Thursday, October 27, 2016

Everything I Left Unsaid

I've been on a reading kick again so I feel like I'm flying through books rather quickly. My goal is to really tackle things that are on my bookshelf that I haven't gotten to yet. Mostly so I can justify buying more books as I see them go on sale.

Can we also acknowledge the greatness of used books? It's not just for college, kids. You can find almost all of your books in a used version on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and it's really worth it. I've scored a bunch of books for dirt cheap and even with shipping, it's significantly less than what a new book would have cost me. I'm not snobby about my books because my favorite day of the year is the library book sale and I've found some real gems there, so I love used books. Yippee.

Anyways. Let's talk this book.

Everything I Left Unsaid - M. O'Keefe

I didn’t think answering someone else’s cellphone would change my life. But the stranger with the low, deep voice on the other end of the line tempted me, awakened my body, set me on fire. He was looking for someone else. Instead he found me.
And I found a hot, secret world where I felt alive for the first time.
His name was Dylan, and, strangely, he made me feel safe. Desired. Compelled. Every dark thing he asked me to do, I did. Without question. I longed to meet him, but we were both keeping secrets. And mine were dangerous. If I took the first step, if I got closer to Dylan—emotionally, physically—then I wouldn’t be hiding anymore. I would be exposed, with nothing left to surrender but the truth. And my truth could hurt us both.

I first heard of this book on one of my favorite book blogs, Herding Cats & Burning Soup, and because Anna (the blogger) loved it, I added it to my future shopping list. Then it sadly sat on my shelf for months until I was looking for a book to read that wasn't part of an organized review and man alive- I feel ashamed that I waited so long to read this!

Granted- I'll be honest and told you I was a little worried when I started the book because it is a little weird until you get into it. Which sounds strange, but it's hard to explain. We have Annie McKay, who is on the run from an abusive husband and she's basically lived an incredibly naive and sheltered life. Everything she experiences since leaving her husband and the farm is a new experience for her and she's trying to figure out who she is at her core. So she finds herself in a really run down, sad little trailer court/campground and is renting an RV turned trailer home that is basically a pile of crap. But it's her temporary pile of crap and she's bound to make the best of it while she makes a plan. Then the phone rings, a phone that's shoved into a hiding spot in the RV, so the natural thing is to answer the damn phone. Someone leaves a cell phone, you answer it like any good citizen would.

Enter Dylan. Dylan sounds like a hot piece of hunk on the phone and he immediately perks Annie up. She gives him a fake name, because she doesn't know who this guy is after all, and at the end of the call he gives her the kind of bizarre task of watching on her neighbor, Ben, but gives no reason why.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out who Ben is but honestly, nobody cares, because this book quickly takes a turn into the phone sex book of all time. What Fifty Shades of Grey did for dirty emails, Everything I Left Unsaid is doing for phone sex. Quickly their "relationship" turns into tasks for Annie to help her discover herself all the while torturing Dylan on the other end. Dylan isn't without demons himself and while we don't figure them all out in this book, you're given enough that you are automatically signed up and ordering book two on Amazon Prime and hoping it actually pulls through with it's free two day delivery this time. Then I realize there is a third book and, so far, it's only available as an e-book and that's ABSOLUTE SHIT because I've gone on an e-book hiatus since my Nook is acting wonky and I absolutely refuse to get another e-reader because I hate them. I have decided I hate them. So there.


So I hope book three comes out on paperback and that book two doesn't end on a cliffhanger like this one does so I can emotionally handle the wait. Because UPS guy is supposed to come tomorrow and you bet your ass I'll be waiting for him. You hear that, UPS? Get here early, none of this 8:00 at night crap.


Overall? Loved the book. It starts off weird and I got nervous, and there ended up being no reason. I don't really normally like characters like Annie because they can be overly whiny but I really felt endeared to her and rooting for her. And Dylan.... oh Dylan. He's like the Beast in The Beauty and the Beast, he's a burn victim locked up in his fortress, away from everyone, and you just want to fix him because underneath the burns he's a good seed, despite his past. I really liked his character, I'm hopeful that book two goes more into his backstory, so again, UPS- hurry the hell up.

I highly recommend it if mama needs a little book lovin. It will serve you well, mamas. Batteries not included. ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


I'm kind of on a roll with books for kids as of late, and if you have a child in the ages of 8-12, this is something you might want to add to your holiday shopping list for them.

Frazzled: Everyday Disasters & Impending Doom - Booki Vivat

Meet Abbie Wu! She’s about to start middle school and she’s totally in crisis.

Abbie Wu is in crisis—and not just because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because the lunch ladies at school are totally corrupt or because everyone seems to have a “Thing” except her. Abbie Wu is in crisis always.

Heavily illustrated and embarrassingly honest, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is, where she belongs, and how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up. With Abbie’s flair for the dramatic and natural tendency to freak out, middle school has never seemed so nerve-racking!

Packed with hilarious black-and-white illustrations and doodles throughout, Frazzled takes readers through Abbie Wu’s hysterical middle school adventures. 

I can't remember if I signed up to review this or if this is one that just comes to me with the hopes I'll have time to review it, but I'm sure glad it landed in my mailbox, that's for sure. I have two kids who fit into the recommend 8-12 age group so they are working on reading the book now that I'm done with it. I have one child (Olivia, age 11) who is an avid reader, she flies through books quickly and likes to try different genres. I have another child (Jackson, age 8) who likes to read, but will often get discouraged if it's too challenging for him or if it's "too long". The great part about this book, which seems like it's kind of a trend in books for this age group, is that it's illustrated throughout and almost like a comic, but not really that same format. It basically makes the almost 250 pages go quickly and for kids like my son, who gets easily frustrated if he feels like he isn't reading fast enough, this is a good confidence booster book. They'll finish it pretty quickly and it's a great story.

But let's talk about the story because even my old self laughed at this book because I don't care how old you are, you remember middle school. You remember the fear of your first day and every day of doom until the end and this book really captured it. The book is about Abbie who is starting middle school and she's pretty concerned. She doesn't have any real interests or talents and she already feels lost when she can't figure out what elective to choose, so she ends up in dreaded study hall. Her mom is thrilled to send her off to school and her siblings are all special and great in their own right, but Abbie is just Abbie. She dreads being compared to her older, great-at-everything older brother. She has the worst homeroom teacher, she's split up from her friends, and it's a really tough transition from elementary school.

I absolutely loved Abbie. I could really relate to her and all of her dramatic, my-life-is-over theatrics and worries are ones I know I had when I started middle school. It's such a tough time for kids and it really can feel like the end of the world. The story is written well, accompanied with fun illustrations, and I think kids are going to relate to Abbie and her worries. I highly recommend this book and like I said before, you might want to read it quickly yourself to revisit the dramatics.. just for fun.

Friday, October 21, 2016

To The Brink

Honestly, I feel like I'm at the brink in real life, but today it's a book review I'm talking about!

To The Brink (The First Force Series #4) - Cindy McDonald

Tess thought her life would settle after the death of her husband, Ballard Crafton. After all she’d escaped Russia with the formula to his secret serum that transforms ordinary soldiers into unstoppable machines. She was certain the Russians thought Ballard’s notes were lost in the explosion that destroyed his lab, but one man believes that Tess possesses the precious information, and he wants it for his own wicked agenda. 

Hired assailants dog her night and day. She needs help and she needed it weeks ago. Now she turns to First Force for protection only to find the team is away with only one operative at First Force headquarters holding down the fort—Dan Garrison. 

How can Dan keep her safe when he isn’t sure that he believes her story? How can Tess gain his trust, and how can either of them deny the underlying passion that is exploding between the fine line of deception and danger?

I am such a fan of this series and I get excited every time one of them comes out, so when I was contacted by the author to review this one, I was all over it. Um, yes- I'll take another of the First Force hunks, thankyouverymuch

The great thing about this series is that technically these are stand alone books and you'll be just fine no matter where you hop in. BUT. If you read from the books in order, it adds a whole other layer of greatness because the story builds over time. I also have to say, because I don't think I mentioned it in reviews for the other books, but the author does a great job at bringing the previous books' characters into each book while focusing on the "main couple". It's like revisiting old friends, it's really nice to catch up with them again. 


So this book centers around Tess, who is on the run now that her bad guy husband is dead. His brother (and his goons) are after a serum that essentially could turn a regular guy into a super fighting machine, basically. A Hulk of sorts; which obviously, would be a bad thing in the hands of the wrong people. Tess is on the run and she knows that if she can get to the First Force team they could ultimately help her but she has to decide, is she able to trust them to hand the serum over? Or should she get rid of it herself? Enter Dan Garrison, the lone First Force member on duty once Tess arrives. He's a hunk, swoon worthy and the complete opposite of her husband. Dan knows that his directive is to get that serum because First Force could use it (they are the good guys) but they could also decide to destroy it too, but either way- he needs to gain Tess's trust, at all costs, to get his hands on it. 

We also have the criminal aspect of this, headed by August Crafton, the brother of Tess's dead husband. Turns out, he's as disgustingly creepy as the criminals in the other books so the author did a bang up job there. Once you figure out how he has been tracking Tess, ick. So icky and creepy and you know she's going to hate herself for not figuring it out since Tess is a bit of a techie. 

Overall? The romance element? So great. The thriller element? Also great, and it's in solid company with the other three books. You won't be let down by this story and if you've been with this series already you'll be so happy with the turn of the story. And can we all get a hell yes about book 5 being Casey's story? CAN WE? Yes, we can. *I'm excited* to say the least. Swoon. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

AFE Update: making lists and getting nervous

**If you are new to the blog, please read my post about Lucy's birth first, that way you'll know why this post is relevant and learn what AFE (amniotic fluid embolism) is** 

I've said before but October is kind of a chill month for me right now. I've had a busy August and September, and not much action in October, but November is going to be busy. It starts with MRI appointments, literally on the first. I am having two MRI's in the same week, along with brain testing (sounds ominous and sketchy, doesn't it?) which is apparently a repeat of testing I had done when I was in the hospital. I'm having it done at each hospital in Duluth and the neurological team is going to basically conference together and figure out what to do with me going forward and maybe give me (hopefully) some idea of what my future is going to be like. 

Going into that, I'm a little bit worried. I haven't been totally honest about my memory and just every day normal stuff. I've had what I call "brain blinks" and the best way to describe it is my brain literally blinks in and out. Like one of those Viewmaster toys where you push the lever and the screen clicks into a new image- it's like that. One minute I'm fine, and the next it's like my brain pauses a second and bam- I can't remember why I'm where I'm at, how I got there, what I'm doing, and sometimes I'm not sure where I am, but then blink- I'm back to normal and it's like nothing happened. Truthfully? It's scary. It's terrifying, actually. I'm afraid I'm going to leave a kid behind somewhere or worse. One time last week I was driving and suddenly forgot how to get to my kids' school. I driven there hundreds of times and bam, totally forgot and then it clicked and I was totally OK. 

So we'll see what the neurologists have to say. 

Next up- diabetes insipidus is kind of a pain in the ass. Thankfully, the medication I got works on the lowest dose so I've been managing it well. Except I get outrageously thirsty at random times. I'm working on keeping my water intake at a steady level (it's not necessarily good for me to drink a bunch at once and then go an hour or more with no water, I have to even it out), and that's been tough. Sometimes I forget because I'm busy with kids, and then I realize I'm over the top thirsty (it's similar to running a couple of miles and being dehydrated and wanting to chug water) and then it kind of messes me all up and I'm peeing a whole bunch and then thirsty again and it's kind of how it is the rest of the day. 

I was also diagnosed with Sheehan's Syndrome and that's been fun. I was told that I have to write down every symptom or weird thing I experience because some of it will be tied to Sheehan's, and the rest... well they aren't sure, but I need to make a list anyways. So here's the list I have so far (aside from what I've already mentioned) 
  • I definitely feel dumber. I have a hard time explaining things I absolutely know that I know. Things that I could have rattled on about without thinking about it, I can't even get thoughts organized enough to talk about them. 
  • I've got no period. I know, most women would shout with glee! And I am, truly! And by no period I mean I've only had 5-7 days (not in a row, totally sporadic days) of light spotting since giving birth. That's it. But before you get all excited for me, just know I'm in PMS hell. I am constantly flipping between two options: option 1 is a total PMS week complete with migraines, moodiness, and cramps from hell where I feel like I'm being stabbed, and option 2 is hot flashes where I'm pretty sure I'm going to burst into flames. It's horrible. Clearly my hormones are stuck and it's not good. 
  • My entire body hurts. I can't really explain this well, but I basically feel like I've simultaneously run a marathon and been physically assaulted. All of my insides hurt, head to toe. My hips feel like they are going to fall out of their sockets and my back hurts I can hardly move. It's really awful.
  • The fatigue, my god... the fatigue. Even if I manage to get eight hours of sleep at night, I wake up feeling like I haven't slept at all and I can barely get going. I could sleep all day if the opportunity presented itself. I don't even get the bursts of energy I used to get, this is just absolute fatigue all of the time. 
  • Guess who has gained 20 pounds in a MONTH?! This girl. I can't even tell you how because my diet is managed well. Sure, I'm not exercising but that's because I'm so damn tired and when I walk for even a short while the body pain is excruciating. 
  • Another side effect of Sheehan's is lack of a sex drive. Which, I feel really bad about, because I know it's an important thing to Matt but the thought of staying awake, and having energy for it... not there. I don't even have any kind of urge. 
  • Depression. It's bad. I have my first official counselor appointment in November and I'm not even optimistic about it but I know I need to go. I need to fix myself, one thing at a time. 
So yeah, that's all I've got so far. HA! But seriously, I feel like I'm falling apart. Matt said I'm the best actress he knows and it's kind of scary. But more on that another day. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

When Breath Becomes Air

I have had this on my to-read list for a LONG time. Well before it was published and released out into the world. I had read all of the teasers and articles I could find on the internet about Paul Kalanithi and his story just tugged at me. So I bought the book the day it came out and then it sat on my shelf for months, until just last week when I felt like now was the time. It was time to get into it. And wow.

When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi

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 making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air, which features a Foreword by Dr. Abraham Verghese and an Epilogue by Kalanithi’s wife, Lucy, 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 young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient and a new father to a baby girl, 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 mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

I'll be honest, I don't think my review is going to do this book justice, but I'll tell you what, if there was ever a book that kick you in the balls, it would be this one. The book is really three parts for me: Part 1- In Perfect Health I Begin, Part 2- Cease Not till Death and the Epilogue. The Foreward by Abraham Verghese is kind of blah for me and I was a little worried from reading that that I was going to be bored. Also, the Prologue was meh for me as well and written by Paul. 

But Part 1 is all about his time debating what to do with his life career wise, why he chose being a doctor and more specifically, a neurosurgeon. What is really fascinating is the frank way he talks about the profession behind the scenes, surgical procedures and becoming automated at it, and then the stories about patients. There was a line on page 102 that reads, "How little do doctors understand the hells through which we put patients." and it really touched me because I know so many people in the middle of chemo and radiation, tests and procedures that doctors don't know how successful they'll be, and then my situation where nobody knows what to really do with me and it's like, how true is this? But what was also touching in this section is how he talks about his mission in life and work was to figure out the meaning of life, how to die with integrity, and how it all comes together to be able to say it was a meaningful existence, which is something I think we can all relate to, I know I certainly can right now. 

Part 2 is all about his diagnosis of lung cancer, the journey through treatment and ultimately, death. Once you know death is your last option, everything else has been exhausted, how do you do that the right way? Paul and his wife Lucy debate on having a child- she worries if they don't, will he be disappointed to not have left anything behind? He worries that if they do, she'll be raising their child alone. But together they decide to have a child and their daughter Cady is born in the aftermath of chemo treatments not going as planned. 

Paul never got to "finish" his book but I think it's ultimately fitting that the ending paragraph is this: 

"When you come to one of the many moments in life where you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man's days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing." 

And that right there punched me in the gut. Because you think about the people you have lost that you wish you could have done more for. It's so easy to forget that the time you did spend with them was meaningful and maybe it was enough. Paul only got eight short months with his daughter but in that time she was able to fill the rest of his life with happiness. I can't think of a better way to go, to be honest. 

The last part is the Epilogue, written by Paul's wife, Lucy. She really did such an amazing job closing the book out with the final chapter of Paul's life. She gave a great, personal point of view of what that was like for her, and for him, and touched on other things in their marriage that Paul wrote about. And you just want to hug her, because you feel like you just went through it all with her by the time you get to the epilogue. 

I guess after having died twice during the birth of my daughter, I feel a need to figure out why I'm still here. I clearly haven't finished what I was meant to do, but what is it? It's so hard to know, but I'd like to think that if I were dying of cancer I'd have enough in me to write this beautifully. Amazing book. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Can I just get all fan girl with you for a minute? Because I have read and reviewed every book by Catherine McKenzie and I have loved them all. I would have flipped a table to get an early copy of this book but, thank goodness, I was able to get one. Then I forgot about it during the whole thing with Lucy and her birth, but then I found it on my shelf and SQUEALED when I remembered.

Then I promptly devoured it over the course of a weekend.

Fractured - Catherine McKenzie

Julie Prentice and her family move across the country to the idyllic Mount Adams district of Cincinnati, hoping to evade the stalker who’s been terrorizing them ever since the publication of her bestselling novel, The Murder Game. Since Julie doesn’t know anyone in her new town, when she meets her neighbor John Dunbar, their instant connection brings measured hope for a new beginning. But she never imagines that a simple, benign conversation with him could set her life spinning so far off course.

After a series of misunderstandings, Julie and her family become the target of increasingly unsettling harassment. Has Julie’s stalker found her, or are her neighbors out to get her, too? As tension in the neighborhood rises, new friends turn into enemies, and the results are deadly. 

I'm really having a hard time writing reviews for books I really enjoyed that don't contain spoilers, but leave you absolutely needing to read this book. The very cool thing about this book is that if you've read others by Catherine, this one feels totally different. Her other books are light and fun, and they have a little real life seriousness to it, but overall they are light reads, but this one is heavier. I mean, she has a stalker and is harassed throughout the book so right away we're in for a treat and it's nice to see an author go down another alley in their writing and not fall victim to basically being stuck in a rut with the same kind of story and characters. This isn't to say this is so different that if you're a fan of Catherine's you might be hesitant- don't be! The book has a great cast of characters, the story has some humorous parts mixed in and honestly? You can see this playing out as a Lifetime movie in your head, just please don't cast Tori Spelling as Julie because ugh. 

The other thing I'm becoming a fan of even though I swore I wouldn't, the changing point of view. I'm always going to prefer one point of view for my stories but when done right it really works, and that's what we have here. It does switch from past to present, but we also have Julie and the neighbor across the street. And the book basically centers around The Event (which I can't tell you what it is because it ruins the story and just know that I am basically squirming in my seat to freaking spill all of the beans and then talk incredibly fast about how I didn't know WHAT was happening the entire time and oh-my-god what do you think about it?!)  and you don't know if Julie is the cause of it or a victim. The town has run wild with gossip and honestly, there are so many twists to the story that you don't know what the heck is going on until the end. 

And what an ending. 

I also have to give props because I finished The Girl on the Train a week or so ago and that was such an epic let down of a story and this book totally turned psychological thriller around for me. It's not just that but it has the author's chick lit charm in it that made me love her writing to begin with so I feel like I can't plunk this book into a specific genre. It's a mix. It's a really great mix and honestly, if you have a friend who likes to read- consider Fractured for a Christmas gift. Seriously. 

And in the meantime, you can follow or stalk (haha- see what I did there?!) Catherine on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

News of the World

I've been on a reading roll now that I'm hardly sleeping at night again. Terrible for me, but yay for you, right?

News of the World - Paulette Jiles

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself. 

So I have to confess that I wanted to read this book because it's not my normal go-to read and I've been watching documentaries on Netflix during Penelope's nap time so I thought I'd be super into this. Also, it is just under 250 pages so I thought it would be a quick read for me, but I have discovered since my embolism in August, nothing is quick for me anymore. Also? I don't know if it's the writing, if I'm just not smart after all, or my reading comprehension skills are busted because I really struggled through this. I found myself re-reading sections and then it dawned on me, the punctuation in this book is way off. Normally I'd write it off as not a big deal because advanced copies sometimes haven't gone through their final edit and it's par for the course to spot errors. But this seems like a specific writing style because there are no breaks to allow for such punctuation, so it really makes it difficult to read passages where there is dialogue. So for that alone, that made me lose interest when I realized I wasn't going to enjoy this as a leisure read, I'm going to have to work for it. 

With that said, the characters are pretty great. Our central character, Captain Kidd, is in his seventies and has been in three wars over the course of his life. He now goes from town to town reading the news from newspapers for a dime a head until one day he's basically given a young girl to take to a town over 400 miles away. He feels pretty confident, having raised daughters with his now deceased wife, so he agrees and off he sets. The problem, is that the girl was kidnapped by the Kiowa (Native Americans) when she was six (she's 10 now), she has forgotten the English language, and it's clear she doesn't want to be going to San Antonio (let alone with Captain Kidd) and she makes the journey pretty miserable because she won't just go easy into the night. But over their journey, the both of them forge a friendship since despite their age difference, have many similarities. Once they get to San Antonio though, Johanna doesn't really want to go with her long lost aunt and uncle (because her parents are dead so this is like a next-of-kin situation) and Captain Kidd doesn't really want to let her go because despite the headaches she's caused and her escape attempts, he's formed a bond with her. 

Overall? It's a good book. It would actually be an interesting read for high school students as a lot of discussion on the mistrust of strangers and those of another culture could be discussed, as well as the morally complex ending. Captain Kidd struggles with leaving Johanna but can he (or should he) risk becoming a fugitive himself? And as mentioned at the beginning of the book, this is at a time where the 15th amendment was just ratified, giving all men (despite race) the right to vote, and one of the characters made a comment that he couldn't take the girl because she was white and he was black- they'd encounter all kinds of trouble and frankly, it would look badly on him. Which can maybe be drawn from current news, perhaps? I don't know. But the books lends itself to discussion for sure and with it being under 300 pages it's really ideal for a quick read. 

You can purchase your own copy of News of the World on the Harper Collins website as well as on Amazon