Keri is a single mother, trying to raise her daughter Trina, in the best way she knows how. Things are going well; Trina is a straight A student, has...moreKeri is a single mother, trying to raise her daughter Trina, in the best way she knows how. Things are going well; Trina is a straight A student, has lots of friends, and is a pleasure to spend time with. When Trina is 17, things quickly change. Trina's grades drop, she is violent and hostile at home, she begins drinking and doing drugs...Keri isn't sure where to turn. After several sleepless nights, and lots of tears shed, Trina is diagnosed as bipolar. From here the downward spiral really begins.
"72 Hour Hold" is the told from Keri's perspective, as she seeks help from the mental health system and tries to get her daughter's life back under control. While this is a fictional story, the feelings of desperation are dead on. I don't know anything at all about the author, but its clear that she has had some first hand experience with bipolar disorder. She describes the mania, the depression, the frustration with the mental health system, the hopelessness, all of it, quite accurately. You don't have that sort of insight without some sort of personal experience somewhere.
It's a decent read. Like I said, the emotions are accurate, and that was a selling point for me. It's real and honest, and I really enjoyed that about it. If you're interested in bipolar, this is a good book to read for some insight.
"From Baghdad, With Love" is the story of US Marine Jay Kopelman who, while stationed in Iraq, encounters a young puppy in an abandoned building. Agai...more"From Baghdad, With Love" is the story of US Marine Jay Kopelman who, while stationed in Iraq, encounters a young puppy in an abandoned building. Against his better judgement, and completely against military rules, he takes the puppy home with him. Thus begins a relationship of unconditional love, from both involved.
Lava, as the puppy comes to be known, is a playful, busy, protective, loyal young thing, and he quickly gives the Marines something to smile about. In a country full of death, blood and violence, its nice for them to come home to a wagging tail at the end of the day. However, eventually the Marines are going to leave Iraq, and this is what Kopelman worries over. After taking Lava in and feeding him, he knows there is no way Lava would make it on his own. Forced with two options; either abandon Lava in the street (or shoot him, as is what often happens to dogs in Iraq) or find a way to get him out of the country and back to the US, Kopelman then begins to try in earnest to find a way to get Lava home.
This is both a story of the war in Iraq, and a warm fuzzy "awwww" kind of story. There are a lot of details and facts about what is going on in Iraq, all from a Marine's point of view. While these facts are grim and depressing, the tales of Lava and his antics will cheer the reader right back up again. That's how I felt through most of this book. "Awwww," followed by "holy geez..." its an emotional rollercoaster.
As a young black boy growing up in Brooklyn, NY, James McBride contiunously wondered why his mother looked different. Yet each time he asked her if sh...moreAs a young black boy growing up in Brooklyn, NY, James McBride contiunously wondered why his mother looked different. Yet each time he asked her if she was white or black, she would simply answer, "I'm light-skinned." Finally, when he ventured into adulthood, she told him her story. This book is McBride's tribute to his white Jewish mother, who grew up in the south and never felt at home there. The narration eases back and forth between James' own story of growing up with his white mother, and his mother's story of survival in her own time.
This is an incredibly moving book and is very readable. It's written in a way that draws you in, keeps you interested, but doesn't overwhelm you with language or events. It's a simple story of life, but is told in such a beautiful way that I know I will never forget it. (less)