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Tag Archives: death

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

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If you are looking for a quick read, a low energy, low concentration book, with a smooth story line and little to focus on….

This isn’t it.

Jumping between memory and current happenings and back to memory again

Stegner’s Book is a wordy read.

Full of the academia expected of a renown professor/writer

but once you get passed some of the wordiness

and figure out

the story line and connections you have a a great story, that, in the end had just the right amount of words.

A novel about two couples how they meet, how they live, how their lives cross.

A novel that starts in the midst of the Great Depression and works through and around the lives touched by the two couples

Sid and Charity

Larry and Sally

Eventually, Births, near deaths, polio, cancer, arguments, and forgiveness, all find their way into this beautiful narrative.

Perhaps the most telling segment of the novel comes in these words from page 278:

“…We live as we can, we do what we must, and not everything goes by either Freudian or Victorian patterns. What I am sure of is that friendship–not love, friendship–is as possible between women as between men, and that in either case it is often stronger for not having to cross sexual picket lines. “

There is a Wallace Stegner Website you can check out: wallace stegner


A Breath of Fresh Air….

A Breath of Fresh Air


Amulya Malladi


Where to begin.

as you read it is as if you are sitting with a person from India and you can hear his/her voice in your head as you read

the tragedy lies in that the Bhopal Gas Tragedy….Happened( no really….it happened, this part of the story is historically accurate!)

this video shows the aftermath

Back to the book,

Through her writing,

Amulya makes it clear that

dysfunctional families are universal

that loving your child so much you would do anything to cure them is also universal

with a rawness I’ve not seen in other books

she deals with life, death, betrayal, and forgiveness.

The story is one

told in different voices

each chapter headed with whose side of the story is being told

Anjali: The divorced/remarried school teacher, mother of a child affected at birth because of the incident at Bhopal

SanDeep: The Second Husband, mild, calm, accepting,  the father of the child affected at birth/Bhopal

Prakash: The first husband, undergoes transformation(no plot spoilers so you’ll have to read to find out more about him)

This book transcends boundaries, international, racial, economical.

It is descriptive, and beautiful,

enough said?

Go buy!

Death ….or… who narrates “The Book Thief” for 5000 points Alex…

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As previously stated I actually had time to finish two books last week(both while driving)

the first

Good Grief by Lolly Winston

the second

was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

so here goes:

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

(disclaimer…I have not seen the movie and as I have several relatives/friends/older kids yet to read this book I will probably wait it out till they have read it and then….hopefully we’ll watch and analyze together)

Prior to reading this book I had never heard of Markus Zusak of course there is a webpage all about him

We are, as I type this in 2014, 19 years shy of the 100 year anniversary (though anniversary is not a good word for the Holocaust) of the start of the holocaust

we cannot forget the nonsensical genocide that took place

and its important that while there are still some who remember(and their  numbers are dwindling all too quickly) that their stories be told

that we understand the horrors

that we feel the devastation

that we embrace humanity and vow to never let this happen again

(and yet is happening in places like Africa and the middle east as I type this people are being killed for their appearance, their, religion, their beliefs)


Back to “The Book Thief”

This was the second time I read this book…the first I only got through the first chapter of a digital edition and could not get into it…I didn’t understand who was telling the story and was too distracted to read the back or read deeper.

Let me tell you

It is “Death” who narrates

It is “Death” who reports to God

It is “Death” who makes us all the same

It is “Death” who witnesses death….and life

It is “Death” who follows a young girl as she loses the people she cares about


It is “Death” who safely brings those killed in gas chambers and ovens and bullet fire to peace

The story is not pretty

and although

its descriptive

is not overly gory (though I have not seen the film so I cannot speak for that)

I want to tell you everything written in the book


at the same time

I want to tell you nothing.

so …

I’ll tell you this

An orphan girl

in Nazi Germany

an accordion

some nightmares

some books

a fugitive

a friend




Go buy the book

read the book

share the book

and then if you must

I guess…

see the movie


for more on the Holocaust  check out the Jewish virtual library

{{ps I just read another of Markus books…”I am the Messenger” meh…}}

A review of Good Grief by Lolly Winston

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On a recent trip I had time to read 2…yes 2 books

the first  “Good Grief”

the second

The Book Thief”(which I’ll write about in a future post){awesome…horrific….inspiring….more detail later}

Good Grief, by Lolly Winston

This book is a New York Times best seller for a reason.

If you’ve ever had a psych 101 course you’ve probably heard about Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross  and the 5 stages of dieing or what was observed of terminally ill patients.

In my psych 101 we used the word


each letter standing for a stage

and the stages can come and go

and don’t necessarily follow in order but they are






essentially when you get to acceptance you die.

I believe when looking at chronic(not terminal) illness that when you get to acceptance you go on with your life…you go on living for real again.

Lolly Winston weaves DABDA into a novel, through the eyes of a wife dealing with the death of her husband.

I know sounds morose right?

There are sad moments

There are angry moments

There is an awful lot of denial

and a fair amount of depression

oh and bargaining…she covers that too.

all from the eyes of the widow

who in case I didn’t mention it is not even 40 yet!

and finally

she wraps up the book

with acceptance

acceptance that her husband has died

acceptance that her life has gone on( and that’s ok)

any one going through any major life change

can read this book

and come away feeling

they are not alone

on this earth

in this life

Lolly gives us laughs and heartache

smiles and tears

put into perfect words and thrown in thoughts of Sophie the widow.

(about her book from her site)

thankyou Lolly for this book

if you all aren’t already headed out the door to buy it…what are you waiting for???