12.03.2013

What I Read - November Edition


I love inspirational stories of people drastically changing their lifestyles in order to help others and find a deeper sense of contentment. I can't get enough of the clips of Ellen handing deserving people $10,000 checks or shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. When I read the synopsis of the book it fell right in line with all of those true life feel good stories I love.

At the urging of their then 15 year old daughter Hannah, the Salwen family sold their home, moved into a smaller one, and took half of the proceeds from the home sale ($800,000) and donated it to a charity. They spent many months debating which charity to choose and every step they took they decided as a family. The whole process brought them closer together, a by product they had not really expected.

Kevin Salwen was a journalist and the book read as such. It was pretty matter of fact and dry, really lacking the heart that I would have expected from such an unusual story of giving. It was hard to get through the book which really bummed me out. The Extreme Makeover feel goods never happened. The fruits of their donation were not realized by the time the book was published so the book felt unfinished as well. Great idea, poor writing execution.


Well, this book took me by surprise. The synopsis on the book cover gave nothing away, so I went into the book blind to the fact that it had a sci-fi twist to it. I don't read reviews before I read a book on purpose, but for this one it would have been nice to have at least that heads up. I am not a huge sci-fi fan, so I may not have picked it up had I known. However, there is a lot that happens in the book before you figure any of that out. 

The focus was on three main characters Ruth, Kathy, and Tommy and their childhood at an English boarding school. You know from the beginning something about the school is different but don't find out what exactly until near the end. There isn't a happy ending per se, but the book did come full circle in a way that did make sense. I am still digesting it, but the more I think about it, the more I did like it. The beginning was slow, but I did finish it in only a few weeks. It was made into a movie too and I think that it would translate into that medium really well, so I'll have to check that out. 

Next up is Eleanor & Park which I've heard from a few reliable sources will have me crying on the bus. Bring it Rainbow Rowell!

[Disclaimer: If you click on the above Amazon links and purchase anything I receive a small commission from Amazon. Like a few cents. Buying from Amazon is awesome, but your local library is pretty cool too.]


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