Saturday, September 8, 2012

More Summer Reading

A few more books from my summer reading.

1.  Welcome to the Bangkok Slaughterhouse: The Battle for Human Dignity in Bangkok's Bleakest Slums by Joe Maier and Jerry Hopkins.

"For twenty-five years, Father Joe Maier, a Catholic priest, has lived and worked in Bangkok's bleakest slums, establishing more than thirty schools, five shelters for street kids, and several projects for women and children with AIDS, working with and against authority, earning enmity and praise in equal measure. In this book, he tells the heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of the poorest of Thailand's poor, each a gem guaranteed to bring anger, tears, and joy. 100% of all proceeds will be donated to the Human Development Fund in Bangkok, Thailand."

My comments: This book was sad and difficult to read.  I kept thinking about Say Jon's future and what his life (most likely) will be like once he reaches the age of 15 and is no longer under the care of the Thai Government. The poverty in Bangkok is so visible and such a reality in our daily lives here - it is everywhere you look, no matter where you are in the city. 

2.  Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green.

"Andi has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she's finally found him.  Ethan--divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia--is a devoted father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own. But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives…and in their hearts."

My comments: Jane Green is another favorite author of mine. I sobbed and sobbed while reading this book...not too cool when you are on a crowded airplane.  

3.  The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani

"The majestic and haunting beauty of the Italian Alps is the setting of the first meeting of Enza, a practical beauty, and Ciro, a strapping mountain boy, who meet as teenagers, despite growing up in villages just a few miles apart. At the turn of the last century, when Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished from his village and sent to hide in America as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Little Italy. Without explanation, he leaves a bereft Enza behind. Soon, Enza's family faces disaster and she, too, is forced to go to America with her father to secure their future.
Unbeknownst to one another, they both build fledgling lives in America, Ciro masters shoemaking and Enza takes a factory job in Hoboken until fate intervenes and reunites them. But it is too late: Ciro has volunteered to serve in World War I and Enza, determined to forge a life without him, begins her impressive career as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera House that will sweep her into the glamorous salons of Manhattan and into the life of the international singing sensation, Enrico Caruso.
From the stately mansions of Carnegie Hill, to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy, over the perilous cliffs of northern Italy, to the white-capped lakes of northern Minnesota, these star-crossed lovers meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever.
Lush and evocative, told in tantalizing detail and enriched with lovable, unforgettable characters, The Shoemaker's Wife is a portrait of the times, the places and the people who defined the immigrant experience, claiming their portion of the American dream with ambition and resolve, cutting it to fit their needs like the finest Italian silk."

My comments: I haven't finished this book yet - it is very long (almost 500 pages) but, so far, worth the time.  Good (what I consider) "historical fiction".  

So, you probably noticed the absence of the HOTTEST book(s) of the summer on my list...I really, really, really tried to read the books in the "Fifty Shades" series. Beyond the initial curiosity to see what everyone was talking (and facebooking) about, I just could not get interested in them.  According to a friend, the third book in the series ties (no pun intended) everything together so I guess if I stuck it out that long, I might have a different opinion.

I hope you are enjoying the weekend!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I downloaded the Fifty Shades trilogy and was annoyed when I was unable to read it, I tried 3 times. I think your book reviews sound much more interesting :)

I am an Australia living in Nichada and I really like reading your blog and wanted to say hello.