Review of ‘Angela’s Ashes’

Angela’s Ashes By Frank McCourt Touchstone (Simon & Schuster), 1996 “Not for the faint-hearted” is perhaps over-used, but in the case of Frank McCourt’s memoir of his growing up years, Angela’s Ashes, it is apt.  (“Angela” is his mother’s name.) The son of an alcoholic Irish man, McCourt paints a gritty picture without a brushContinue reading “Review of ‘Angela’s Ashes’”

Review of ‘Lessons from the Mountain: What I Learned from Erin Walton” by Mary McDonough

Lessons from the Mountain: What I Learned from Erin Walton By Mary McDonough Kensington Publishing Corp., 2011 For millions of American television viewers, The Waltons was a Thursday night staple.  It was in my house.  Candidly, I considered the second Walton daughter the least credible character in the whole clan.  Mary McDonough’s Lessons from theContinue reading “Review of ‘Lessons from the Mountain: What I Learned from Erin Walton” by Mary McDonough”

“Wanting Mor”

Wanting Mor By Rukhsana Khan Young Jameela is determined to follow her mother Mor’s advice: “If you can’t be beautiful, you should at least be good.”  Growing up in a post-Taliban Afghan orphanage, shy, sensitive Jameela finds this easier said than done, especially since she’s not really an orphan.  Her father is alive, but herContinue reading ““Wanting Mor””

What’s ‘Secret’ About “The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez”?

The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez by Alan Lawrence Sitomer Hyperion Books, 2008 Sonia Rodriguez is the family work camel.  The oldest daughter in a family of nine, the 15 year-old wants to keep her grades up and the first member of her family to graduate from high school.  But the demands of caring forContinue reading “What’s ‘Secret’ About “The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez”?”

Review of “Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25”

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 By Richard Paul Evans “Is this like a series?  When’s the next one coming out?  Can we get it tomorrow?” High praise for any book, but coming from my twelve year-old son?  We’re talkin’ statospheric.  I mean, I had to arm-wrestle the kid for Richard Paul Evans’s newContinue reading “Review of “Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25””

Review of ‘Every Last One’ by Anna Quindlen

Every Last One By Anna Quindlen Random House, 2010 She’s done it again.  In Every last One best-selling author Anna Quindlen offers yet another poignant mixture of panache and pathos as she traces the effects of seemingly inconsequential choices and actions that turn out to be life-altering. Every may get off to a slow start,Continue reading “Review of ‘Every Last One’ by Anna Quindlen”

‘because of mr. terupt”: extradordinary (“dollar word”?)

Lisa was right.  Our intrepid Children/Youth Services Librarian usually is. Roaming the stacks of my local library the other day, I couldn’t quite find “It.”  You know, a title that leapt off the stacks, grabbed me by the throat and hollered, “Read me!”  (Some do, you know.)  So I moseyed over to Lisa’s desk forContinue reading “‘because of mr. terupt”: extradordinary (“dollar word”?)”

Review of “The Longest Trip Home”

The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir By John Grogan HarperCollins, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-06-171324-8 I expected better from John Grogan.  I loved the pithy insights from his first book, Marley and Me, as well as his richly textured three-dimensional word pictures, nimble pacing and quirky chronicling.  Cynical, sour, and almost suffocatingly self-serving, The Longest Trip HomeContinue reading “Review of “The Longest Trip Home””

‘I am not SPOCK’: Going where no Vulcan has gone before

I am not SPOCK By Leonard Nimoy Buaccaneer Books, Inc. 1975 ISBN: 1-56849-691-5 Actor.  Photographer.  Political activist.  Poet.  King Arthur.  Extra-terrestrial. What are the chances these words can all be connected to one person?  In the case of Leonard Nimoy, the chances are high because he is all of the above.  And much more. SkimmingContinue reading “‘I am not SPOCK’: Going where no Vulcan has gone before”