Saturday, April 11, 2015

2015 Books List--1st Quarter


I enjoyed sharing the books I read in 2014. Many good reads but the post was certainly too long. I decided a quarterly book post would be better. Here is just a little about each book and why I liked it.
More detailed information on each book can be found on Amazon.
Books read the first quarter of 2015 include:

Still Alice--B+
For some reason I assumed this book was true. I finished it before I realized it is a work of fiction. I hate it when that happens! Still Alice by Lisa Genova was a book club read.  Alice is a brilliant professor at Harvard (a fact that is repeated over and over). As a Linguistics professor she travels and speaks all over the world. In her later 40's Alice begins forgetting things--she blames it on the stress of a very busy life. While on her daily jog she forgets where she is at and how to get home. She seeks medical helps and is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's.
As an almost 60 year-old I found myself making armchair diagnosis to almost all I know! A bit scary I admit. This book was believable--the author does have credentials, I assume she knows what she is talking about.
Alice deteriorates rather rapidly and soon she has to resign from teaching. I thought it was very interesting how others treated her. Some thought if she just tried harder she could remember, a few family members were compassionate and still others just ignored her.
I came away from this book with a heightened awareness. How would I treat someone with EOA? How would I help them maintain their dignity. Would I be content to be their friend knowing their limitations? I certainly hope so. This book made a great discussion. I think it scratched the surface of a condition we may all be exposed too. Knowledge is good when it helps us be more aware.
Still Alice was worth reading, it does include a few words that I do not care to read. I would give it a solid B+.

An Invisible Thread--A
This was my choice for Book Club this year. It is the true story of a remarkable relationship between a busy New York Sales Rep and a homeless 11 year old panhandler. He was asking for spare change, she kept walking. Something stopped her in her tracks and she went back. She continued to go back again and again. They met up weekly for years and built a life-changing friendship that has today spanned almost 3 decades.
This was an excellent book to discuss. Are we compassionate? How do we reach out to others, could we be a little kinder? You never know when a simple kindness will change a life. Excellent book, it just might be my favorite book this year--but the year is still young!

Boys on the Boat--A
A very interesting, true story about the US Rowing Team of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. I don't think I really knew that rowing was a sport until I read this book. Coming from land locked Utah I don't know much about water sports. This 8-man team of underdogs originated from the University of Washington. Eight amazing young men each with a unique background.
I do love a good true story. I like to learn about real people and their real lives. If you liked Unbroken you will most likely enjoy Boys on the Boat. I enjoyed listening to this book on Audible.


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks--A
Another true story (do you see a pattern) that I read with disbelief. A poor black tobacco farmer has cancer. Henrietta Lacks is known in the scientific world as HeLa. Her cells were taken without her knowledge in 1951 These cells were to become a very important tool in the medical world. They were vital in developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping and more. Her cells have been bought and sold by the billions.
I read this book with so many questions about ethics, race and medicine. This was a common practice in 1951. Was it right--I don't think so, but was it beneficial--yes. I hope we have learned from the mistakes of the past.
I listened to this on Audible--it is narrated by Cassandra Campbell, she is the best. This would be a great book club read. There is so much to discuss.

Divergent--B+
Divergent is labeled as Young Adult Fiction. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games you will probably like Divergent. The is the first book in a series of three, it has also been made into a movie (which I have not yet viewed). This is the story of a futuristic society that is divided into five factions. I listened to the Audible version and quite enjoyed it--but not enough to finish the series. I will listen to the rest of the series--just not now.

A Year on Ladybug Farm--B-
This is the light hearted story of three friends that leave their comfortable lives in the suburbs and buy a run down mansion in the middle of nowhere. I want to think most women are smarter than these three friends. But this is a work of fiction after all! It is somewhat amusing. It is the kind of book I have on my phone to read at the Drs. office or while I am waiting in line at Sonic for my half price Fresh Lime Diet Coke.
This book is not life changing nor is it a book club read. It is an airplane or beach read. Enjoy it for what it is. This is the first book in a series, I bought the second one for 1 cent as a used book. It is in my bag waiting for my next trip to the beach!!

The Deer Hunter's Oath--A+
This delightful memoir is written by my brother Jeff Lindstrom. If you love a good deer hunting story this will make you smile. Jeff started writing his history in a way his grandchildren would love to read. That is just a good story. 98% true, and 2% writers license.
 I am a non hunter by choice but I know the location--I lived at the farm, the end of civilization for two years. I also know the players so this book really came to life for me. Jeff has the ability to describe people in such a way that if I saw them at the Fruitland Store I would certainly know them.

 Jeff describes this as a collection of light-hearted and entertaining stories. Tales of family, friends and deer hunting from the perspective of a young boy growing up in the 60's - his first deer camp at age eight, the competitive teen years, antics with his brothers, and concluding with the ramblings of an old man. A humorous look at the education of a young and impressionable outdoorsman by the older, more experienced deer hunters, who administer the deer hunters oath.
You will laugh as you read this, if you are a hunter you can see yourself over and over. It is fun my 23 year old was laughing out laud and our 10 year old granddaughter said she loved it.
Any outdoors man would love this.

Outlander--D
I read a good review on this book but I didn't study it near enough. It began as a fun romance, I do like a good romance. But it wasn't long before the fun left. Bad language was common and the story line just went down from there. I classify this book as something I could not share with my mother or daughters.....if there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy we seek after these things...

Well friends there are my read for the first 3 months of 2015. Please let me know what you are reading. I'm always looking for a new read.

3 comments:

Kayte said...

Oh, I loved reading all your book reads! I have mixed thoughts about reading Alice but every time I come across it, and it seems like I have dozens of times, I think maybe I should read it because it's in front of me so often from friends who have read it, etc. It's a little scary (I will be 60 this month) and my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all had Alzheimer's with a fairly young onset time. I'm thinking I should have the test at my next doctor's appointment just to see if I carry the gene. I think I'd rather know than not. Anyway, Alice may be a read I pursue. I loved your description of beach read for the Ladybug book as I don't read enough of those...when Matt was swimming, I always had something like that in my tote as I often had to wait for him when picking him up from practices with that or choir and I just liked having a fun fast quick spirited read on hand. Since I no longer do that, or spend hours and hours each weekend on bleacher seats at meets, I have lost that book read and I think I need to pick one up again now and then to just have fun with it! Lots of inspiring finds on your list here...I like non-fiction and true stories the best, and I see a few listed. BTW, I saw Woman in Gold at the Cinema over the weekend and it was really good, I think you would like it, based on a true story. Have a great week!

Debra Eliotseats said...

I have only read one on your list, The Immortal Life..... Our AP Bio teacher has her students read it and I snagged a copy. I thought it was genius. Thanks for sharing all the others on your list.

Anonymous said...

The Fruitland store?!
Now you are in my neck of the woods but a little further west was where my childhood was spent!
I LOVE your book reviews and I trust your judgment of the books you read.
Is there anyway I can sign up for your blog? I'm not so savvy on the computer so may have missed the way to do that some where.
I have read several of the books on your post that I printed off in January of this year-- watched the movie or The Book Thief. My goodness, that is a BIG book. One day I will tackle it!