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April 30, 2016 / Melanie Rosson

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

(eskens, allen - the life we burythumbs_up) This story is complex and detailed, but the plot alone is what got me intrigued.

A young man breaks away from his draining, debilitating family to go to school. However, he still has to rescue his brother often from his wild, alcoholic mother and her abusive boyfriends.

For a class project, he has to interview and write about an elder person’s life. He goes to a nursing home, and they set him up with a convicted rapist and murderer who is dying ot pancreatic cancer.

But through research the cops never bothered to do, the main character finds that this man is not only innocent, but he also discovers the perpetrator. But in the process, violence and suspense ensues.

The ending has a happy resolution, and there is a romance that ensues with a neighbor girl. It has all the tell-tale markers of a great story.

April 30, 2016 / Melanie Rosson

Leaving Las Vegas by John O’Brien

(obrien, john - leaving las vegas thumbs_down ) This is the most depressing book I have read in a long time.

It follows an alcoholic set on killing himself through intoxication, and a hooker who has no self value. In Vegas, they connect, and form a relationship. However, when someone doesn’t love themselves, a loving relationship with another person doesn’t usually work out. This is inevitable, and the depressing, deadly ending is predictable though undesirable.

If I didn’t already know and love Las Vegas, I would get a tainted image of it through this story.

December 10, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck

selleck, cassie dandridge - the pecan man(thumbs_up) The Pecan Man follows a woman caught up in a monstrous lie that she nearly takes to her death bed.

She found her employee’s daughter molested by none other than the sheriff’s son. The mother wanted to keep it quiet, but someone found out and took vengeance. Then a lie formed to protect his loved ones from this. This led to even more lies that hurt others.

The book also touches on the horrible disease that is addiction. It shows the addict as being a normal person with a problem – not an out of control, wild character like many stories do.

Great writing style and an even greater story.

December 6, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

Last Call: A Memoir by Nancy L. Carr

carr, nancy - last call(thumbs_side) This is another typical memoir of an alcoholic, party animal woman.

Up until she is just shy of 40, she’s working and playing harder than ever. But she rationalizes it by the fact that she is still able to maintain a career.

Unfortunately, as she points out, this is the case with many alcoholics. Only after her second DUI did she start to finally warm up to the fact that she might have a problem. Coming to an AA meeting solidified that fact.

She lives sober life from then on, and appreciates life more than ever – though of course it is still a challenge.

It’s not a special book, but not bad either.

October 10, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

fowler, karen joy - we are all completely beside ourselves(thumbs_up ) This book’s plot totally caught me by surprise. I don’t think I read the description that carefully.

So the main character, Rosemary, grew up with a chimpanzee that she sees as a sister. The chimpanzee, Fern, goes missing, and this leads her brother to also leaving. The family holds onto these losses the best they can.

Rosemary seeks her brother by going to college in Davis, where it is rumored her brother has relocated to. When she finds him, or rather he finds her, she finds out that Fern is not living a nice life somewhere else as her family had led her to believe. This has led her brother to being an animal rights extremist and wanted by the FBI.

The story goes from there. It’s really different from what I usually read and very interesting and educational. I learned a lot about chimps and human relations while reading this heart-wrenching story. I also loved how the author had weaved complicated vocabulary words throughout.

October 3, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

Men-ipulation by Monica Sarli

sarli, monica - men-ipulation( thumbs_side) I’ve read stories of drug addicts recovering and then creating successful careers and/or families, but nothing like this. This story shows you what money can buy.

Monica Sarli landed a loaded husband with whom she developed an addiction with. They went through treatment, but Monica was the only one committed to their recovery. However, her husband stopped enough for them to develop established lives and socialize with other wealthy folks. Note that neither of them have real careers to speak of. Her husband starts becoming ill, and his secrets come out.

What I like about this book is it gives me another view of how money makes life more moldable. If you have money, you have more options – you can do just about anything possible. However, I also couldn’t stand how upperclass they had become due to money they hadn’t earned. They went from being broke from drugs to throwing tens of thousands of dollars at charities. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

September 30, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience by Eileen Cronin

cronin, eileen - mermaid ( thumbs_side) This is a memoir of a woman who grew up missing the majority of her legs. It was rumored that her mom took an over the counter drug which caused the deformity. But her mom adamantly denies this while Cronin grows up – it isn’t until she is an adult that her mother confesses she took it.

Cronin grew up in a gigantic family of 11-12 children. She was fitted with prosthetics as soon as she was old enough and details the pains associated. Her mom lacked mental stability and her dad did not want to be there – and soon wasn’t.

Even though this book has depth and insight, I couldn’t get that into it. It’s about an interesting subject, but it wasn’t gritty enough to move me. That’s my own preferences though, objectively I’d say the book is really good. However, this is my book review blog, for my own memories, so I am judging based on that premise.

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