November 11, 2015

October 2015 Reads

This is a good team to be on!

Oct 56 A Little Life Hanya Yanagihara
57 Orbiting Jupiter Gary D. Schmidt
58 The Killing Kind Chris Holm
59 Scrapper Matt Bell
60 Gonzo Girl Cheryl Della Pietra
61 The Tears of Dark Water Corban Addison
62 Shoot the Woman First Wallace Stroby
63 I Saw a Man Owen Sheers
64 Those We Left Behind Stewart Neville
65 Shovel Ready Adam Sternbergh
66 We Never Asked for Wings Vanessa Diffenbaugh

What a great month of reading I had.  I have two favorites, I couldn't choose just one,  The first is The Tears of Dark Water by Corban Addison.  There are six main characters in this tale about an around the world sailing trip undertaken by a father trying to "save" his troubled son.  The others are the wife and mother who waits at home, an FBI hostage negotiator, a Somali pirate and kidnapper, and the lawyer who defends the Somali.  Each character is skillfully developed by having chapters dedicated to him/her.  The story is visual and engrossing, and I came away with a better understanding of the elements that went into this story.  I haven't read Addison prior to this, but if this book is any indication of his talent, I'll be reading his other books.

My other favorite is We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  I was already a fan of hers after devouring The Language of Flowers in 2011.  Diffenbaugh blends her beautiful writing with the themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in this powerful story about family.  Letty, the mom, works three jobs to support her children and parents, leaving all the "parenting" to her mom and dad.  After 14 years, Letty needs to "step up to the plate" parent-wise, when her parents decide to return to Mexico.  Like all parents, Letty makes mistakes, a lot of them, but she's driven by love and wanting to offer her children the best.  This is a great read.

Orbiting Jupiter is another family tale, this one written for 12-17 years old.  (I read everything; I just insist on good writing.)  Joseph has been "in the system" for awhile and finally finds a great foster home.  He has a backstory that includes fathering a child, Jupiter, at 13; and an abusive, manipulating father, but his goal is to find his child, who has also entered the foster care system, and he isn't allowed to see her.  His new foster brother, Jack, is 12 and narrates this tale.  The two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it might require.

The Killing Kind by Chris Holm awakened my love of hitmen!  Keller by Lawernce Block has been my favorite for many years.  Now, enter Hendricks!  He only takes contracts on other hitmen!  What a guy.  If there's a contract out on you, Hendricks will offer to hit the hitman for ten times the price on your head.  What a deal.  You get to live and the hitman goes away.  Of course, organized crime isn't too happy about losing their contracted killers, and they hire someone to take out our anti-hero.  This is a good, fun read!  Really.

If you're looking for a dark tale read Scrapper by Matt Bell.  It reminded me of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. It's equal parts dystopian novel, psychological thriller, literary fiction and takes place in the Motor City,  What more could you ask for?

What are you reading?

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