I would guess it was written for the 12-15 group, but I enjoyed every bit of it. Believable characters, situations and challenges, placed in an exciting location. Moose, the main character, carries a lot of responsibility for his sister with autism during the 1930's on Alcatraz Island. Interesting dynamics with family, friends, rules and situation would make for great classroom or family discussions.
Take an obsessive, worried mother + everything she has read that reminds her of immunity + what her neighbors were saying + what her physician father said + every novel that she can metaphorically tie to immunity = a jumble that is 7 hours too long.
Aside from a paragraph in a high school history text, I knew nothing about the 1889 Johnstown Flood that killed over 2,000. David McCullough has distilled and organized a mountain of information into this very readable, heartbreaking but often humorous account.
It starts a bit slow with how the dam came to be built, abandoned, scavenged and restored... but before long I was holding my breath and then taking a slow motion ride with the wave down the mountain. At times on a floating roof, mattress or in a train car... though the small towns on the river and on into Johnstown. After reading I did an internet search of images and found I had formed very accurate pictures in my mind.
The book follows up nicely with the rush of aid (first response of the Red Cross), reporters and finishes with the resulting lawsuits. So interesting how everyone knew there was a high risk of the dam giving way, but no one prepared for it.
Missed this book when it first came out, so glad I found it. It's told in the voice of Frank Drum...an adult looking back at 1961, the summer he was 13... a small town preacher's son figuring out who he is and what he believes... as the town reels from multiple deaths.
This book has the feel of Enger's "Peace Like a River," Grisham's "A Painted House," Burns' "Cold Sassy Tree" and"Doig's "The Whistling Season" ... all books I loved. It's rich with people I have met, dealing with the imperfections of their own and others... of families falling apart and growing stronger.
There is real life and hard topics addressed as seen through Franks young mind. My kids wouldn't have been ready for this at 13 at all... more like 16 up... bit of sexual content, bit of swearing, lots of loss and complicated relationships... but so uplifting. I'll be back to listen again.
Most of the Nevil Shutes books, I have read, demonstrate the courage of an average person facing of overwhelming odds. "A Town Like Alice", "Pied Piper" and "Trustee from the Toolroom" have been favorites. He has a very laid back, slow way of telling a story that requires listening and patience but leaves me satisfied in the end. Without carefully reading reviews... I thought this book would combine my enjoyment of Nevil's writing with an end of the world scenario, it is supposed to be his best known work.
That said, I endured the slow buildup and waited patiently to know where the small group of survivors would go to outlast the radiation. I won't read it again as it is just too difficult of a listen... I persevered and heard what Nevil was trying to say to the world of the 50's. It is a classic in it own way, and I am left thinking... but not enjoying.
What an interesting and clear overview of aging and end of life issues. Gawande covers the process of aging and end of life, what fragile elderly means, history and trends of their care, how other cultures do it, case studies, his own choices with his father and... the best discussion of these issues I have ever read. My MD son enjoyed the information as well.
Rather than provide what he thinks is the "right" way to face EOL issues, Gawande gives us questions to ask the individual to help them determine their "right" way. He encourages us to have the hard conversations in advance so that an individual's wishes can be respected. Excellent book for healthcare personnel, families and aging adults.
I adored "One doctor" by Brendan Reilly and some of the content is similar... even if you have read Reilly, I still feel this book is well worth reading.
I agree with one reviewer, if you can get past the first over the top conspiracy part it does improve. The authors views and mine are way different, but I found some of his premises worth the listen. He uses quotes at the beginning of each chapter, often from the Bible or political leaders... some were actually quite good thoughts, but it did chop up the flow of the novel.
Like Glen Tate, Mark Goodwin is also a conservative, Christian prepper podcaster with a following. I am not really finding planted reviews here, except perhaps from the Glen Tate followers bad mouthing it. This book is much more readable (not literature but OK for prepper book). The purpose of this first book seems to parallel what the 1st book of 299 Days attempted to do. There is no actual crisis in this book... just the set up for it, introduction of the main characters situations and some gold/gun/food buying. Language is clean, no violence in this part...
There is enough potential here that I will purchase the next book when it comes out supposedly this spring and give it a chance, although it feels like this might be another ongoing segmented series like A. American's "Going Home."
I guess I am old fashioned, but I still love books like "Alas Babylon," "One Second After," "Jakarta Pandemic," "5 Days at Memorial," "77 Days," "Equipping Modern Patriots," "The Road,'" "The Postman," "Cyberstorm," and even "Swan Song" or "Disaster Diaries..." EOTWAWKI books that are complete in one reading.
I love Nevil Shute! I so enjoyed "A Town Like Alice" and "Trustee from the Toolroom," but I think in its own understated way I like this little gem even better. Like "Trustee.." the hero is a gentle, older man who steps up to do what needs done. Set in the early stages of the French occupation during WWII, it opened that history to me in a way I had never understood. It is not woven or thrilling like "Code Name Verity," more along the lines of "Major Pettigrews Last Stand" if set during the war with a goal of great importance. I have already recommended to several friends and will read again.
Thought I would really enjoy this based on the reviews, ratings and topic... not so. The writing was just so poorly done, I couldn't enjoy the story. As always, I tried hard to push though this book so I don't rank something down that gets better... I'm only an hour from the end, and just can't handle the cheese anymore... I give up. Any of the "Call the Midwife" or "James Herriot" books will bring tons more satisfaction. Lots of colorful Irish jargon is the best I can say for it... but way too much profanity for target audience.
I stumbled onto "The Elephant Whisperer," Lawrence Anthony's first book on an Audible special... and loved it. Snatched this up the instant I knew it was available and couldn't put it down. Although not quite as well written as "The Elephant Whisperer," this stand alone book follows Lawrence's experiences holding the Baghdad Zoo together with string and "whatever it takes." Baghdad during the early days post occupation by coalition troops was a dangerous place... with shooting, looting and unexploded ordinance all around. The zoo had been at the center of the fight and was devastated. The stories he shares made me laugh, cringe and applaud his determination, as he fought to get a permit to enter, was the first civilian to do so and then began by hauling water. There wouldn't have been an animal alive without his intervention.
Lawrence is a conservationist who created the Thula Thula game reserve in South Africa. Simon Vance did a terrific job with the narration. Great read.
I liked this book when I read it, not so sure about listening to it though. The book itself would appeal to the 9-13 year old female reader who dreams of being a princess... and is mellow enough to really listen to the acted out reading and musical interludes... it's a little slow. The messages of self empowerment, accepting your own differences, thoughts that govern behavior, family dynamics and being a friend to everyone are well done. I liked it better in book form though.
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