Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reading Frenzy.

While I was at my Dad's, I didn't have much to do other than cook for him and take him to his various doctor's appointments. He actually sleeps quite a bit, and without the children there, I actually got some really good reading time in. Here's a run down of what I have been up to lately:

I was so excited about this one! I love the time period of the Salem Witch Trials and the idea of a book about a progressive woman during those times was so appealing. The storyline had so much potential, but I found the story itself to be sadly disappointing. The plot twists were predictable and the shifting between time periods was choppy. I hate being disappointed.

Happily my next selection was a real joy to read. This book was very original in that it is told entirely in the context of letters written among the various characters. The heroine was real, funny, and thoroughly likable. The side story of Elizabeth is every bit as engrossing as the main story - maybe even more so. I can't recommend this one highly enough. It's amazing!

"I Am Charlotte Simmons" by Tom Wolfe. I picked this one up because I had been wanting to read something by Wolfe for awhile. It's hard to believe that I have never read "The Bonfire of the Vanities" or even seen the movie "The Right Stuff" let alone read it. Wolfe's style as the silent observer is appealing - he misses nothing, not even the inner turmoils that the individuals try so hard to hide. "I Am Charlotte Simmons" is a unique and somewhat desperate view into college life in the 2000s. . I found it to be sadly truthful and eye opening.

Picoult does it again. Finding Faith is the story of a little girl, Faith, who after a traumatic incident in her life, starts having conversations and seeing an invisible friend who those around her later come to believe is God. Picoult always finds the most controversial and thought provoking topics to write about and this is one of her best.

Beautifully written and heart- breakingly honest and tragic, this is one book that I will never forget. I was wrapped up in his life before I was hit by the horror of it all. I think it is very heroic of Goolrick to share his story in the hopes that others may be saved.

This one was a real guilty pleasure. I loved every minute of it! If you like historical fiction, do yourself a favor and pick this one up - today!

This is a very different book - a mystery that I never saw coming. It certainly wasn't predictable. It was like Big Love - but in a book. If you enjoy the HBO series, this is a great book. I loved the incorporation of real historical figures and events in telling this story. I learned so much about the Mormon faith, the differences between Mormons and "Firsts" and the history of celestial marriage. Well worth the read.

I just finished re-reading Gone with the Wind. I have to say that through it all, I coudln't believe how foolish Scarlett was. I find myself helplessly in love with Rhett who was strong and vulnerable, sure yet desperate. If you have never read Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell's story is simply.... breathtaking.

Up Next? Crime and Punishment,Elsewhere and more....

Friday, July 3, 2009

It's Been a While

Well, I am here at my mom's and computer access is sporadic at best. As some of you know, I have been here helping taking care of my Dad who is dealing with his second round of Cancer. It hasn't been easy.
Dad and I went to see his oncologist on Wednesday. He was supposed to have his second chemo treatment then, but the doctor withheld it. Dad's white blood cells were only 25% of normal, not nearly enough to endure another bout. It seems like chemotherapy is a lot like fighting heartworm in a dog - you poison the dog to kill the smaller organism, hoping you kill the worm before you kill the dog. Looking at my Dad on some days, I really wonder who is winning the fight.
I spend a quarter of my time with my mom and the girls. It's refreshing to get away for a few days but, at the same time, I also feel guilty. After all, when does my Dad ever escape the fight?
I don't know what to wish for. Of course, I would love to have a magic wand that I could wave and cure cancer for every single person on the planet, unfortunately, I don't. I sometimes wonder if it's selfish to hope that the chemo prolongs my Dad's battle, when I see him in so much pain. Other days, he looks like his old self and you wouldn't even know he is sick. I guess I just have to roll with the punches, just like he does.
I do miss home....