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Nancy's Notes - August 27, 2015

“The Julian Chapter” by R.J. Palacio, “A Dog’s Gift” by Bob Drury, “Among Ten Thousand Things” by Jonathan Safran Foer, “The Rocks” by Peter Nichols.

Well I’m finally back on the job after a week’s vacation, which means it’s time to get busy and catch up. During my time off we took a quick trip to Waterloo and I took the audio book, “The Julian Chapter”, with me. It is based on a character from the book, “Wonder”, which has been read by two of our book clubs. Even though it is a fictional story for our junior readers, the book is about bullies and is relevant for readers of all ages. In Julian’s story the former bully tells us why he treated Auggie as he did and why his Grandmother was able to finally make him feel remorse for his actions.
        Pet lovers and those who like a good biography should enjoy, “A Dog’s Gift”, by Bob Drury. He tells the story of former military counterintelligence officer Terry Henry. Fourteen years ago he joined his young daughter, Kyria, on a trip to a nursing home in order to allow its residents to play with their family dog, a golden retriever named Riley. Terry was astounded by the transformations that unfolded before his eyes. Soon after, Terry and Kyria started their service dog organization, paws4people, with the goal of pairing dogs with human beings in need of healing, including traumatized and wounded war veterans and children living with physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities.
        Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel is entitled “Among Ten Thousand Things”. It centers around Jack Shanley, a well-known New York artist, who is charming and vain, but doesn’t mean to plunge his family into crisis. His wife, Deb, left a difficult career as a dancer to raise their two children. In the later years of their marriage she mostly avoided coming face-to-face with the weaknesses of the man she married. But then an anonymous package arrives in the mail: a cardboard box containing sheaves of printed emails chronicling Jack’s secret life. The package is addressed to Deb, but it’s delivered into the wrong hands: her children’s.
        Peter Nichols’, “The Rocks”, is centered around a popular seaside resort club and its community on the Mediterranean Sea. It opens with a confrontation and a secret: What was the mysterious, horrible event that drove two honeymooners apart suddenly and forever in 1948? They never spoke again despite living on the same island for sixty more years. How did their history shape the Romeo and Juliet–like romance of their unrelated children decades later? The novel is a double love story that begins with a mystery, then moves backward in time, era by era, to expose what really happened decades earlier.
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