This book is a memoir of Melissa Coleman's early years when her parents decide to move to Maine and build a cabin and farm. They live off the land, an...moreThis book is a memoir of Melissa Coleman's early years when her parents decide to move to Maine and build a cabin and farm. They live off the land, and do not have any electricity, etc. They are not completely self-sufficient, but they are close. Melissa recounts this time period - set in the 70s - of how and why her parents decide to do this. She is born, then her sister Heidi, and lastly, another sister Clara. But the dream that her parents have starts to fall apart as Melissa gets older, and really breaks apart when her sister Heidi, at the age of 3, drowns in the pond. The book is really interesting and the writing is very, very good. It was interesting to read about this "counter-culture" world where organic farming got its start. I admire what Melissa's parents hoped to achieve though it was a bit too idealistic. The various characters that we meet in the book are also interesting - the Nearings who initially inspire the Colemans to various apprentices who come to the farm to learn and help out. It is ultimately a sad story because of the loss of Heidi, but also because the dream fails, but the way that Melissa writes it never becomes overwhelming, and there is still happiness and hope. (less)
Damon Styles is an angry kid - he turns 18 and the same day he gets expelled from school. All through school he has been bullied for being a loner and...moreDamon Styles is an angry kid - he turns 18 and the same day he gets expelled from school. All through school he has been bullied for being a loner and being overweight. He makes lists of people he hates and that he wants to see dies. In the beginning of the book, you get hints that he has something hidden in his wardrobe - possible a gun of some sort. The author sets up the book so that you think Damon is planning some type of revenge - possibly a school shooting of some sort. Then as the book develops, you discover the real reasons behind Damon's actions. He befriends a man - nicknamed the Pigman - because he hunts pigs. Finally having a real friend helps Damon come to grips with his demons a bit. The book ends without really tying up anything but you get the feeling that Damon will end up all right. I have to say it takes a while for the reader to like Damon and even when you know some of the reasons behind his actions, I still felt like he was quite a jerk to his mom at times (who he lives with). You sympathize with him a bit for sure because of what he went through - the bullying, etc. I wish the book has tied up a few more ends at the end of the book.
I received this copy free from one of the Goocreads giveaways. (less)
This book is written in a humorous style and features Samuel as the main character - a 13 year old boy who ends up having to fight demons in Hell alon...moreThis book is written in a humorous style and features Samuel as the main character - a 13 year old boy who ends up having to fight demons in Hell along with his dog, Boswell, and various other funny and strange characters. This is the 2nd book in a series (but I did not realize that until after I had rented it from the library), but the author fills you in on roughly what happened in the first book so I did not feel like I was missing out by not having read the first book. But I would say I am sure it would have been better to have read the first one. This book brings in several characters and events that were important in the first book. (less)
This was a fantastic book. It is about a Russian boy who is abandoned, and saved my some stray dogs. They become his family and he lives with them for...moreThis was a fantastic book. It is about a Russian boy who is abandoned, and saved my some stray dogs. They become his family and he lives with them for several years and essentially becomes a dog-boy. It was fascinating to read about the boys' adventures and the love he had for his dog family. Also, to get a view of a dog pack and how they lived and survived horrible winters, attacks from other feral dogs, etc. The ending is horribly tragic, and still is upsetting to me when I think about it. Nevertheless, the story is very original and it really pulls you in. Near the end of the book, the boy comes in contact with two doctors - psychiatrists or something like - who want to help him, and it is interesting to see how wrong they are (but they don't even realize it) about the boy and his motivations, etc. This book definitely makes you think about what family, love, survival and what being a human mean.s(less)
This book jumps from 1969, 1989, 2006, and back and forth as the characters tell their stories and their views on the death of an American girl in 196...moreThis book jumps from 1969, 1989, 2006, and back and forth as the characters tell their stories and their views on the death of an American girl in 1969 in a remote town in Finland. The girl dies from falling off a cliff, and it is assumed that her boyfriend pushed her and then hung himself. But is there more to this story? Various different characters, with varying degrees of connections to this event, tell their stories. As the book goes on, you uncover some answers that relate to this mystery, discover information about mysteries you didn't even suspect, and at last get a final resolution on the American girl mystery. The book is written in an odd style. The best way I can describe it is each character is written in a stream of conciousness style. And you discover as the book goes on, some of the narrators are unreliable. This style of writing was unusual and confusing for me and I felt detracted some from the story. While you get a sense of the character some of what the character says doesn't make a lot of sense (at least to me though some things become clearer by the end of the book). I eventually got used to the style though, but I can't rate the book any higher because of it.(less)
This is the true story of a Captain in the Special Forces, and his mission in Afganistan in 2006 called Operation Medusa - the attempt to clear out Ta...moreThis is the true story of a Captain in the Special Forces, and his mission in Afganistan in 2006 called Operation Medusa - the attempt to clear out Taliban in their heartland in the south of Afghanistan. The book was really riveting, and very interesting to get an insider perspective of the war, the Afghan army that the special ops forces fought with, etc. There is a lot of action in the book and it keeps your attention. I did have some problems with keeping track of all the different special ops team members that the author was the commander of. I wish there had been a glossary or something of the names and their role in the ops team. It was amazing to read this story, and read about how the special ops team lacked certain equipment because the priority was to send that stuff to Iraq at that point. The author really stays away from politics and does not really second guess those sorts of things, but it is scattered throughout the story, and it does make me wish the USA had been more prepared for the Afgan war. But you really end up admiring the soldier and all that they have to do and are subjected to. It is an incredible story of survival, perserverence, courage, dedication, and loyalty. (less)
This is a funny, quirky novel in which the main character, Soloman, is a middle-aged man who has moved to a small town with his wife and small son. Th...moreThis is a funny, quirky novel in which the main character, Soloman, is a middle-aged man who has moved to a small town with his wife and small son. They buy an old farmhouse, and Solomon's elderly mother moves in who was supposed to have a very short time to live, but has continued to live putting some financial strains on the his household. Not to mention the strain of her dementia and delusions - the biggest in which the mother thinks she is a Holocaust survivor despite the fact that she was born after world war II. And she grew up in a loving household in the US. The humor of this and how Solomon puts up with it all is funny. Then Solomon discovers a very old woman who has been living in his attic, and she tells him she is Anne Frank. This situation throws Solomon into a bit of a tizzy because despite his wife's wishes, he feels he cannot turn an actual holocaust survivor and one that might actually be Anne Frank over to the authorities or turn her out of his house. So he is caught between different people's wishes and desires and the absurdity grows. Solomon's perspective is very unique and original and the whole book is filled with humourous moments of absurdity. To be the way the book ends is a little unsatisfying because there is not really any resolution and I was left with several unanswered questions though perhaps that is the point.(less)
This is a nice book - it tells the stories of how many Catholic couples met and fell in love. The stories are diverse and interesting. It is funny tha...moreThis is a nice book - it tells the stories of how many Catholic couples met and fell in love. The stories are diverse and interesting. It is funny that some started off with misunderstandings, etc while others the people knew fairly early on that they had met the person they were going to marry. Not being Catholic, it was interesting to see how important their faith played in finding their spouse. Also, I was amazed at how large their families were (10 kids!) because that is not something I am used to, but it shows that their love is solid. The stories were all relatively short so it was easy to read one or two in a sitting.
I won this copy in one of the Goodreads giveaways.(less)