Saturday, July 30, 2011

July Reading

Day After Night by Anita Diamant. The author of the bestselling The Red Tent tells the story of four young girls in an internment camp in Palestine (before the establishment of the State of Israel). Survivors of World War II, these young women wait behind barbed wire to be repatriated to Palestine by the British. Based the true story of the escape from such a camp, the book tells about their lives and memories. I'd give it a B.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Seybold. I'd always intended to read this bestseller and I finally got around to it. I'm glad I did. The intriguing story of a teenage girl who was raped and killed and her "afterlife" in heaven as she views her family, friends and killer. It's was one of those books that keep you reading long after bedtime. Grade: A.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. I read this one for my book club. The story of a teenage hacker who is mistakenly imprisoned after a terrorist attack on San Francisco and his attempt after his release to use his computer skills to bring down the Depaertment of Homeland Security. I liked it but probably would have liked it better if I were geekier. Grade: B.

The Truth About Grief: The Myth of its Five Stages and the New Science of Loss by Ruth Davis Konigsberg. I read all the books I find on grief and widowhood. This one was different and provocative. Refuting the commonly accepted Five Stages of Grief, Konigsberg rightly points out that Kubler-Ross originally intended these to be the stages of coming to terms with one's own death. Eventually extended to the stages of dealing with the loss of a loved one, Kubler-Ross's theory spawned a huge grief "industry." While contemporary experts believe the "stages" theory doesn't apply to everyone, or in fact to very many people, Konigsberg spends more of the book on a vitriolic attack against Kubler-Ross and the experts who followed her than she does explaining the newer theories. She does, however, suggest that most people manage grief more easily and quickly than Kubler-Ross and her followers would say, that few people profit from grief groups or grief counseling, and that many become needlessly guilt-ridden if they don't feel they move the five stages "correctly." I'd give this book an A because it certainly stimulates needed discussion about the management of grief.

Only one more month left for summer reading. What books do you suggest?


Leah said... [Reply to comment]

Anita Diamont's book is on my "to read" list. Thanks for posting the review. I tried to read "The Lovely Bones" and couldn't get through it. Glad to hear you liked it!

Annie Boreson said... [Reply to comment]

I read "The Lovely Bones." I thought it was such an ambitious project that I had to give it a whirl. I thought for the most part she pulled it off. Thanks for your list and some new suggestions.

Lynn Benoit said... [Reply to comment]

I agree with the A rating for "The Lovely Bones".

Thanks for the review on "The Truth about Grief". I am anxious to read it. For a very long time, I have disagreed with applying Kuber-Ross's stages of grief to someone's else death.


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