Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Floatsametrics and the Floating World:Curtis Ebbesmeyer

This was super interesting. I learned the military had bases on ice bergs during the cold war, I learned about water slabs, Guinness sent bottles to sea as advertisement with instructions inside on how to make a lamp out of the bottle. It also talked about ocean gyres and how the one on the pacific coast has about a three year rotation, I also learned about pool cues and the Nike as well as the rubber ducky spill. It seemed like I learned something on every page and I really enjoyed the variety of topics I was educated on-I highly recommend this book!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Finding Me: Michelle Knight

WOW, this book is heartbreaking the whole time. The woman had a horrible childhood of rape by a family member, she runs away from home and lives under a bridge, then works for a drug dealer before he is busted and she is back on her own when her father finds her and brings her back home. As soon as she grows up and is free she loses her son because of someone else in her house hurting him. Then when she tries to get him back, is kidnapped by a sick deranged man who further beats and rapes her for 12 years. She has 5 miscarriages in the house induced by the man hitting her in the stomach with barbells and pushing her down the stairs. She describes the abuse the girls went through in the house and how the man loved to torment her that no one was looking for her and he hated her and punched her constantly. When she is freed she realizes her son is nearly grown and through pictures he looks happy. It is bittersweet for her as she misses him terribly, but also knows he is happy with his new life and new family so she doesn't want to disrupt him. She also doesn't want him to think she abandoned him. She is optimistic about the future and though she can no longer have kids, wants to do something to help children

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Crane Wife: Patrick Ness

This was an interesting mythical type writing. A man, who is a likeable but boring fella, is everyone's friend, but no ones love. His daughter doesn't even call him dad, but distances herself from him by calling him "George". One day George hears keening in his yard and finds a Japanese Crane...in England. The crane is hurt, an arrow has been shot through her wing(which is part of the myth) George removes and arrow and the bird takes off. The next day in his shop, a woman, Kukumo comes in and George falls in love with her and finds meaning in his life through her. She takes his paper cuttings and makes tiles for him, which makes him rich and famous. He goes to her home uninvited and sees she is a crane and makes the master pieces using feathers, which she plucks from herself. That nice the house mysteriously burns down and even though George knows the crane caught him when he jumped out of the house, the woman's body is found in the remains of the fire. The story that is interwoven with the novel is the story of the creation of the earth, the crane, which was the daughter of the sky, falls in love with the volcano, which creates and destroys the world at it's whim. The two both love and hate each other equally. As the crane flies off to leave the volcano, he shoots her- which becomes the beginning of the novel where the crane enters George's life with an arrow in her wing. The story then ends as the volcano and crane meet up again showing that stories start way before we see them begin and never end.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Freedom: Jaycee Dugard

This was an odd book, it was in the format of random rambling thoughts about life after horrible events, but it really lifted my spirits and was absolutely a feel good type of book. The author is so excited in her writing about her life after rescue and it comes across really cheerful and uplifting.

Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland; Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus

This was a sad horrifying story about the three girls abducted by Ariel Castro in Cleveland Ohio, but written by just two of the kidnapped. Astonishingly all three were kidnapped during the day and no one witnessed anything! Michelle Knight was kidnapped shortly after losing custody of her young son. Ariel lured her into his car and then into his house with the promise of a puppy for her son. She went with him because she knew him and his daughter. she was then tied with chains, locked in a room, beaten, and raped for the next dozen years. Her family didn't report her as missing because they assumed she left town upset about losing her son. Over the course of her abduction she has 5 miscarriages, each induced by Ariel's systematic violence so she won't give birth. A year later Amanda Berry was kidnapped in the same way. She got off work at Burger King early and when she is walking home is stopped by the father of a girl she knows from school. He asks if she needs a ride and wants to see his daughter, she says sure, but then he takes her home and ties her up with chains in the basement. Her captivity is similar to Michelle's, only she gets pregnant and Ariel lets her keep the baby, who he actually treats like a daughter. Not quite a year after Amanda's abduction Ariel sees Gina and his daughter talking. Once his daughter walks away he asks Gina if she'd like a ride and of course she accepts because he is one of her best friend's dad and her family knows him. Again she ends up in the basement and he doesn't believe she is only 14 and a virgin until he rapes her, then gloats that he is her first and she will always remember him. As time goes on the girls either figure out what sets him off and try to avoid it or he decides he wants to view these tortured women as family and life becomes more bearable for Gina and Amanda after Amanda gives birth. It doesn't seem like life ever gets easier for Michelle as he still continuously beats and rapes her. Eventually Ariel seems to get bored with the girls and is bothered by his daughter living a life locked in a room with her mother He starts talking about letting them go, but he doesn't want to go to prison. One day he accidently leaves Amanda's door unlocked and she is unchained. Her daughter keeps asking where daddy went with the car and Amanda acts through panic that he is tricking them. She goes to the locked front door and screams, but the neighbors are hesitant to help her and walk away. One man goes up to the door and kicks it, but then tells her to kick her way out. She is able to create an opening large enough to crawl out and grab her daughter, then uses a neighbor's phone and calls 911. The entire time she is terrified he will come back and kill them all, but the police some and get the other 2 girls and they are rescued.

Memoirs of a Milk Carton Kid: Tanya Nicole Kach

I wasn't sure how to feel after reading this book. On one hand Tanya didn't have anyone to tell her to stay away from old men and the man knew what he was doing was wrong, hiding her in his house even from his parents, sex with a minor, abuse etc. On the other hand, if the school personnel suspected the security guard, they could have assumed she was safer with this man she chose to be with, rather than her parents. I had a hard time placing blame and seeing this story in black and white. I know captors feel like they have no where else to turn if they run, but it seems like she could have just walked out of the house whenever she wanted to. I had trouble relating to the way she eventually ostracized those around her after getting free, even the grocery store owners who helped her, she claims abandoned her. She includes in her book that people are warned away from her because she is too much drama, the reader is left wondering how much of that is true...and if the captor did kill any of the other missing girls. I also found it strange that the book was co-authored by her attorney...like he wanted to make sure his name was forever linked with hers. (remember me! remember me!)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How Starbucks Saved My Life: Michael Gates Gill

This was a heart warming story about getting back on your feet and finding the love in yourself and in others. A man who was accustomed to the affluent life is fired and finds himself in situations he never imagined he would be in. He has an affair and has a child with the other woman, gets divorced and realizes he is going to be broke before long. He goes into Starbucks to drink what he thinks will be his last coffee, because he won't be able to afford it anymore and is offered a job. The job turns his life around and he learns how to be truly happy with less.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids: Jaycee Dunn

This book is hilarious and spot on. This book is sort of a self help book on surviving raising your children while raising your husband with the sense of humor and language one can completely relate to. The writer states that before her daughter came around her husband was great. Now she has returned back to work after 2 years of staying at home with the baby and hasn't gotten help with any duties and is exhausted all.the.time. Her husband has taken up sports that leave the house for hours at a time. She also resents how he spends his time with their daughter when he is there. In one hand he plays on his cell phone while absentmindedly watching her. It was surprising to me how much research she put into this ( but it was a double whammy, trying to save their marriage and write a book).They met with a marriage expert for a 5 hour session,he pointed out how they were both at fault and Jaycee's activity was to grab a photo of her daughter before blowing up and tell it- her anger was more important than her at that moment- which understandably brings her to tears. She spoke with an FBI hostage negotiator, she figured her husband could learn how to talk to her when she was furious and reads and speaks to many other professionals in the field finding out that women are both better able to multitask and handle stress. She pointed out men leave situations in which they are not comfortable- check out the car wash on Thanksgiving- and when women are upset it stresses out the man, but the children are only stressed when the dad is stressed. The woman doesn't take her anger out on the children, but the man explodes taking everyone with him. The section on bonding was also interesting- men just need to be in the same room as another person to be bonding, a woman needs to be talking to the other person. My husband listened to some of this with me- got a book on tape- and he laughed a lot in agreement.

Rising Sun: Michael Crighton

This was an interesting book about cultural differences and ways of doing business.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Pox Americana: Elizaberth A Fenn

This was an interesting book on the effects of Smallpox. She points out a lot of interesting things I would never have given a thought to, mostly how much easier life is today without small pox. In the 15-16th centuries it would have been hard to find a person in Europe/ Africa that wasn't exposed to the Pox at least once every five years. If you survived you were usually scarred, but immune for the rest of your life. Then the Europeans came to the New World where the natives had never been exposed to the virus and since they all had similar immune systems the disease did not have to mutate much or at all to have a devastating impact. Where in Europe the number who died was up to 20-25% in the Americas the number could be 80% wiping out whole tribes. The book talks about the first attempts of inoculation and how much if the process was unnecessary- bleeding, poison, etc. and how many towns had banned the process because they didn't want to introduce the disease into the population. The book also talked about the revolutionary war and how people didn't want to fight and get exposed to small pox. Eventually they would march the thousands of troops to inoculation hospitals. As people moved around more the epidemic created a tidal wave of infection. In Mexico city the population went from 25 million to 2 million after an epidemic and the Sonora desert lost 90% of their native population. People would get sick and not be able to attend their crops, if they survived they wouldn't have any food and at a weakened state faced starvation. Lewis and Clark noted remnants of the disease on their travels well before Europeans got to the interior due to the natives extensive trade routes with one another.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Surviving Ireland: Colm Tobin

This was a funny account of the quirks of Ireland mean for both the native or those travelling there. The topics ranged from the weather to the stages of drinking to short history lessons. It was funny, there are a lot of references to other parts of the world and you find yourself bursting out laughing. A delightful book.