October 6, 2015

Elle and Coach

Elle and Coach
author Stefany Shaheen with Mark Dagostino
published August 2015
source:  purchased

Reflections:    A friend of a former co-worker on Facebook has a preschooler with Type 1 diabetes.  They got a medical alert dog Jubilee who alerts highs or lows.    She shares photos on Facebook.  When I heard about this book, I had to buy it.

Summary:  Elle (pronounced Ellie) was diagnosed barely in time with Type 1 diabetes.   The disease impacts the whole family, adding extra worries.  When Elle's mother learns about  medic-alert dogs, she brushes this information off.  Poo-pooh, dogs are too much trouble.   But.....  eventually Elle and her dad fly to Kansas to meet a possible dog.

My perspective:   A super read.  So amazing how science is able to lasso the highly-skilled scent abilities of dogs to work better for humankind!   I contacted this friend of a friend,  and am mailing the book to her.  

August 23, 2015

All the Difference

All the Difference
author Leah Ferguson
publisher  Berkley
to be published September 2015
source publisher

reflections:   Many times in our lives we struggle with decisions.  I've spent hours on-line trying to decide which motel to stay in on vacation.  That should have been a quick and easy decision.   On harder decisions,  we often wonder "What if I'd decided something else..."

On New Year's Eve, Molly says "you've got to be kidding me" when her pregnancy test shows positive.   By the end of the evening, her on-again-off-again boyfriend proposes.  Now what?

The cover of the book says it all:  accept the marriage proposal or not?   The reading is a delight, because it tells us "what if."   The chapters alternate with "If She'd Said No" and "If She'd Said Yes"

My perspective: A fun read;  Molly ponders on how she'll break the baby news to her  parents and to her BFF who is struggling with infertility.   Her boyfriend's mother is all gaga about the pregnancy.  There were some obnoxious characters too.  Some good quotes:
...that's the thing about being a grown-up:
I just feel like no matter which way I turn, I'm going to feel guilty about something.

August 20, 2015

Did You Ever Have a Family

Did You Ever Have a Family
author Bill Clegg
publisher   Gallery/Scout Press
to be published  early September 2015
source:  NetGalley and publisher

reflections:    Almost all of us have made mistakes in connection with our families.   I sometimes look back and wish "if only I hadn't ...."    I have feelings of guilt.   Fortunately, my mistakes aren't as deep-reaching and tragic as those made by the characters in Did You Ever Have a Family.

    The book opens with a house explosion killing four people.   One person, June who happened to be outside,  survives.   Soon after the funerals,  June gets in her car and drives as far away as she can.
     Each chapter tells about a different person and how the explosion affected that person.   Secrets abound.  Mistakes were made in the past, such as not recognizing a child's artistic interests or sending a child to boarding school.   There is one regret after another.   Some poignant sentences.
That is a moment I would do differently if I had the chance.  There are many. 
Everyone in his life stood by him, but I failed him.  I did worse than fail him. 
my perspectives:   I wish I had been told at the beginning to keep notes on who is who and how each person is connected.   So many characters!   I wonder  why the author included some in the book.  When I started some chapters, I'd have to stop and think, "now exactly who is this person?"    I especially liked the descriptions at the beginning of  how the residents of the tourist town felt about the summer weekend people invading their lives.    I am challenging myself to go back to re-read this book next year, with pencil and paper in hand to draw connections.

 I highlighted so many sentences in my kindle because they spoke to my heart. I need to close with another haunting sentence:
... the town where she has lived her whole life, where there are no friends, no family, but where her feet are famous to the sidewalks.