I won this book from the Goodreads First Reads program.
This is a book about a man, Glen, who is indirectly involved in a fatal car crash, and the way...moreI won this book from the Goodreads First Reads program.
This is a book about a man, Glen, who is indirectly involved in a fatal car crash, and the way he handles it. Being driven by frustration and road rage, he leaves out vital parts of his testimony to the police so as not to implicate himself in the other driver's death. What results is the stress of lying and living with a guilty conscience, the anxiety of losing his life in a lawsuit, and the fear of being caught lying by police. Reading this book is like watching an episode of Columbo. You can feel the pressure on the suspect, you can feel him cracking beneath it. It's a pretty good read; I read it in one sitting. It's rare for me to find a book I'm unable to put down.(less)
I received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.
This book tells the true story of Buddy Miley, a high school quarterback who sustained...moreI received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.
This book tells the true story of Buddy Miley, a high school quarterback who sustained a spinal cord injury during a game. The author, Mark Kram Jr, paints a real and poignant picture of Buddy's life: his hardships as a quadriplegic, the relationships with old friends and members of his family; in particular, his brother Jimmy and high school friend Karen, and eventually, Buddy's assisted suicide.
Despite the sad and perhaps troubling (to some) subject matter, I really enjoyed reading this book. The fact that this story is true is what makes it; everything written here has happened to someone. I liked reading it and knowing that people lived through this unfortunate thing, and it reminded me that many lives can change in an instant.(less)
I won this book in March through Goodreads First Reads.
I wanted to like this book. I really, really wanted to like it. It tells a story of men -- immi...moreI won this book in March through Goodreads First Reads.
I wanted to like this book. I really, really wanted to like it. It tells a story of men -- immigrants, drug mules, and a seemingly regular guy trying to do right by his friend's widow and son -- who are driven by money, or the lack of it. The writing is mostly good, lyrical and poetic, with a few parts that run on confused me, and the story is poignant, but doesn't flow easily, and, at times, didn't hold my attention; I feel like it's all style with very little substance. For the most part, I enjoyed reading it, and I might benefit from a second visit later on, but I don't think that will be happening for a while yet.(less)
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
The God Box is the story of Mary Finlayson and her spirituality, as told by her daughter, Mary Lou...moreI won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
The God Box is the story of Mary Finlayson and her spirituality, as told by her daughter, Mary Lou Quinlan. After Mary's death, Mary Lou, along with her father and brother, recover Mary's God Box (or boxes, as it turns out to be several), her collection of written prayers that she'd kept for many years. As they go through them, Mary Lou recalls the kindness and thoughtfulness of her mother and their close relationship, and talks about moving on from the loss.
As someone who wants to be spiritual but isn't, this was an interesting read for me. Mary definitely had a creative and apparently effective way of manifesting her faith into something tangible and uplifting, and it was nice to hear that it, and she, affected so many people in a positive way. Of course, it's also poignant reading about the way her death affected her family and friends. It's a deeply personal story, and the author does a great job telling it.(less)
I won a copy of this book in April through Goodreads First Reads.
A woman is sitting at a roulette table in a casino. We don't know her name or what sh...moreI won a copy of this book in April through Goodreads First Reads.
A woman is sitting at a roulette table in a casino. We don't know her name or what she looks like, but we're inside her head, lost in her thoughts. While she places her bets and maintains her composure, she looks around her, creating backstories and fantasies for the croupier and the other players, wondering if her son fell asleep easily, trying to remember a word that's just out of reach, fighting the urge to leave the table to go to the bathroom. This is Roulettetown.
I really enjoyed reading this one. It was a bit like being lost inside my own head, sort of like when I'm doing the dishes, and I'm trying to remember the name of the neighbor a couple of houses down, or when I'm on a bus and I'm looking around at the other passengers, studying them, trying to figure them out. Something else I liked was that the author doesn't spell things out for the reader; we never know exactly who the woman is, and we never find out much about the things and people around her, apart from some casual observations and snide remarks. I got to use my imagination quite a lot here, and I feel like I got more out of the story that way.
At 84 pages, this took me an hour to read, maybe. I'd recommend it to anyone who can entertain themselves simply by thinking.(less)
I won a copy of this book in March through Goodreads First Reads.
I really enjoyed this volume of poetry. Each poem is like a little still-life; someth...moreI won a copy of this book in March through Goodreads First Reads.
I really enjoyed this volume of poetry. Each poem is like a little still-life; something mundane and ordinary, such as sweating, sunrise, and cityscapes, and describes it in lyrical, exquisite, sometimes harshly detailed verse. Words are drawn together expertly by the author, making each line something to be read slowly, to be savored, followed by clear, gorgeous imagery.
My favorite poem is one called Compass, found about halfway through the book, detailing a man's journey down the sidewalk, clutching a loaf of bread and a bouquet of carnations, wandering through the maze of the city. At least, that's how I interpret it. I get mental pictures of the cobblestones wobbling beneath worn shoes, the flowers beginning to droop in the outdoor heat, the man glancing up at the windows of buildings as he walks by. Every poem affected me this way, invoking short stories and films in my mind, playing with my imagination.