On My Bookshelf: My Abandonment

My AbandonmentI originally decided to read this book because it was chosen for the book club I was signed up to go to through Meetup.  I ended up not going but still read the book. It was a short book so a quick read, I think I finished it in an afternoon.

Goodreads synopsis: “A thirteen-year-old girl and her father live in Forest Park, the enormous nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, bathe in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water’s edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts. Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake allows a backcountry jogger to discover them, which derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight.
Inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of a young narrator, Caroline, Peter Rock’s My Abandonment is a riveting journey into life at the margins, and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope

All in all, this was an incredibly poignant and sad book. I was able to really identify with Caroline, even though I have nothing in common with her. The book definitely had a twist at the end that took me by complete surprise and I wished I could have learned more about that. I also loved that the book was based in Portland, in Forest Park, a place where I hiked recently. I love local flavor books as you know!

I would definitely recommend this book–it’s short and sweet but keeps your attention.

On My Bookshelf: Me Before You

Me Before YouMy favorite part of vacation often is the amount of time that I have to read.  In my every day life, I’m often distracted by media, such as reading everyone’s awesome blog posts or checking in on people’s Facebook statuses.  But when I’m on a cruise, I have no access to technology or internet and can focus on whittling down my HUGE reading list.

I fluctuate between reading on my Nook or reading actual paper books.  I’ve also been reading kindle books via the app on my iPad.  I will always prefer paper books as I think there is something special about turning pages and the weight of a book in my hand but I am a fast reader and I went through 10 books on my 12 day vacation.  Therefore, it’s unreasonable to carry that amount of books in my luggage!  So I loaded up my Nook prior to leaving and was able to automatically cycle through books.

I read this book, Me Before You, primarily in Maui, where we spent a day sitting at the beach at a friend’s condo.  I was a little ambivalent about Jojo Moyes but had seen her written about on so many blogs and magazines this summer that I felt I had to give her books a try.

This book immediately drew me in.  The story is primarily told from Louise’s point of view, a Brit in a small town that at 26 is somewhat lost.  She recently lost her job at a cafe and has spent time looking with the help of the equivalent of the unemployment office in Britain.  She finds a position as a companion to a paraplegic.  She is very hesitant about accepting this positions as she does not want to wipe bums.  She lives with her parents and her grandfather who had suffered a stroke and she’s seen first hand what her mother deals with.  Her family is barely making ends meet and each of them working is the difference between surviving or not.

Will, the young man who is paraplegic is the exact opposite.  He is from a wealthy family who grew up with all the posh extras in life.  He worked a fabulous job with exotic travel and extravagant vacations.  Then he was hit by a car crossing the street in London and became stuck in a wheelchair.  He moves back in with his parents into a modified addition of their barn.  It’s a daily struggle for him function even with all the money in the world and he’s tried to commit suicide.  His parents are trying their hardest to keep him alive and hire Louise to basically befriend him although they don’t make that clear.

The story had many twists and turns and surprised me until the very end.  It also caused me to think about what I would do if I was in that position.  What if I knew that the quality of my life would not be what it is today?  Would I choose to live it still or would I end it?

I was pleasantly surprised when I got home to see that a publisher had sent me Moyes newest book, The Girl You Left Behind, and although it may take me going on another vacation before I can read it, it is currently sitting on my bedside table mocking me.


Books ‘n’ Bloggers Swap!

So my first swap went so well, I’ve decided to sign up for another one!!!


I am super excited to participate in this one because I LOVE reading!!  This one is put on by the same awesome people who did mug o’comfort, and as you recall, I got some pretty awesome stuff!  This one ends with me getting three books–couldn’t make me happier!  I can’t wait to get shopping!!

If you are interested in joining in, click on through:

Chaotic Goddess Swaps Books ‘n’ Bloggers Signup Post

On My Bookshelf: The Alchemist-World Book Night

Hi res WBN logo 2013

I am so excited to be a part of World Book Night for the second year in a row!  World Book Night is an awesome opportunity to get physical books into the hands of people for free!

As much as I love the convenience of my NOOK, I also will always prefer the feel of a solid paper book in my hand.  Last year I was lucky enough to give out the book Little Bee by Chris Cleave-a phenomenally complex and sad book.

This year I am giving out The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.  I will be honest, I have not read this book in nearly fifteen years but I still remember the feeling I had when I read it.  I read it when I was thirteen and living in Israel.  My best friend at the time was spending the year in Israel with her family and had brought tons of books with them.  I was the lucky recipient of many of these to read.  One of them was The Alchemist.  I devoured the book. I remember vividly the feelings that coursed through me when I read even if I don’t necessarily remember the story (I definitely need to reread the book).  At that time and even now, I have notebooks filled with quotes and sections of books that I love.

I copied two sections of the book into my quote book and spent most of the evening last night looking through all the quote books that I have here with me but couldn’t for the life of me figure out where that particular quote book is.  I guess I am going to have to reread the book and find the sections that spoke so powerfully to me as a thirteen year old girl.

I have multiple copies of the book that I am looking forward to giving out today.  I will be at work and then going to my teaching job on Long Island in the afternoon so definitely many opportunities to interact with and share the magic of reading with some fantastic people!

I would highly encourage getting involved with World Book Night in future years!!