Sunday, October 30, 2016

Shelter - Jun Yun

This was a painful, depressing book to read and I didn't like it because of that.  One of my reading group's chose it for this month's read.  It is the story of a family; a young husband and wife and 4 year old son and the husband's parents.  The son and his parents are distant because of the father's violence and the mother's acquiesence.  A violent crime forces them together.  Their lives go from awful to miserable to unbearable.  There is no redemption in this book, just the harsh reality of lives destroyed and continuing to damage the next generation.  Ugh.

Published:  2016  Read: October 2016  Genre: Fiction

The Year Without Summer - 1816 William K. Klingaman and Nicholas P. Klingaman

Sub-title: and the volcano that darkened the world and changed history

This was written by a history professor and his son, a meteorologist.  The story was told in the first 25 pages and dragged on for over another 200.  It explains the effect that the volcanic eruption of Tambora Mountainin in Indonesia had on weather across the U.S. Eastern states and Europe for the next two years.  It gets bogged down in reciting first person accounts and minute details.  The areas experienced massive crop failures which contributed to civil unrest and population shifts.  A good reference for those interested in 1816 to 1818 history and a glimpse of the potential impact of any future severe weather disturbances.

Published:  2013   Read: October 2016  Genre: history

Leaving Earth - Helen Humphreys

This is a fictionalized account of a real event where two women, one a well-known aviator, the other a newcomer brought in at the last minute, establish a flight endurance record by circling a coastal town for twenty-five days.

It was a short book and fascinating to read the details of surviving with in-air refueling and meager food supplies, cold, wet clothes, boredom and lack of regular sleep.  The story revolves around the younger woman's awe at the experienced pilot and their coming to respect each other's talents and all too human shared experiences.


Published:  1997     Read:  October 2016  Genre: Historical fiction

After the Fall - Kylie Ladd

A story of two couples where the spouse of one falls for the spouse of the other and the aftermath of the affair.  I liked the style of storytelling, where we learn the viewpoints of each of the four people as they alternately are tempted, suucumb, discover and mourn their relationships.  Worth reading.

Published: 2009   Read: October 2016   Genre: Fiction

The Truth of the Matter - Robb Forman Dew

A mother adjusting to her children going off to start their own lives after WWII and coming back later to put down roots.  Quick, not very memorable read.

"...she was afraid she was losing the ability to love the people in her life.  It seemed to her that the protective passion that had governed her existence for all the years the children were growing up had just evaporated into thin air.  And too, although she had never thought that she expected reciprocity for what was simple, instinctive maternal love, she continued to be surprised every time she saw a look of annoyance cross one of her children's faces when she said something...that implied a particularly intimate knowledge of their personalities."

Published:  2005  Read: October 2016  Genre: Fiction