed the details of the accident and aftermath (hospital and funeral), but in the rest of the book, when he talked about her childhood and college years, as well as their short marriage, he kind of lost me. The writing was beautiful, but I couldn't help but think he was just trying to capitalize on her death.  Awful, I know, but that's what I felt.

The Little Book of Forensics:  Fifty of the World's Infamous Criminal Cases Solved by Science by David Owen 
OKAY   3.5/5
"To take a crime from scene to court may involve several specialized branches of forensic science. Criminalistics specialists look at statistics, splash patterns, fingerprints and distribution of material at the scene; forensic chemistry deals with fires, explosives, glass, paint and soil analysis; toxicology looks at poisons and drug abuse; serology is the science of body fluids including blood, saliva and semen; the documents unit look at fakes and forgeries; and the computer branch investigate hacking and electronically detectable crimes."  That pretty much says it all. Some of the cases were interesting; others, not so much.

Dog Sense:  How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet by John Bradshaw

Bradshaw shows how humans can live in harmony with - not just dominion over - their four-legged friends.  He explains why positive reinforcement is a more effective and less damaging way to control dogs' behavior than punishment.  He also discusses why it's important to weigh a dog's unique personality against stereotypes about its breed.  (Three cheers for pit bulls!!!)


A little too scientific for me at first, but then I got into it.

The Lust for Blood:  Why We are Fascinated by Death, Murder, Horror and Violence by Jeffrey Kottler

Do you slow down at accident scenes hoping to catch a glimpse of something...anything?  Enjoy the gory details at murder trials?  Have an interest in serial killers and why they kill?  I do, I admit it, and that's why I picked this up at the library.


Kottler, a psychologist and author of a best-selling book about serial killers, interviewed perpetrators, victims and "consumers" of violence to find out why this subject draws such a wide audience (nice to know I'm not the only one).


Rawhide Down:  The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan by Del Quentin Wilber

The inside scoop about the day Reagan was nearly killed on March 30, 1981.


I enjoyed reading all the details about the day Reagan was shot.  And I mean, details.  Wilber interviewed the Secret Service agent who pushed Reagan into the limo and ultimately saved his life, as well as the surgeon who operated on him and the White House officials who were trying to determine what exactly happened.

A Grace Disguised:  How a Soul Goes Through Loss by Jerry Sittser

Jerry Sittser lost his mother, wife, and 2-year-old daughter in a car accident.

LOVED   5/5

I know one isn't supposed to "love" books about tragedy, but the way this man describes how a soul goes through loss and the steps to healing is extraordinary.  I recommend this book to anyone who has suffered any kind of loss of a loved one, including divorce.



Nothing Daunted:  The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden

I only read about 20 pages (I usually don't give up until 50), but I couldn't get into it.


Dogs Never Lie About Love:  Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (He wrote When Elephants Weep, which I LOVED)
I've never read Harlan Coben, so I'm excited about these...

I miss the camerarderie of the blogging world, but my days are so crazy with my son right now.  He's a senior in high school, plays basketball and is being recruited by D1 colleges. We're doing lots of traveling for school visits.  It's all good, and I'm very proud :)  I WILL be back to "hang out" with my cyberspace friends one day.  For now I can only give book "thoughts"; they can hardly be called reviews.  I need to change the name of my blog:  Lynne's Book Thoughts or Lynne's Mini Reviews.


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