Week in review

And so we come to the end of another week … a rather eventful one, at that.

These past few days have truly stretched my adulting abilities, but I made it through mostly unscathed.

The highlight of an otherwise distressing week was book swap last night. Only three of us were present, so it turned into a festival of obnoxious party games, really amazing pasta salad and some gut-busting hilarity. Since I read “The Girl on the Train” between the last two book swaps, all three of us could now discuss how stupid the story is and how on earth someone decided it should be made into a movie.

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I brought home “All the Ugly and Wonderful Things” by Bryn Greenwood. I opened it to a random page while we were chatting and was instantly shocked. Angela says that’s pretty much how the whole book reads, so I’m sure I’m in for a wild ride.

I finished a rather odd book this week, and I have to say I’m glad to be done with it. “Burning September” by Melissa Simonson was weird and not that well-written and, well, I’ll just let you read my review …

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I received an ebook copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

College freshman Kat’s life is all mapped out for her by her older sister Caroline, who’s been more like a mother to her because of the deaths of their parents.

When Caroline is hauled away by the cops as a suspect in the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Kat has to figure out who she is and what life looks like without the woman who raised her, the woman who has been her only friend.

As Kat goes to bat for her sister, never believing for a second that she’s innocent, she finds that Caroline has been hiding a lot of things from her over the years. The close and, I would venture to say unhealthy, relationship they have begins to unravel.

Throughout the course of this book I found it really hard not to loathe Caroline — even after everything was out in the open, I felt badly for her but I just couldn’t care less about her because she is so manipulative. Maybe that’s harsh, and maybe using people is the only means of survival that she knows, but I’m just being honest.

I haven’t read many self-published/indie-published projects so perhaps I should go easy, but this is a finished book that is screaming for some thorough editing. The errors throughout the novel were extremely distracting. I do a lot of editing in my line of work so it was hard for me not to notice the bevy of punctuation and grammatical errors, missing or extraneous words, etc.

More a coming-of-age tale (with a highly improbable romantic plotline) than a mystery or suspense, “Burning September” is a slow and smoldering blaze. I was really disappointed by the ending … I felt like the author tried and failed to bring closure by being as vague as possible regarding the outcome of the murder trial so that everyone could live happily ever after.

The writing was rough in places, although at times it was beautifully woven with scenes painted in vivid detail. I liked the unique premise of the plot; I’m just not sure how well it was executed.

Eh. Moving on.

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My next read is “Second Forgetting: Remembering the Power of the Gospel During Alzheimer’s Disease” by Dr. Benjamin Mast.

Charles is 78 years old and there is much he cannot remember. He cannot remember the names of his children, why he lives in a nursing home, or even whether he ate breakfast today. His forgetting causes confusion, and in his fear and uncertainty he sometimes lashes out at those who try to care for him. But when someone reads a favorite Psalm he quickly joins in, reciting each cherished word. When he hears an old hymn of faith, his hand slowly raises and he breathes out each word quietly, his face reflecting a peace that passes all understanding.
Alzheimer’s disease has been described as the ‘defining disease’ of the baby boomer generation. Millions of Americans will spend much of their retirement years either caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or experiencing its effects on their lives firsthand. When a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, they face great uncertainty, knowing that they can expect to live their remaining years with increasing confusion and progressively greater reliance upon other people to care for them. As the disease advances it seems to overwhelm a person, narrowing their focus and leading them to forget critical truths about the Lord, their life with him, and his promises.
Through the personal stories of those affected and the loved ones who care for them, Dr. Benjamin Mast highlights the power of the gospel for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Filled with helpful, up-to-date information, Dr. Mast answers common questions about the disease and its effect on personal identity and faith as he explores the biblical importance of remembering and God’s commitment to not forget his people. In addition, he gives practical suggestions for how the church can come alongside families and those struggling, offering help and hope to victims of this debilitating disease.
If you are a Christian who knows or loves someone with Alzheimer’s disease, have recently been diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease, or are a pastor or ministry leader seeking to better understand and minister to people with Alzheimer’s disease this book will encourage you with the good news of God’s faithfulness and the future hope he calls us to.

Our church secretary recommended this book to my mom, who really got a lot out of it. I absorbed quite a bit from the book just by listening to her talk about it.

I’m hoping that what we glean from it will help us better relate to my grandma, who has vascular dementia.

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That’s basically it for this week. My next task tonight is to start a Facebook page for my blog … stay tuned! I’ll come back and post the link when it’s ready, and I’ll probably add a widget to my home page for easier access.

UPDATE: Check out That Book Lady Blog on Facebook!

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3 thoughts on “Week in review

  1. Pingback: End of year book survey | That Book Lady Blog

  2. Pingback: Top 10 least favorite reads of 2016 | That Book Lady Blog

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