Sunday, July 12, 2015

Still Alice by Lisa Genova (read 7/7/15 to 7/12/15)

NNCC selection for July.  This is the story of a woman who gets early onset Alzheimer's and how it steals her life from her.  I admit this sounded depressing and all the reviews saying it was a great book weren't really convincing me.  I was pleasantly surprised by it, the read was easy and the characters were likable.
There were parts that made me tear up, especially when it comes to her interactions with her husband.   The ending left me with so many unanswered questions, but I understand why.  The book was from Alice's perspective and she would be unable to answer those questions at that stage in her disease, so the go unanswered in the book.  I liked it, it was well written and drew me in.

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman (read 6/8/15 to 7/2/15)

Another BOTM book.  This is the story of a polish couple that hide Jews from the Nazis during WWII in their zoo.  I'm secretly a little obsessed with WWII stories, ever since I read Diary of Anne Frank in elementary school.  Even the ones where they don't survive, I think it is because I just can't understand how such an atrocity as the Holocaust could happen, and I'm uplifted by the resilience of the survivors.  I didn't pick this book but I suspected I would like it because of the subject. 

It's a really quick read, I know it's nonfiction and based on journals and interviews, but it doesn't read like nonfiction normally does.  It's so not dry or monotonous, it has a great fluidity to the story. Ackerman does an amazing job of weaving the facts in with the personal antidotes, to create a story not just a history.  I know that it was war, and that loss of human life was devastating too.  But hearing about the zoo animals being shot and bombed was a bit traumatic for me.  Their deaths felt incredibly senseless and tragic, and knowing it was true and not fictional deaths made it even harder for me to read.

Again with the animal deaths, so senseless and cruel.  How is that a hunt if they are locked in cages?  Grrr 

For some reason I'm having problems with the timeline, it feels like it will jump from early war to late war to mid war back to late war etc.  Maybe it is just me, but I wish it was more linear.  I think the issue is that she goes off on side tangents for events or people and puts the whole blurb about them in one place so she doesn't have to come back to them or so we get their whole story, but it confuses me on the timeline for the main storyline.

I was a little disappointed, I think I expected a bit more of a story and instead I felt that we got a sporadic telling of a bunch of people pieced together in a non-linear timeline.  I liked the books, the individual stories were good, but as a whole it left me wanting.

Odd Apocalypse (Odd Thomas #6) by Dean Koontz (read 6/19/15 to 7/12/15)

We continue Odd's story,he and Annemarie are staying at Riseland estate. A woman on a horse asks him her son, since she is a ghost she can't actually tell him anything of course, but Odd being Odd says he will.  So then the hunt for the boy begins, and even for Odd things get really strange.  
I had a little trouble getting into this book, the first chapter just didn't peak my interest.  And I think that lack of excitement carried through my whole read.     I found myself putting off reading, there was laundry or dishes to be done, my book club books were more important, etc. Maybe by taking such a long break between books on the series I lost my momentum, that indicates to me that the series isn't that great after all.  There were a few ghosts, but this was more of a supernatural adventure.  Koontz's writing was as good as ever, but the storyline just couldn't seem to hold me.