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Recent Reads

A Long Walk to Water:  Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park (2010).  This is Maya’s middle school’s current reading selection, and we read the book together.  The students at her school are even raising money to send to help with a water well project somewhere in Sudan.  The actual book alternates between the 1985 story of one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan” and the 2008 story of a girl who spends her days making the roundtrip to obtain water.  Very engaging and depressing.

A Lover’s Lament by K.L. Grayson and B.T. Urrueala (2015).  Romance about a woman grieving the death of her father who reconnects on a soldier pen pal list with the (now) man who broke her heart when they were teenagers.  While I thought the war scenes were particularly well-written, the book spent too much time with the main characters on opposite ends of the world.  Their actual time together seemed rushed, and I liked the characters better as individuals than as a couple.

A Common Struggle:  A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction by Patrick J. Kennedy and Stephen Fried (2015).  After watching Kennedy’s interview on 60 Minutes, I wanted to read his story.  I think he’s trying to use his famous family name to shed some light on two areas of stigma that often go hand-in-hand.  He makes a compelling advocate for compassion and change.

What are you reading?


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If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor

The May selection for my work book club is Jon McGregor's If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (2002). The novel follows various individuals in one neighborhood on a particular day, an ordinary day that ends with a terrible tragedy.

Here's the short set of questions I e-mailed to book club members yesterday, along with my own responses.

Did you have a favorite character, or one that spoke to you the most? Who and why?
The father with the burned hands is the one who stayed with me the most after reading the book.

Did you notice that the day on which the events unfold is actually the same day that Diana, Princess of Wales, died? Does knowing that make any difference in how you see the story? I wouldn't have made the connection if I hadn't just watched some of the coverage of the Royal Wedding. To quote the author, he chose this particular day because his novel is about how ". . .everyday miracles of life and death go unwitnessed in favor of celebrity and sensati…

Current Little Pleasures

Girls' weekend in Omaha with Maya and her friend.

Happy Buddha:  Sweet Orange and Cedar Shower Foam from RITUALS

Time for iced or blended peppermint mochas.

Shopping for little gifts for Maya's Japanese pen pal.  They were matched through their schools, and we're hoping she can stay with us for a few days this summer.

The flock of wild turkeys, foxes, and other assorted wildlife entertaining us this fall.

Thanksgiving plans to visit my sister.

Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas is back!

Current Little Pleasures

Christmas Keepsake Week, July 14-23, filled with Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Sending Christmas (in July) cards with a Peace greeting to some of my favorite people.  Why not??

Scott Tube Free Toilet Paper--nothing to recycle.

Haagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream--always!

Baby Driver movie.

Seeing photos from my sisters and niece on Facebook during their Italy trip.  I can't imagine they will want to come back home!

What are your current little pleasures?