Friday, March 27, 2009

Book Review: Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

I initially read this book to determine whether it was appropriate for my 11 year-old daughter to read. Although it is considered a YA novel, any book (fiction or non-fiction) with a theme centered around the holocaust, is a novel I want to preview before allowing my child to absorb.

I was immediately drawn to the short sentence structure and quick action. From the beginning, the reader is drawn into an eight year-old orphan boy's innocent view of a world where he must steal, and become virtually invisible, to survive.

It's a quick read; I read it in one day. It is the boy's innocent and honest view of the world around him during one of the most horrific times in history that kept me turning the pages.

The boy's innocence and naivete to the chaos and pure hatred surrounding him is touching, and rather humorous at times.

Although Milkweed is a work of fiction, it made me wonder how close it came to the inner workings of a child's mind during this time period.

While the central theme revolves around the time leading up to the holocaust, it only takes the reader through the time when Jews were relocated out of their homes to the ghetto. It touches briefly on the time of deportation, when those housed in ghettos were put on trains for human shipment to concentration camps. However, it never visits the horrors of an actual concentration camp.

Some of the prevalent messages that stood out for me in Milkweed were those of hope, love and inner happiness at a time when Nazi occupation colored the world gray with irrational hatred and unfair brutality.

I found myself lingering with thoughts of the book long after I read the final page.

After reading Milkweed, I would allow my daughter to read it. I think I would rather read it with her though, so if she had any thoughts or questions we could talk about it along the way.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Goodreads Review: In Cold Blood

I love to read. Recently, I stumbled upon Goodreads and promptly registered to keep track of books I'm reading, have read and look forward to reading. Goodreads, like many other social networking sites, also allows readers to invite friends for sharing eachother's current book-reading status. While I normally read quite frequently, this site has definitely elevated my motivation to read even more. I just completed In Cold Blood by Truman Compote.

My review follows:

In Cold Blood In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

My review

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Before reading this book, I never knew about the Clutter murders. This book introduced me to what happened on November 15, 1959 to a family of four in Holcomb, Kansas. The tragedy was heartbreaking. Four lives taken without mercy by two men who seemed without conscience. In Cold Blood also delved into the mindsets of the townfolk, the deputy and his assistants investigating the murder, the killers' families, and the killers themselves.

I didn't think I would enjoy this book at first because I don't particularly like reading of murder. It deeply frightens me and delivers me into the nightmare imagination of what could certainly be a possibility for me or those I love.

However, the best part of this book was learning about the psychology behind murder and the psyche of two men who decided one night to wipe out a whole family. Although I was obviously horrified and saddened for the family that was killed, a part of me also felt pity and sadness for the murderers who lost large portions of themselves throughout their struggling existence.

In Cold Blood delivers an unforgettable and unflinching trip into the spirit, emotion, and mind of each soul affected by murder.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Venting Time

This blog is mostly about working through my goals.

I have A LOT of goals. There are many things that I want to accomplish during my life, and I am continuously trying to find a way for organizing my goals so I can better focus on each one.

I've read numerous books. I've bought software. I've utilized Word and Excel. I've tried finding useful applications online. In my desperate quest, I have found a mixture of helpful information and tools. Yet, I remain bewildered.

I am not sure if it's the way my brain works - all chaotic and mult-linear - or if perhaps, I want too many things. Because even with all the information and tools available in books and online, my goals remain numerous without much progress.

I can't seem to find focus or clarity. I'm all over the place and not a lot gets done.

So today here I sit: wanting much but accomplishing little; craving more with less motivation; needing a spark but only finding my energy depleted.

Can anyone say nap?