Wednesday, December 28, 2011


This was an interesting novel for me. It's about a mother and her son who are held captive in a shed in the back yard of a man for the past 7 years. Jack is 5, and was born in Room, where he has lived his entire life. The story is told from Jack's perspective, which, I think, keeps it from being too intense as far as the abduction and sexual abuse goes.

As a mom myself, I was really intrigued by the ways that "Ma" kept Jack entertained and stimulated for 5 years. Even though they were trapped in an 11'x11' room, Jack was an active, decently educated little boy. They had PhysEd every day, and they worked on art projects, and read books. By the time they escape, he isn't too far behind kids his age, as far as education goes. The second half of the book is about their readjusting to "normal" life, which I also found fascinating.

Overall, an interesting read that really held my attention. I would definitely recommend this book.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Alchemist

Rich. Beautiful. Brilliant. It's amazing how a bestseller can so perfectly explain things about the Plan of Salvation and the purpose of life.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

I think this book is worth reading just to be informed of such a huge part of medical history--an event that I personally had never even heard of. Its implications seem significant, and for that reason, I'd recommend this to anyone. The author has clearly done extensive research, and reading this book makes you feel like you're getting the most accurate information available on the matter. The issues presented are worthwhile. For instance, I work with computer research. A hot topic right now is individuals' rights to protecting and withholding their electronic and virtual data. If we have a right to that, I can only imagine that such discussion was completely inspired by Henrietta Lacks, even if indirectly.

The book really felt like it had two parts. The first half focuses a lot on history and feels informative. The second half talks more about Henrietta's family and paints a beautiful picture of real people and their struggle to understand what was going on in a sophisticated area when they had little education. I really enjoyed both aspects.


Thanks, Katie, for the awesome recommendation. I loved this book! It was just as depressing as you'd expect a WWII book to be. But if you are okay with that, it's a great read. It starts out a little slow, but it picks up. It's a great look at WWII life, especially in providing a perspective that allowed me to to think more about how the life of a serviceman has changed in the last 50 years--how my grandfather's years of service differs from my friends serving today. It's one of those books that makes such an impact that I keep finding myself trying to bring it up in random conversations.