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The ChildAmyRyan (9)

Don't feel bad, I'm in the same boat! I totally didn't see the Emma-as-Alice connection coming.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoAmyRyan (9)

Excellent point! I think you're spot on about Evelyn's personal connection to the piece. Glad you enjoyed the book as much as I did!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoAmyRyan (9)

I agree with your assessment of the writing style. I liked it because I felt it was showing us the end product of the biography, if that makes sense. Like the narrative between Monique and Evelyn was present day the portions about the husbands are Monique's published work of Evelyn's biography.

Woman No. 17AmyRyan (9)

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who didn't "get" it. I never regret reading a book, but this was not something I'd pick up again or recommend.

The Magic Strings of Frankie PrestoAmyRyan (9)
Captivating Perspective

This was easily my favorite Mitch Albom novel, although I don't think he's ever published a bad piece of work. Initially, I was intimidated by the size of the book. Once I started though, I could not put it down.

I am not inherently a musical person, which made it all the more interesting that I loved this book so strongly. I came to know and love the characters in the book, while also finding a better appreciation for music: those who create it, the effect it has on people and recalling memories, the many forms it can take, the simple complexity of it's composition.

I loved that it had a mystery-like quality. Nothing to solve, yet everything tying into previous events, leaving you with an "Aha!" feeling at the end of each chapter. In my opinion, this is a timeless book. I'm already looking forward to reading it again!

When Breath Becomes AirAmyRyan (9)

I agree! While the premise of the book is thought-provoking, I found Paul's writing to be most captivating. The whole time I read, I tried to focus on the word choices and meanings while analyzing them against the future, the known outcome of his demise. I was always asking myself, "Do I think Paul achieved his end goal?"

As you know, he often wavered on deciding what his life goal was. Finding the answer to this question was part of his quest for life-versus-death answers. In the end, I would say yes, his goal was achieved. And I think, as much as he argues life is more meaningful based on how you spend your time rather that what you achieve, it gave him a purpose. They're hand-in-hand. Without striving for something, like publishing a book, his remaining time might not have been used so intentionally and so gratifyingly.

Here's the irony: my paragraph above talks about his goal being achieved because writing a book was a worthwhile pursuit. So is the success of his published novel any credit to that goal? I want to say no, based on Paul's lessons, but yes in that it's clearly an amazing achievement, even if posthumous. Again, I'm finding myself in Paul's shoes, understanding there are no black and white answers to seemingly simple questions. I thank him for allowing me to analyze in this perspective. I think, as the reader, that adds to the heartbreak, the mystery, and the beauty of this book. The words make you feel like you are living out a part of Paul's dream, you're reading the piece he slaved over through the good and the bad times. You're granting his dying wish, in a sense, as each reader lends more credit to the success of his book.

I would recommend this book to anyone. While I didn't get the life-altering viewpoint a lot of people are commenting on, I trust his perspective can be helpful and even healing to those battling a fear or uncertainly about death.

PriestdaddyAmyRyan (9)

Hi Nicole! I agree with a lot of your sentiments. The "Swimming Hole" chapter was definitely my favorite because it was so funny. I love your pick too because it embodies the mom's worry, unintended humor, and, subtly, her want for for literary attention from our author.

If I had chosen this book from the library, I think I would've returned it after a few chapters. It's not typically my type of book. However, I'm glad I read through. The first half was definitely more entertaining, and I found the second half to be thought provoking. I felt the author used the book as a soundboard, or journal if you will, to sort through her feelings. I think we're left wondering about her feelings toward the church because she herself wrestles with her allegiance to both herself and to how she was raised.

I felt this way about some of the insinuations about Priests too; she brought the story just to the point where I had to ask, "Did that actually happen?" Not necessarily in a questioning sense, but in a hopeful sense that the reality wasn't as doomed as it seemed to be written. With each chapter, I wondered why she danced around her allegations. Then I decided maybe these are stories too heavy for her, and putting admission on paper makes them real and final.