Monday, October 22, 2012


The man who became Father Time

      In Mitch Albom's newest work of fiction, Dor, the inventor of the world's first clock is punished for trying to measure God's greatest gift.  He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years.
     Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.
     He returns to our world--now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began--and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl (Sarah Lemon) who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman (Victor Delamonte) who wants to live forever.  To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.
     Try to imagine a life without timekeeping.  You probably can't.  You know the month, the year, the day of the week.  There is clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car.  You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie.
      Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored.  Birds are not late.  A dog does not check its watch.  Deer do not fret over passing birthdays.
      Man alone measure time.
      Man alone chimes the hour.
      And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures.
      A fear of time running out.
      This remarkably original tale will inspire readers everywhere to reconsider their own notions of time, how they spend it and how precious it truly is.

Fic Albom, Fantasy

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A silver lining awaits

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
As I recently devoured Matthew Quick’s debut novel I kept thinking ‘this book would make a great movie’. Come to find out, David O Russell (director of film ‘The Fighter’) was thinking along the same lines. A film by the same title and based on the book will be out in the theatres this Thanksgiving. This story is engaging and Matthew Quick has created a loveable and quirky (although troubled) main character, Pat Peoples.
Pat has recently been released from ‘the bad place’ – a mental institution where he believes he has spent the last few months. Upon his release, he goes to live with his parents where he attempts to place the pieces of his broken life back into place. He eventually discovers that those ‘few months’ in the mental institution was in actuality four years. In that time, his wife Nikki has sued for divorce and has placed a restraining order against him. Pat is certain that if he can arrange a meeting with Nikki, he can persuade her that he is well, no longer poses a physical threat, and additionally impress her with the fact that he has finally read several literary classics that she, an English teacher, had always wished he would read. Pat's theory is if this happens, a blissful reconciliation will surely transpire.
Enter Tiffany, the equally wounded and odd sister of Pat’s best friend’s wife.  Tiffany’s husband was tragically killed and because she is also now single and struggling emotionally, Pat’s friend thinks Pat and Tiffany are an ideal match. From the onset, Pat and Tiffany’s relationship is an awkward one. Pat is on a mission to improve his physique and so keeps an arduous regiment of running and exercise. Tiffany is on a mission to stalk Pat and so accompanies him on his daily runs; uninvited, running several paces behind and rarely offering up a word of conversation. When she finally does speak, she makes a deal with Pat; she will serve as the liaison between Nikki and Pat. In return, Pat must agree to Tiffany’s specific conditions.
This book is about relationships on all levels; Pat and his father, Pat and his brother, Pat and his mother and the unlikely relationship he develops with his therapist. This is a book you should pick up soon – and be sure to read it before you see the movie.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Safekeeping by Karen Hesse

With her parents' , teachers' & school administrators' blessings, Radley has been working as a volunteer in an Orphanage in post-earthquake Haiti.  While she is in Haiti, the President is assassinated and the American People's Party takes over the government of the U.S.   This new government comes down hard on the people"vigilante groups, police raids & looting abound.  Illnesses believed to have been conquered return because people are in close, unsanitary quarters.

Radley returns to her New England home town after she hears of what has happened, but her parents aren't at the airport to meet her.  Her phone isn't working.  Her credit card has been cancelled, because all phone lines are down.  She has none of  the required travel papers.  She decides to walk to her own home & hides there for a time - scurrying into the attic at the sound of police - than decides that she must walk even farther: to Quebec.

Another young woman, Celia, has joined Radley, & they find an abandoned schoolhouse in Quebec to survive until things calm down in the U.S., if not forever.   They are quietly helped by a benefactor known as Our Lady of the Barn.

This novel has political overtones, it is more about what Radley learns during her time on her own.  The biggest pluses of "Safekeeping" are Radley's thoughts about her parents.  All too often in YA books, parents are in there or aren't very good parents.  Radley has great parents, & she realizes that she didn't thank or appreciate them nearly enough.  Hopefully, "Safekeeping" will help teens see their parents in a new way.