Monday, March 29, 2010

thanks jodi.

I am taking an Exeptionalities class in grad school and have become obsessed with autism. So when I found out Jodie Picoult's new book, House Rules was based on a teenager with Asperger's syndrome, I was ALL OVER IT. She must have done months and months of research, I swear her book is flawless. Through my experience working in my local school district I started looking for the signs in students that I knew were diagnosed with Asperger's, and Picoult's book really helped me out.

Now, on to the story. Jacob Hunt is an eighteen year old senior who was diagnosed with Aspergers (which is a form of autism) when he was a toddler. His dad left them shortly after his younger brother Theo was born. Their mother Emma, raised them all alone, which is hard enough, but became much worse when Jacob was diagnosed. Children with Asperger's need to eat a special diet, be on special medication and vitamins, and also keep to a daily routine or they will have regular meltdowns. Emma has done really well raising Jacob, and keeping to his routines so that he can live a relatively normal life. Being Jacob's mother is a full-time job, so her personal life, and also Theo take second.

Jacob is obsessed with forensics. He is extremely intelligent, and has learned everything he can about the field. This obsession leads him to become the main suspect in the murder of his tutor, Jess who is a twenty-something grad school student. It's really, really interesting to watch this story unfold. It's one of Picoult's best for sure.


Monday, March 8, 2010

lets talk about love.

I was beyond excited when I heard about the book
Us: Americans Talk About Love, edited by John Bowe. A book about people, coming from all walks of life, talking about love. Filled with more than 40 love stories told by people from all over the country, people just like us. Totally my cup of tea.

These interviews are surprising, and so painfully honest. I am sorry I missed reviewing this before Valentines Day, it would have been the perfect gift. As Bowe goes through the interviews, we see that love is everywhere. Love is in preschool, and decades older. Love is great, and terrible; beautiful and disappointing. There is no way someone can not relate to one of these stories.

This collection is smart, and very very sweet.

debut novel.

A Reliable Wife, which is Robert Goolrick's debut novel is a hit or miss. Either you loved it or you hated it. I enjoy a book like that, and was relieved when I discovered that it was absolutely riveting.

The story is set in 1907 rural Wisconsin, there is a madness surrounding this story and sets the tone for the novel. Ralph Truit is on the search for a reliable wife and Catherine Land answers the ad he has put it the paper. It was pretty impossible to not connect with the characters Goolrick created. He has the ability to transport the reader into this world, he is so extremely visual that it is as real as a movie.

Goolrick's use of language is mesmerizing, you will not be able to put it down.