Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins

I saw the book The Girl on the Train by Paul Hawkins a while back and it sounded interesting.  Then the previews for the movie came out and I wanted to read this book so that I could see the movie.  I haven't seen it yet, but can't wait to see if it follows the book.  The book was great.  It had a twist and was reminiscent of Gillian Flynn's novels.  I would definitely recommend reading it and hope that the movie follows the book closely.  I can't wait to see it.

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"A Long Way Down" by Nick Hornby

I picked up "A Long Way Down" by Nick Hornby a while back and it was sitting in my To Be Read stack.  I saw that the movie was on Netflix and didn't know how long it was going to be on there.  So I decided to pick this one up and read it so that I could watch the movie.

The book was good.  It was an interesting story and interesting read.  Except for the same basic intro concept, the movie wasn't as good as the book.  The plot line even was slightly different.  I'd definitely recommend the book as a summer read (you still have a few weeks before Labor Day).

Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they’ve reached the end of the line.
In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

"When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi

I first read about Dr. Paul Kalanithi in a NPR article.  Paul was a neurosurgeon at the end of his residency program when he found out he had cancer spread throughout his body.  Paul had also always wanted to be a writer, even pursuing this in college as well.

When Paul found out he had cancer, he wrote about his experience as a doctor giving help and hope to cancer patients who are dealing with it or dying from it.  But he was also about to write about his experience on the other side, as a patient receiving treatment.

I knew when I finished this article that I had to pick up his book "When Breath Becomes Air." This book was great.  It was a quick read and very insightful and meaningful.

Overview from Barnes & Noble's website:

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a na├»ve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.
Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.