Book a Month Club: April

And, I’m slowing down… Only got through two books this month but they were both great! On one hand I had never read anything by Nicholas Evans before and on the other I have read everything by Jodi Picoult.  I was equally impressed.

The Smoke Jumper was a book that ended up having a far larger time line and emotional draw than the description blurb led on.  Though sometimes this can be annoying, I was so glad that the story kept going.  I liked the characters and wanted to see where their lives took them.  This would probably be classified in my beach read section, but with just enough depth in the chatacters and topics to let you feel like you didn’t waste your time on something completely mindless.

House Rules definitely exceeded my expectations.  Sometimes when you read the same author every time they release a new book they start to get a little bit predictable or even repetitive- not the case here.  For those of you who haven’t discovered Picoult, you should.  A few of my favorites are My Sister’s Keeper and The Tenth Circle, though their are very few if any that I wasn’t crazy about.  The thing about her books is that along with a story that just sucks you in from page one, you get something of an education.  Each book has a central controversial or misunderstood topic that she expands upon from the perspective of various characters throughout her story.  Her books always leave you feeling better informed and a little bit wiser.  Every time I read one I find myself wanting to share her insights and trivia with  anyone who happens to be in the room while I read.  This book was no exception and I left it with a more thorough understanding of Asperger’s Syndrome and a new found empathy for those with this diagnosis and their families.

His name is Connor Ford and he falls like an angel of mercy from the sky, braving the flames to save the woman he loves but knows he cannot have. For Julia Bishop is the partner of his best friend and fellow "smoke jumper," Ed Tully. Julia loves them both--until a fiery tragedy on Montana's Snake Mountain forces her to choose between them, and burns a brand on all their hearts. In the wake of the fire, Connor embarks on a harrowing journey to the edge of human experience, traveling the world's worst wars and disasters to take photographs that find him fame but never happiness. Reckless of a life he no longer wants, again and again he dares death to take him, until another fateful day on another continent, he must walk through fire once more...

HOUSE RULES is about Jacob Hunt, a teenage boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject – in his case, forensic analysis. He’s always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he’s usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger’s – not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate affect – can look a heck of a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel -- and suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. HOUSE RULES looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way – but lousy for those who don’t. 

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2 Comments on “Book a Month Club: April”

  1. ryandroche says:

    i’m about three quarters of the way through house rules. can’t wait to chat about it when i’m done!

  2. Paula says:

    i read “smoke jumper” a long time ago – enjoyed it as well and agree with your review.
    i have “house rules” on hold at the library and am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival! LOVE jodi picoult…. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! i have worked with many many children with autism in my career and am always amazed at how the family manages and thrives. my nephew has asperger’s so i know it from that perspective as well…. can’t wait to read it!


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