Mofongo, authored by Cecilia Samartin, is a beautifully written novel that explores the bond between a young boy and his grandmother. Sebastian has a heart condition that leaves him small for his age and unable to participate in normal physical activities with his peers. Always sheltered and treated differently, it is only after his beloved grandmother suffers a stroke and experiences her own life changes that Sebastian begins to explore life more and discovers a strength he didn’t know he had. Already close to his abuela (grandmother), they forge a strong bond over a love of cooking after school. The only word I can find to accurately describe my thoughts about this book is beautiful. The story is rich and filled with delicious descriptions of meals from Puerto Rico, stories from the island and the love a young boy has for life as he learns to live it. At times sad but most often heart-warming, this is one of those stories that gives you a warm feeling inside. Sebastian is a loveable little guy who has the reader cheering him on from the start. It’s hard to put down so it is a fast read and very enjoyable. I’m so glad I had the chance to enjoy Mofongo.
Thursday, 29 August 2013
This is a wonderful book that hit close to home for me. I worked with kids with special needs for years and loved it. I worked with a young boy with autism for 5 years and he taught me so much, in particular how to be patient. The character in this book made me think of my years with him.
The Watchman, written by Matt Langford, is an excellent book that takes a look at how a sixteen year old boy with mental disabilities perceives the world around him. Although Adam’s special need is never really divulged it is quite easy to figure it out if you’re familiar with it at all. The author has incredible insight into how Adam’s mind works and he gives very plausible reasons for the sometimes seemingly violent actions that Adam performs. Adam hears words in a different way than the rest of us do and this is often used in the book which, for me, made it hard to understand a couple of words and their meanings. This became a bit difficult because one of the words was Adam’s favorite drink and I still have no idea what it is. The title of the book refers to Adam’s need to hold a “watch” many times each day so he can observe the family and community’s comings and goings. Crumbling family relationships and changes to his environment greatly disturb him and he tends to lash out in response to them.
This has become one of my new favorite books. Having worked with children and young adults with special needs I was fascinated by the insight the author provided into Adam’s mind. I would imagine he must have some experience of his own in his background to be able to write so well about Adam’s thoughts and feelings from his viewpoint. The ending was heartbreaking and a tissue was needed which for me is a sure sign of a well is written book. A must read for anyone dealing with a disability.
The Maya Papyrus, written by Richard Coady, immerses the reader into the age of the great line of kings that made Egypt so famous. A hefty book at six hundred and fifty-nine pages on my ereader I was initially a bit daunted by it but as soon as I started it I found the story so engrossing that I could barely put the book down. The story centers on a conniving woman, Thuya, who greedily wants to control the royalty of Egypt and through the years she does just that, often manipulating her husband and children into helping her. Also a part of the story is the tyrannical reign of Akhenaten who feels himself a god, and his beautiful wife Nefertiti.
This is a book filled with murder, mystery, romance and revenge. The story draws the reader in and keeps them spellbound with the details of how life was lived three thousand years ago. The research that obviously went into this book is superb and brings Egypt and its people to life. This story will be loved by those who have studied ancient history as well as anyone looking for a thrilling family saga.
The year is 2095 and the world is a very different place due to deadly diseases that wiped out various parts of the population, severe climatic changes, and huge advances in technology. One thing that stayed the same is the human need for love and companionship which is what this book is about. It explores the various relationships between a variety of characters that are all tied to each other in one way or another. The main love story seems to be that of Pierre and Isabelle. Pierre is a cult-like figure who preaches ways to make life more enjoyable even though the world is in constant flux. Isabelle is a pretty journalist who is being pursued by Julian, an acclaimed singer. To be honest I really never liked any of the characters. Possibly due to the editing, I found it hard to follow the story and therefore never really got to know the characters. In my opinion, there were far too many to keep track of anyway. I enjoyed the author’s ideas about what the future would look like and I really enjoyed the beginning of the book. A story set in the future that dealt with human relationships as opposed to futuristic war battles sounded great but the numerous characters and the jumping around of the storyline meant that the story never really panned out for me. By the end, the only love story I enjoyed was between a man and his life-like robot. I really wanted to enjoy this book but never really found it able to hold my interest.
As the title says, I suck at this whole blog thing but in my defense a series of unfortunate events led to my not writing a new one in roughly 7 months. First, the cord to my laptop died which led me to no computer. Since new cords cost more than my old beater lappie is worth I waited a long time before I found a guy who makes them and got one for a third of retail price. Then summer came. When you live in a place with literally 5-6 months of snow summer becomes pretty damn important. I give up my summer for no one or nothing. I read oodles (I think I made that word up) and did reviews but didn't post them due to another reason which will follow. I'll get those reviews up here within the next few days. I want to put them up in separate posts because if an other takes all that time to write a book (whether it's excellent or shredded and used for kitty litter) I can give them their very own blog post.The final reason is that I completely forgot everything about my blog, from the email address to the password. I have severe short-term memory loss, so bad that I have to carry sticky notes with me and write down things, such as "go turn off oven". If I didn't write it down, I would walk to the kitchen and do something else that slid into my mind. The doctors think this is what is commonly called "chemo brain" and mine is more severe because of my bad reaction to chemo. I have a huge notebook filled with everything I write down about different aspects of my life. It really irritates me because pre-cancer I had a memory like a steel trap. Now it's like a sea sponge. So I apologize profusely to all those wonderful writers who trusted me with their work. I am getting things done now!