Friday, September 30, 2011

On the Nightstand

Since I'm a writer and addicted to books, I figured that once in a while I should not talk about running and actually discuss what I have read/am reading.

Recent reads I really enjoyed:

House Rules, by Jodi Picoult

This woman is a master. I only dream of one day being able to write characters like her. I have enjoyed a number of her books, and have had to stop reading a couple because the subject matter was too disturbing. She gets into her characters' heads so well that in a few cases I just couldn't take my heart being ripped apart.


HOUSE RULES is about Jacob Hunt, a teenage boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject – in his case, forensic analysis.

He’s always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he’s usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger’s – not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate affect – can look a heck of a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel -- and suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. HOUSE RULES looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way – but lousy for those who don’t.

My opinion: Phenomenal.

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25, by Richard Paul Evans

I have a confession. I don't do sappy stuff. So I usually try to stay as far away from Richard Paul Evans books as I can, but when kidlets 1 & 2 completely devoured the book  I just had to read it. I almost hate to admit that it was pretty good. This ain't no Christmas Box.


To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has the same mysterious powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up with their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens—and through them, the world.

My opinion: Very good.

Blood Ninja, by Nick Lake

It's vampires. And ninjas. And not a single one sparkles.

I couldn't resist. I can't give you my opinion yet, though, because it's place on my nightstand got bumped by the next book.

 Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

I was hooked from the start and right now this book is buried under my bed so I will stop reading it and get some other things done. So far, it's pretty awesome and fast, fun ride - a perfect escape.

So, what's on your nightstand and should I add it to my huge TBR pile?


Stephanie McGee said...

I loved Paranormalcy. As for my TBR/on the nightstand...the list is too long for a blog comment. I plan on reading Die for Me next, though.

Julie Daines said...

In October, I usually concentrate my reading on the creepy, dark, and scary stuff. I started off with "Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and it was incredible. Now I'm halfway through "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman and I love it! I think I'll read "The Graveyard Book" out loud to my kids this month.

Netherland said...

Jodi Picoult's latest novel is a sensitive and moving insight into the lives of one family affected by Asperger's Syndrome. Jacob is an eighteen year old young man struggling to appear "normal" in a world that is NOT yet prepared to welcome him as he is. While unwittingly involving himself in a serious crime, Picoult manages to share with the reader the deepest feelings of his mother Emma, his younger brother Theo, and Jacob himself as he is forced to do the one thing that children with Asperger's find most impossible to make contact with world; and in Jacob's case have his voice heard in our judicial system. Through Jacob we learn what it is truly like to live daily with the painful social isolation, eccentric behavior,and circumscribed passions of someone who struggles to just "fit in" and connect to others. From the moment you enter Jacob, Emma and Theo's life, Picoult skillfully teaches us about the pain and pleasure of having an Asperer's child in the family in vivid detail and with powerful imagery. Ironically,with this well written and absorbing novel, Picoult achieves the very contact with the reader that you will wish Jacob and others who struggle with this variant of Autism could do on their own.