Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Inside the O'Briens, Lisa Genova

The book introduces us to the O'Briens, an Irish Catholic family from Boston who have just learned that at age 44, Police Officer Joe O'Brien has been diagnosed with Huntington's disease. We are invited to Sunday suppers with the family, private walks and on-duty moments with Joe, and everyday life with youngest daughter Katie, all while they come to terms with the cruelty of the disease and wrestle with the choices they are each faced with now that Huntington's has invaded their lives. Joe and wife Rosie's four grown children have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the gene from Joe. Inside the O'Briens brings us along on their emotional rollercoaster as each of the children wrestle with the decision to find out if they carry the gene that will end their lives, or go on living without knowing if Huntington's will touch them at all in the future.

While reading this, I experienced all the fear, confusion, anger and despair that each family member was feeling at the moment, along with their love for each other, their moments of clarity and understanding, and most of all, their hope. For 3/4 of the book, I read through tears. The O'Briens may not exist, but the Meghan Sullivan's do exist, (I always read the acknowledgements!) and are the reason books like this are so important. I knew nothing about Huntington's disease before reading this book. Visit www.LisaGenova.com and click on the Readers in Action button to make a donation to the HD Human Biology Project.

Inside the O'Briens: A NovelInside the O'Briens: A Novel by Lisa Genova

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of my status updates while reading this book was something like, "Wow. I want to read this book non-stop, but I have to keep taking breaks. It's so powerful!" My recommendations for anyone planning on reading this- keep a box of tissues at hand. And don't read this in a public place. Oh hell- read it in a public place- so when anyone asks why you are crying you can respond, "Huntington's." Get the message out there. Thank you, Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book, and to Lisa Genova for writing it.

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Book Riot's 2015 Read Harder Challenge

So I'm copying this from Book Riot because I actually started one of these at the turn of the year, but fell behind once I left Livejournal. Let's see if I can keep at it if it's here. Anyone else doing a challenge? How are you doing so far?

A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25

A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65

A collection of short stories Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote

A book published by an indie press Judas the Apostle, Van R. Mayhall Jr.

A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ

A book by a person whose gender is different from your own Maximus, Richard L. Black

A book that takes place in Asia The Great Zoo of China, Matthew Reilly

A book by an author from Africa

A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.)

A microhistory The Dream Lover, Elizabeth Berg

A YA novel The Casquette Girls, Alys Arden

A sci-fi novel

A romance novel

A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade

A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.)

An audiobook

A collection of poetry

A book that someone else has recommended to youThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin

A book that was originally published in another language The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales, Franz Xaver Von Schonwerth

A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind (Hi, have you met Panels?)

A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over)

A book published before 1850

A book published this year The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, Christopher Scotton

A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”)


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

If you like Twilight, this is much better. Vampires, witches, magic and a little New Orleans history. This book has all that. Adele is not a sniveling little klutz, though at times I wished she would just ask the questions instead of shying away. You get a taste of teen romance, but it's not sappy or overwhelming. I just need some questions answered though...

The Casquette Girls (The Casquette Girls, #1)The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really hope the next book comes out soon. There is a next book, right???? And I would like to add that I read this book based on a recommendation from The Lady Herself, Anne Rice. I think that says quite a bit, don't you? =)

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