October Reads: Mini-Reviews

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

I did a ton of reading in September and am behind with reviews for them. Instead of writing a separate post for each title, I’ll share my thoughts about each one here. Short and sweet! (I’m borrowing this idea from The Relentless Reader. Thanks Jennifer!)

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink. As a native Louisianian, I had a personal interest in reading this book. Fink, a medical doctor and journalist, interviewed many of the people involved to write this book. The true life account of life in New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital in the harrowing days post Hurricane Katrina reads like a gripping novel. The sad thing is that everything is true, from the lost of electricity to the doctors that allegedly euthanized patients whom they thought would not survive evacuation.

Mini-review: Fink’s writing made this book a page turner for me. It’s almost unbelievable that these events happened, but they did. Fink also does a great job explaining some of New Orleans’ history of the levees and the hospital’s background to show readers how everything snowballed into the disaster that Hurricane Katrina became.

All the Pieces by Mary E. Kingsley is novella about a 8-year-old Anna Lee “who takes off running one day, fleeing a painful scene and seeking refuge from her family’s lingering grief, she unknowingly brings to the surface some questions that this small, southern Appalachian community had long ago buried.”

Mini-review: Kingsley deftly weaves together a small town’s past into its present day that kept me on toes throughout the novella.

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. This collection of short stories all have a common theme: lost love. A friend recommended that I read this book before I read Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao(I’m currently listening to the audiobook.) It also revolves around “Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness–and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses. . .”

Mini-review: I absolutely loved these short stories. I’m not familiar with the Dominican Republic culture, but Diaz plopped me right in it. It was full DR cultural immersion.  Diaz is funny and keeps it real. I just wish I knew Spanish because there’s plenty of Splanglish in this book  (and Diaz’s other books).

What do you think of these mini-reviews? Do you like them?