Sunday, October 26, 2008

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

I found this book by surfing around on Amazon one day. I checked it out at Barnes and Noble and decided to buy it. I finished it in about a week so I guess that means it was a pretty good read. It was both a novel with a character story and also a mystery. The story had three sub-plots within the book. Each of the three stories contained a mystery. The first mystery was about the youngest of four girls that disappeared one night and years later her sisters want to find out what happened to her. The second mystery is about a young woman that was killed in her father's place of business. Her father wants to find out who the killer is. The third mystery is about a woman who is overwhelmed with her life and new baby and can't take it anymore. The woman's sister wants to find out where the young baby ended up after her mother went to prison. All three of these stories are brought together by an investigator named Jackson Brodie. By the end of the book you find out how all of these mysteries are tied together.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

This was a powerful memoir written by a father about is son's addiction. David is a divorced father of Nic and they lived in the San Francisco area. David remarried and had two children with his new wife. Nic started to experiment with drugs when he was in junior high. His father found out about it, but didn't really know what to do. Nic told him it was a one time thing. This was the beginning of ten year drug addition that Nic couldn' stop. David began his own addiction with his son's drug use and became obsessed about helping his son and getting him to quit. Nic was in and out of rehab many times during the ten years and just couldn't stop no matter how hard he tried and how hard his dad tried to help him stop. This book was quite powerful and an inside look at what meth can do to a person. It also told the story of addiction and what it can do to the person using drugs and the people around them. David's son Nic also write a memoir called Tweak which I plan on reading in the future.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman

This was a different pick for me, but I had seen it written up in a couple of different places and thought I would give it a try. I'm glad I read it. I didn't love it, but I certainly didn't hate it. It was an interesting read and quite different from most of the books I read. The story takes place in a small town called "Owl" in North Dakota. The book focuses on three people who live in the town. One is a high school student trying to fit in. One is an elderly man living a simple life waiting to join his wife in heaven. One is a new young female teacher who has just moved to Owl and doesn't know what she has gotten herself into. For the most part the three character's stories do not cross. Each chapter is about one of the characters and their life in Owl. It is probably more of a character book, than a plot book, but I'm pretty picky when it comes to plot and the story did hold my interest. Towards the end of the book there is a major storm that hits Owl and I was a bit surprised by the ending. I'm glad I read it, but wouldn't put it at the top of my must read list. Some books are just like that I guess.