Archive for December, 2006

For One More Day by Mitch Albom

Friday, December 29th, 2006

 For One More Day by Mitch Albom as reviewed by Helene Gray

There is a saying “No one loves you like Mom.?  This is especially true in this book For One More Day, by NY Times bestselling author Mitch Albom.  It is a thought-provoking story about a down-on-his-luck former pro-baseball player named Charles (Chick) Benetto who never got over the death of his mother Pauline (Posey).  He tells his story as a narrative to another person about the circumstances leading up to his suicide attempt.  The ghost of his mother gives him one more day to review his past and understand the circumstances about his parents divorce.  This book is about family relationships and how children from a broken home get caught between parents.  Chick Benetto’s rite of passage into adulthood centered on his father’s obsession for his son’s baseball career to the detriment of Chick graduating college and not being there for his mother, Posey, wife, Catherine or daughter, Maria.  His ultimate isolation from everyone he loved was the result.  I liked his mother Posey, who devoted herself to being a single parent, loving her son and daughter Roberta and telling them “I love you every day.?  It was sad to read about how hard it was years ago for a divorced mother with children to survive and Chick’s self-centered life and guilt-ridden suicide attempt, but his redemption at the end was touching and heartfelt.  The book was well written and inspiring.

    TitleFor One More Day by Mitch Albom-NY Times bestselling author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

     Plot:  The relationships between parents and children and getting a second chance to understand and possibly correct past mistakes with a departed loved one.

     Exciting moment:  The surprising ending when the details of the story are revealed.

     Best/worst thinks:  The worst part is reading about Charles (Chick’s) Benetto’s desparate suicide attempt and the best part is how the ghost of his mother Pauline (Posey) saves him.

     The book would appeal to age’s teen to adult who are family oriented.

     The subject of parent/child relationships makes you rethink how you should treat and appreciate each other before it’s too late.  To treasure what you have.

      Main characters:  Charles (Chick) Benetto, former pro-baseball star, his mother Pauline (Posey), father Leonard, sister Roberta, wife Catherine and daughter Maria.  My favorite character was Posey.

      I would rate the book a ten.

Wrong Beach Island by Jane Kelly

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Wrong Beach Island by Jane Kelly as reviewed by Joan Badie 

Captivating is the title, Wrong Beach Island, which recalls one of our Jersey shore vacation favorites and captivating is the wholesome, down-to-earth character of Meg Daniels who somehow fits the image of the author.  Jane Kelly, who also is a librarian, gave a talk at West Deptford Library and was very interesting and informative about the perks of being a writer.

Wrong Beach Island is set in Long Beach Island, of course.  It describes the luxurious homes at Loveladies and Beach Haven.  The heroine is staying at the home of one such wealthy homeowner, Oliver, while finding herself stranded in different parts of the island as well as central New Jersey while investigating on her own the death of one Dallas Spenser. Spenser was shot in the back and washed up on the shore.  His kayak was missing, but not his Rolodex watch or his wallet with $500.  Meg’s current boy friend, Andy, was just about to take her sailing around the Caribbean when an old flame, Page Spenser, called him and induced him to come investigate the death of her husband.  The repartee about why Meg is NOT jealous is amusing…her independence is admirable.  The story is light and easy reading.  She finds herself in somewhat believable unsavory circumstances.

My favorite part of the book is Meg Daniel’s trip into South Jersey to interview a matron who was married to the man under a different name a long time ago.  I liked this part because of the very accurate description of the small split level, immaculately decorated in pink.  I have a split level, however, not so immaculate and not at all  pink.  However, the description was one I really enjoyed.  I almost felt part of the book.

The ending of the book was most unbelievable….(don’t read if you want to read the book and be surprised)….Dallas Spenser was a man who changed identities, but not his initials, ( Dover Snelling, Danvers Sullivan, Denver Spears, Dallas Spenser and was moving on to a new identify as Delray Steelman, sired three sons, all redheads and was finally done in by one of them.  You almost felt sorrier for the murderer than the victim.

It’s a great story, as was Jane Kelly’s other books,  Killing Time in Ocean City and Cape Mayhem.

 

It’s a Terrible Day…Thanks be to God by Father Michael Doyle

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

It’s a Terrible Day…Thanks be to God by Father Michael Doyle as reviewed by Walt Pierson

This book is a collection of monthly letters by Father Doyle sent to friends. It includes a lot about the sad situation of Camden as a dumping ground of things that no one else in the county wants, i.e. the regional sewage treatment plant, an incinerator, a concrete crushing plant, a state prision, etc.

On the lighter side is a fair amount of material about Ireland and Father Doyle’s upbringing and visits there. A documentation of his ancestry reveals much about the history of Ireland. There are some cogent comments about our government and some of the situations that we have been subjected to over the past century.

The book holds out hope tempered by a realistic assessment of current conditions. Especially moving are the letters regarding the appalling number of homicides in Camden and the memorial marches to the scene of each murder. The book is a living documentary of the past several years in Camden as well as a good number of other topics.

(A copy of the book is in the collection of the West Deptford Free Public Library. Copies may be purchased by writing to The Heart of Camden Housing Corp. 1742 Ferry Ave. Camden, NJ 08104. All proceeds from the sale of the book benefit that Corp. The price is $20 + $4.50 postage and handling. Checks should be payable to the Corp)

Best Picks in 2006

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

In 2006 a group of avid readers met at the library to kick off Tuesday Tea with a Twist! The discussion of favorite books over tea generated a great list of reads to share with you.