Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cross Fire

It didn't take me long to read this book.  It has short chapters and moves right along, as most James Patterson novels do.  I don't know why I like them since they are mostly formulaic but I keep buying them. 

I love Alex Cross's family and am always anxious to read about how the kids and Nana Mama are doing.  Add to that an interesting plot and cool characters and it's a book I like to gulp.

In this one Kylie Craig, Alex's former friend and co-worker, has escaped from prison and finds a way to be a part of Alex's life, again.  Also, a couple of killers are targeting crooked political big wigs. And then there's the murder of homeless people who have equations written on their bodies.  As usual, Alex is able to solve the mysteries and make DC safe again all while planning his wedding to Bree.

Kylie is visiting for the week so I won't have much time to read but that's okay; I'd much rather play with her.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lipstick in Afghanistan

When we go back to school after Christmas, my World Litrature students will be reading The Kite Runner.  Since most of the book is set in Afghanistan, I'm always interested in reading books about that country.  I saw this one in Walmart and when I got home, I downloaded it.

Elsa Murphy grew up in a poor section of Boston helping her mother take care of her drug-addict sister's special-needs child.  She didn't have much but she did have lipstick that would make her feel pretty and empowered.  One day at the library she reads a magazine article about the starving children in Rwanda and she vows that one day she'll find a way to help them or others in need.

Once she becomes a nurse and both her mom and niece are dead, she travels to Afghanistan to begin a year of working in a Bamiyan clinic.  There she sees first hand what conditions are like under the Taliban.  I found it horrifying but interesting that people really think that way and treat women so poorly.

I couldn't put this book down and will have plenty of extra info to share with my students next month.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I can't believe how long it took me to read this book.  It's not that I didn't like it because it was excellent but, for some reason, I just couldn't read it for long periods of time.  Plus, we've been babysitting Kylie almost every weekend and it's really hard to read when she's around.

This is the true story of Louis Zamperini, Olympic hopeful, and POW in WWII.  He went through horrors first by floating on a raft for months in the Pacific and then being captured by the Japanese and thrown into a prisoner-of-war camp where the conditions and treatment were the worst.  It's a wonder he even survived at all.  I found the book facinating.  The info is interesting and at no point was it boring.  I guess the terrible things he went through were just so bad that I could only read for a little bit before needing a break.  My mind just didn't want to accept it.