Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Burnt Offerings: Robert Marasco

Creepy! Marian is bored with her life in the big city apartment and insist her husband Ben take them and son David away for the summer. She finds a mansion for rent for the summer and the old inhabitants say the place really comes alive in the summer. Marian is taken with all the valuables in the house and though David gets hurt the first day and Ben is uneasy about the place Marian pouts until they move in. They Bring Ben's aunt and immediately everyone but Marian is uneasy about how they are changing in the house as they start to deteriorate the house is like a snake shedding it's old skin and becoming renewed. Marian is tasked with feeding an old lady that lives upstairs, but isn't well enough to leave the room. Marian comes under a spell and after the Aunt dies she has a few periods of alertness that pass before she can scream for help. She becomes an unreliable character as she appears to be doing and seeing more than she remembers. At the end Ben is in a comma and David is drowned in the pool along with Ben. As everyone dies their picture appears in the old lady's room and there is a massive collection of photos. Marian then gains access to the mother's room in the house and whatever she sees is so terrifying she cannot scream. She then becomes part of the house like all the other visitors.

Ghost Medicine: Andrew Smith

Tis was a fabulous coming of age book for boys. Troy Scotts Mother dies and that summer he leaves his childhood behind. Troy and his two best friends Tom and Gabriel make an enemy out of the new sheriff's son Chase. This book follows the 3 boys for the year before Troy turns 17.Troy falls in love with Gabe's sister, Luz, and is nearly killed by a cougar that has killed Troy's animals. He comes in second in a shooting match to Chase and after Chase tries raping Luz, the Sherriff threatens them and the boys realize Chase is untouchable. At the end of the book Chase kills Scotts colt and tries killing Tom and Troy but Gabe throws a rock that knocks Chase into a river where he drowns. Gabe becomes a hero getting the boys out of the mountains to safety, but Tom dies from his wounds. Gabe tries to commit suicide and the boys try to heal physically and mentally.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Ghost Story: Peter Straub

This was written around the time of Steven King's "Salem's Lot" but it was nearly the same book, just expanded. Five friends in their 70's gather regularly as part of the "Chowder Society" where they share basically ghost stories from their past. The meetings start off with the question of "what was the worse thing you have done, but by the end of the book we understand why they never speak on the worst thing they have ever done because they were all involved in the murder of a woman when they were in their 20s. Meanwhile a "Manitou" has come to town and the men try to battle it before the entire town is murdered. Things I had trouble with in the book- These men are in their 70s and they are CONSTANTLY going up and down stairs and doing all other things with the ease and energy of a 20 yr old. Peter the child hero in the book calmly and rationally asks his mom about happiness, trying to touch on the affair she is having with one of the 70 yr olds right after seeing his friend consumed by a monster?! Why does it take seemingly 2 years for the Manitou to kill the men. There was action and then months and years go by and then more action, what is happening in the meantime?

Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice: Curtis Sittenfeld

This was a cute retelling of "Pride and Prejudice" in modern day. Elizabeth Bennett is a magazine writer and Mr Darcy is a Surgeon. One should probably reread the original before diving in, because I had forgotten all the sister's and friend's personalities.

Before We Were Yours: Lisa Wingate

This was a fabulous story about children being stolen from their parents and placed at horrible orphanages until adopted. This story follows the lives of the five fictional Foss children who lived on the river with their parents in the 1930s. The mother "Queenie" is taking to the hospital to give birth to twins because she was having trouble giving birth on the boat. The Children are taken by "the authorities" and the twins are immediately adopted. The eldest daughter tells the story on how they are all separated, the second child is raped and apparently dies from either abuse or malnutrition. She takes 2 other river children under her wing until the little girl is adopted and then she is adopted with her one sister. Their mother dies from a broken heart and the father drinks himself to death. Later in life 4 of the seven children find each other and reunite. The story interweaves between the girls and the one woman's granddaughter who is trying to figure out who she is. For a while we think the one sister could be Camille, but figure out she is the twin taken at birth and Camille did die in the orphanage.

Friday, February 2, 2018

It Didn't Start With You: Mark Wolynn

This was a fascinating book. At first it seemed like his cases were examples of reincarnation, but then the later examples were unique. Studies show that a female fetus grows her reproductive organs during her 5th month, so the babies she will go on to have will carry with them the experience of their mother in their grandmother's womb, any stress, grief etc. on top of their experience in their mother's womb. Once married a person will experience the unhappiness their parents may have had in their marriage unless they are able to recognize it and deal with any weight that they have unconsciously been carrying from the unhappiness. A woman's feeling of unhappiness in a marriage may stem from how close they feel to their parents.

Fatelessness: Imre Kertész

This story follows 15 year old Imre and his time in multiple concentration camps. He talks about the strangeness of time, where the first few day of his imprisonment seem longer than the years he spent in camp because it was so terrifying, and then he becomes numb and has no desire to live. He f\didn't get the arm tattoo because he was moved to two other camps where he and the boys he was taken off the bus with can't recognize one another because they change so much. This was a very educational story. Imre seems to become an experiment in the concentration camp hospital where they try to work on the boils on his legs. He survives the camp and then can't relate to the relatives who weren't kidnapped and has trouble adjusting to freedom.