Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What's on Your Nightstand






 Since I posted late and you may have missed it, here's the link to my post of May's Nightstand.

Not the most abundant crop of books this month! Slim pickings on audio books being the main reason.


Terry Helwig's memoir of growing up with a too-young, too-selfish mother is such a sad story, but one so typical today of parents who descend into drug or alcohol abuse. Legions of Grandparents, Aunts, siblings and family friends are today raising children just like Terry--not wanted, not cared for, by parents too selfish to grow up and be a parent. Cudos to the loving step-father (and father of the younger siblings) for caring. Moonlight on the Linoleum.




Growing old sucks....being a 15sucks. Combine the two age groups on a cross-country trip and you have a very, very memorable and enjoyable coming of age story at both ends of the age spectrum. Bill Warrington is struggling to live independently. His grown sons are barely in his life. His daughter sees her role in her father's life more as "parent" than as "child." In the midst is a frustrated granddaughter at odds with her Mom. Grandpa comes to the rescue and they begin their odyssey of adventure and family reunification. In the same genre of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and the Widower's Tale, this one is a gem not to be missed. Bill Warrington's Last Chance, by James King.






A neighborhood tea house, like a local diner or coffee shop, can be a good thing. And this one was! The people who enjoyed Daniel Stanley's cheesecake and other goodies and who had their cups refilled by the kindly Penny were a good group. From the "Creepy Crawleys" (very funny to Downton Abbey fans) and their surprise find to "Sophie Sponge" who gets the revenge every scorned wife dreams of, these and others make this a good read. I wish there was a place like this and people like this in my town--it would certainly be a more enjoyable place to live! The Tea House on Mulberry Street by Sharon Owens.


Through out the year, I try to pick one or two books
annually that are "out of my comfort zone." Stephen King has never appealed to me--not my thing, but while looking for something P and I could agree on to listen to during a long car ride, I found this. And, suprisingly, I liked it. Picture a totalitarian American of the not far off future in which the main sport could be called the Batan Death March. The "Long Walk" is the biggest deal going, but you win by living through it. Yes, the get some food and all the water they need, but it's really about what's inside the young men chosen to walk. I found it eerily believable. The Long Walk by Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman


I finally finished and enjoyed both Out of Africa and Dracula, both of which were selections in GoodReads.com's "Cathing up on Classics" group. "Out of Africa" I'd put off for decades because of the movie which I hated. "Dracula" is another that was "out of my comfort zone," but that I ended up enjoying.

I also tried, and threw back, The Expats, which had great promise but was way too confusing on audio. Ditto The Astral, unless I give it one more try tonight.

Need ideas on what to read next? Head over to 5 Minutes for Books for the latest edition of What's on Your Nightstand?

15 comments:

Carrie said...

The Tea House on Mulberry Street has such inviting cover art. Makes you want to go sit in your backyard and enjoying a relaxing time.

Jen E @ mommablogsalot said...

What a varied list! Intrigued by several of the books you've mentioned, especially The Tea House on Mulberry Street. Happy reading!

Hopewell said...

Carrie--Tea House is just the right book for that. Enjoy!

Susan said...

So much to comment on! I think I'd love "Bill Warrington." I don't think I've every read a Stephen King book, so I'm ignorant, but what's the deal with "writing as Richard Bachman??"

Maybe I'll get to Out of Africa someday. I fell asleep during the movie ... ;(

imaloverofbooks said...

Moonlight sound very much like my growing up in the 70's. And I agree, The Tea House on Mulberry Street looks very inviting.

planetnomad said...

Ok I have to read Bill Warrington. Sigh. I don't have time for this! ;) What a great list you've got. I LOVED Out of Africa, which I read before the book. You might enjoy other writings by Dinesen too. Her short stories are evocative and exotic and beautiful.

Elizabeth, 5MFB

Hopewell said...

Elizabeth--I'll look for them. Thanks

Susan--book was way better than the Out of Africa movie. I couldn't fake enough interest to even fall asleep to the movie! Not sure why the "writing as Richard...." thing. Possibly written before he was famous?? I really haven't looked into it.

Nancy said...

King wrote as Bachmann for a while as a way to break out of the mold he'd unwittingly created for himself, to see if his books were popular because of their content or his name. I love The Long Walk, a great example of the less gruesome writing that King is capable of.

Hopewell said...

Nancy--THANKS! Good explanation.

dstb said...

I've added Tea House and Bill Warrington to my ever growing TBR list.

Just finished The Kitchen House. Gut-wrenching, but good. Ive got Sharon Key Penman's Here Be Dragons lined up for vacation next week.

Thanks for the ideas.
Sarah

Hopewell said...

Sarah: haven't heard of those,but I'll check into them! Thanks for stopping by and sharing what you are reading. I get great reading tips that way!

bekahcubed said...

Good for you for reading outside of your comfort zone. I try to force myself to do so, but more often than not end up reading the same old types of books. Especially when life gets busy (like right now), I find myself retreating into lots of Christian fiction and project memoirs--while Don Quixote is left in my bag once again!

Hopewell said...

That one's been on my list for years, Bekah, so don't feel bad!

Jeanne said...

Okay, I need to read the Tea House too. Sounds lovely.

I'm reading Peaches for Monsieur Cure, the Chocolat sequel. I seems good so far.

mirrored nightstand said...

I haven't read this....