Feb 8, 2015

Latest Reads

One of my new year's resolutions was to read more, a book a month if possible. So far so good! Here are the two books I have read this year and short reviews.

Labor Day 
I saw the movie trailer and decided to read the book first. The basic premise is an escaped convict comes home with a single mom and her son and spends Labor Day weekend with them. The mom is a recluse and as you learn through the book has had serious battles with depression after multiple miscarriages and then divorce. She's pliable for the convict who shows her concern, kindness and sexual attention. The boy, from whom's perspective the story is told, has a mixed bag of emotions from knowing harboring an criminal is illegal to really liking the guy and loving seeing his mom happy.

The book started out really interesting, had a lull about 2/3 of the way through but then ended in a nice, unexpected way. Not on my top 10 list but not hours wasted either.

The Astronaut Wives Club
This title immediately caught my native Clear Lake/Seabrook eye. It's the space race told from the perspective of the wives (nonfiction). Geeky for history, women's studies and my hometown, I really enjoyed this. I learned tons, including things I was really surprised to not have already known given that I grew up right there. Like the land that NASA is on used to me a Girl Scout camp. How did I not know that? I was a Girl Scout, with a troop leader who was married to an astronaut and my grandpa and uncle both worked at NASA! Another interesting revelation for me was that Ed White died on the launchpad. I knew Ed White was an astronaut but literally that was all I knew, despite attending summer and after-school care at the Ed White Youth Center.

Unlike Labor Day, I liked this book for everything except the very end. There was so much interesting detail on so many of the missions that when I got to one of the best known missions of all time, Apollo 13, I was really let down to find it was only a page of the whole book. (Given the program's end shortly thereafter, that was the last bit of the whole book.) But the lackluster end aside, I really enjoyed this book. It was super interesting to read about neighborhoods and areas I know inside and out but to better understand how the area developed and the role launching the space program (pun intended) had on my hometown.

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