Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Books: A Review and Days 21-30

This week's book is More Than it Hurts You by Darin Strauss.

A sick baby, a physician, the baby's parents, lawyers, hospital administrators... these are the characters in this story. Right away there is tension between the parents and the doctors. The disagreements fester and end up in legal battles.

There are a couple of unexpected twists and turns in this story. At times I was bored with the story and wanted it to move along; the second half of the book was more interesting and moved quickly.

Almost all the characters functioned through a fog of stereotypes, prejudices, and distrust of each other. That part was so overdone that it felt unrealistic and jarring. America does function with a heritage of racism and whatnot, but I don't think it permeates every single human interaction as it did in this book.

I would call this just an OK book, kind of mediocre.


Now I shall complete the 30 Days of Books meme which I have condensed into three posts rather than 30 (see July 13 and July 21).

Day 21 - favorite book from my childhood. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This book was magical, in my mind. My family read it aloud together around a fireplace while we were on vacation. That reading of it was magical, too, and helped plant this book firmly in the "wow" section of my brain.

Day 22 - favorite book I own. I actually can't find the book right now, but I'm pretty sure I still own it. I bought it during my last year in college, 1974. It's probably out of print, and I don't recall the exact title. It's something like "Touch the Land" - wish I could find it to tell you exactly. It's a great book with pictures and quotes from American Indian people, mostly from the early times when early contact with white people was going so horribly wrong. It's a very moving book. Now I'm going to go on a hunt to find it and look at it again.

Day 23 - a book I have wanted to read for a long time but still haven't. The Bible. I want to read it cover to cover, and have not yet accomplished that goal.

Day 24 - a book that I wish more people would read. Neither Wolf Nor Dog by Kent Nerburn.

Day 25 - a character I can relate to the most. I guess I'll say Jane Addams. I read a biography of her when I was about nine; she has been my hero ever since. She often felt "not good enough" (she was crooked from scoliosis and was from a not very well-to-do family) which I also felt/still feel to some degree. She went on to become a great humanitarian and worker for social justice. I share her passion but am not the world leader she became. I guess I'm just a foot soldier for the cause.

Day 26 - a book that changed my opinion about something. A lifetime of reading has helped open my eyes to the wide variety of lifestyles in which human beings engage. Hopefully this helps me to be less judgmental than I might otherwise have been.

Day 27 - the most surprising plot twist or ending. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I read this at age 13 or 14 and bawled my eyes out.

Day 28 - favorite title. I love good use of language and playful word combinations. I know I've enjoyed this in several titles over the years, but can't think of what they were.. all I can say is, I still love an intriguing title and a beautiful book cover. Those two qualities will often entice me to buy a book.

Day 29 - a book that everyone hated but I liked. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I don't really know that everyone hated this book. I read it and enjoyed it, and later when I was in my educational interpreting career, some English classes were assigned this book. I got to interpret the class discussions. Most of the students seemed to dislike it immensely (mostly because of the language), but I still enjoyed it.

Day 30 - my favorite book of all time. I just can't narrow it down to one. I'm going to name two books: Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton and Neither Wolf Nor Dog by Kent Nerburn.

Ta-da! I'm done with the 30 Days of Books! It was fun to force myself to think about these topics. Thanks for bearing with me as I participated in this unusually long book discussion!

No comments: