November 2014 Book Chat

book chat

Let’s jump right into November’s book reviews:

savingceecee

“Saving CeeCee Honeycutt” is the tale of, well, CeeCee Honeycutt. She’s 12, and her life is not great. She lives with her largely absent dad and her mentally nuts mom, who ends up dying when she (accidentally? no one knows) runs into the path of an oncoming truck, all the while caught up in the idea that she’s just been crowned a pageant queen. I’m not saying I wanted to skip through life in a rosy blur from one Disney experience to the next, says CeeCee, all I longed for was to know one whole happy day.

CeeCee finds that day when her great aunt Tootie offers to take her in, and here the story really begins. CeeCee moves from Ohio to Savannah, Georgia, where she comes to love her great aunt, her housekeeper Oletta (lots of “The Help” vibes here), and various other neighbors and friends with colorful personalities — all women.

The author does a great job of immersing the reader in southern charm and hospitality, and I enjoyed this. The story itself was just so-so to me; it started well but then seemed to drag.

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run

My eighth grader read this book from the school library, and recommended it to me. I always enjoy reading books my girls enjoy, as it helps give me insight into their inner lives. I’d recently recommended a book to her, and she didn’t like it — hmmmm …. observations made, more learned 🙂

Anyway, “Runaway” to Wendelin Van Draanen is not a “light” book. It’s about Holly, a homeless 12-year-old (yeah, I know. The beginning of this month was pretty pitiful-tween heavy with my reading!).

“It’s a cold, hard, cruel fact that my mother loved heroin more than she loved me,” Holly writes. After her mom’s death, Holly bounces from one bad foster home to another until she’s tired of the whole scene and runs away. The way she makes her way through the world is amazing — I kept forgetting she was only 12. I wonder if there are many kids that young truly on their own and homeless? I hope not.

Anyway, Holly is inspired by a teacher to journal, and it’s through her journaling that we learn her story. We follow her from one bad situation to the next, until finally things begin looking up.

Harsh situation, but well-written.

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oasis2

 

If you live or work with someone affected by Asperger’s Syndrome, the Oasis Guide to Asperger Syndrome, Revised 3rd Edition, is a must-read. Often these big reference-type books are wordy and, frankly, not very interesting to read through. This was an exception — it’s written by a woman whose son has AS, and she writes in a very readable way. In fact, reading it kind of felt like sitting down and having a conversation with an educated friend. Very nice tone! The book covers every aspect of AS, from symptoms to diagnosis to everyday living strategies to so much more. I highly, highly recommend it. It’s written mainly for parents of children with the condition, but the information is helpful for understanding anyone affected by AS.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for a review copy.

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IMG_0070

My main reading this month has been Gone With the Wind, or I should really say beginning Gone With the Wind. It’s over 900 pages, and even that is an understatement, because the copy I got from the library has lots of print on the pages (I photographed it to show that the book even came with its own  heavy-duty sliding case — now that’s a big book!).

I’m about 300 pages in, and I am being pulled in, I must admit. I don’t know if it’s the writing, or just the length of the book, but Margaret Mitchell does create characters that stick with the reader. The reading is easy, and I find myself being drawn into the South and imagining how Southerners must have felt during the Civil War. The whole thing is horribly politically-incorrect today, with its remarks about the slaves and the black race in general, but it’s a look into another time.

I saw the movie as a child, and my sole remembrance of that is a girl named Bonnie being hurt or killed while riding a horse. No Bonnie has surfaced yet, though, so I’ll keep reading. Anyone else out there who has never read GWTW? Then I won’t feel so bad 🙂

6 thoughts on “November 2014 Book Chat

  1. It’s too bad the first one wasn’t so great – it sounds like a good premise. Runaway sounds compelling.

    I’ve never read GWTW. The length itself is intimidating, but I also wasn’t crazy about the film, which seemed to center around Scarlet’s immaturity and selfishness. But I have heard many people speak well of the book, so maybe some day. Bonnie comes up later in the story, after Scarlet is married.

  2. I read GWTW this year for my IRL bookclub. I actually lived in Jonesboro, GA, as a child! Anyway, I ended the book REALLY not liking Scarlett, but it’s an enjoyable story if you can get past her. 😉

  3. I like reading books that my daughters recommend too for that same reason. 🙂 You learn something about a person when you learn what they like to read. I read Gone with the Wind a few times when I was younger, but not in recent years. You’ll find Bonnie soon. 🙂

  4. I’ve never read GWTW. If there’s a lot of cruelty in it, as I imagine there would be, I don’t think I would enjoy it.

  5. I love Gone with the Wind. I read it and did a book report for it in school (I want to say 8th grade) and my teacher was flabergasted because it’s so long. I loved it!

  6. I have never read GWTW and have never felt compelled to do so. It seems as if recently I am hearing of lots of people reading it. Not sure if I want to tackle it…

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing your thoughts.