Three While I Was Away

While I haven’t been blogging on a regular basis I have been reading.  Here’s a short summary of what I’ve read.

A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz is a must read for any dog owner/lover.  It’s not a typical Dean Koontz book so it’s probably not for the typical fan.  The book is Dean’s memoir of Trixie Koontz, a golden retriever that he adopted from Canine Companions for Independence.  Each chapter tells a different story from Trixie’s very special life.  The stories are told with such detail and love you can see yourself there, watching and laughing along.

I started reading this the day that we left for Florida and continued reading it on the plane.  By the time we landed in Orlando, I was three chapters away from finishing.  I waited to the absolute last moment to shove it in my bag because I didn’t want to put it down.  If it hadn’t had been pitch black out when we arrived, I would have finished it on the drive from Orlando to Jupiter.  Instead, I finished it the next day while sitting on the gorgeous beach in Juno (a tough compromise, I know).  You may take this next sentence as a spoiler so it’s in white text – just highlight it to read it. You know that it’s coming from the beginning of the book but, I totally teared up at the end.  It’s so sweet yet so sad. I don’t read many books more than once (actually, I don’t know if I’ve read any more than once) but I would love to read this again.

The next book I read was Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult.  If you’ve read any of her books this book won’t surprise you.  Like a few of Picoult’s other books, each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character in the story.  The book is written as if the characters are telling the story to Willow, who is the main character without actually having a voice in the novel.  There is not much I can tell you without ruining the story.  If you like Jodi Picoult, it is worth the read however, I felt the ending was out of place.  If you have never read one of her books, I wouldn’t start with this one.  Read My Sister’s Keeper – don’t see the movie unless you’ve read the book.  That was by far the best book of hers that I have read.

After I finished Handle with Care, which weighs in at about 498 pages, I wanted something a little lighter to read.  Since reading Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife, which is a memoir, I have been interested in stories about polygamy and the Mormon fundamentalist community.  While browsing through Amazon, I found The Chosen One, which is actually a book for young adults but that was about the speed that I wanted.  So, I picked it up at the library and went home to read it.  I figured, at a little over 200 pages, I would have it done by the end of the night.  Boy, was I wrong.

The Chosen One is the story of Kyra, a rebellious young girl growing up in the Principle.  The story was so disturbing I had to put it down after a while.  I wanted to know what happened but I couldn’t read more without taking a break.  This happened two or three times.  I finally finished the book the next night and all I could think was “I wouldn’t have wanted to read this when I was a teenager.”  The story details severe abuse, murder and a child who is told to marry her father’s brother.  I’ll admit, I had a nightmare about it that night.

One thing that really bothered me about the story is that it wasn’t real; meaning it wasn’t an autobiography or memoir like Shattered Dreams.  Could everything in the book happen?  Based on the accounts I have read, yes they could.  However, I think that without the voice of the actual person behind the story, it seems sensationalized and as if it was playing into the media hype of polygamy.  I’m still fascinated by the subject matter but, I think I’ll stick to the stories from the people who actually lived them.

You can always follow what I’m reading, what I’ve read and what I want to read by becoming my friend on Goodreads.

What have you been reading?

2 thoughts on “Three While I Was Away

  1. You should read “The 19th Wife.” Very good historical “fiction” based upon the writings and newstories about Brigham Young’s 19th wife, who eventually divorced him and left the church. It is interspersed with a modern story of a young man cast out by an LDS cult and his efforts to help his mother, a sister-wife accused of murdering her husband. Good read with a lot of well researched historical background stuff.

    • That sounds like an interesting book even if it is fiction. It bothered me that The Chosen One seemed to play into the media hype without much research. I read a review of it on Amazon that had been taken from another site and it said the story was “ripped from the headlines” which is a problem. While I think that there is a lot of truth to the stories that are seen on the news about this culture, I think that there is also a lot of assumption.

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