Books #46-52 of 2006 finished!

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#46: The Defiant Child: A Parent's Guide to Oppositional Defiant Disorder by Dr. Douglas A Riley.

No, not for the McKid! We have a friend whose son is very troubled. We've tried to help the family in different ways for years. In talking to a teacher friend of mine, this book came up as a worthy read. And it is. Much of the advice is very straightforward--beginning with eleven signs of an oppositional child. The young man in question has at least 10 of the 11. The psychologist is very blunt. Family structure needs to be shored up first, before anything else can work. And the child must know that "the role of parent is not up for grabs." Insightful quote that. We saw, through our years of schooling and scouting, many a family that had forgotten that it is the parents who are supposed to be in charge.

I recommend this book highly if you know someone who has these types of issues.

#47: North of Hope by Jon Hassler. Another gem by one of my favorite writers. Frank Healy is a priest with more than 20 years in the priesthood, mostly spent at a boys' school--not in a parish situation. Since the school closed, he has been questioning his vocation. He heads back to his home town to take over the parish there, and runs into the girl from his past--Libby--now married to an alcoholic doctor. Her life is falling apart as well. The question is, will they fall apart together and into each others arms, or will Frank reanchor his vocation. How a simple old priest that others make fun of, a manic depressive young woman, and Indians on the reservation change Frank's life if the stuff of the story.

Definitely worth reading. Everything by Hassler is.

#48: Catholics by Brian Moore. A novella more than a novel, the story of an abbey in Ireland steadfastly maintaining the "old ways" in the face of pronouncements from Rome (through the Fourth Vatican Council, etc) that things must change and become more "ecumenical" etc. The Vatican sends out an "enforcer" to make the monks behave. But will they? Where is the line between conscience (properly formed) and vowed obedience? I have read the book twice, and I still don't know. I'm not a particular fan of this book, but it ought to cause a lot of discussion in book club.

#49: Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer. Discussed in previous entries.
#50: The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer. Discussed in previous entries.


#51: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. The first Hercule Poirot mystery. What is so interesting is how she just drops him into the book, referring to things that have happened before, as if you had heard of him. He comes in to help solve the case of the poisoning of an older lady--when everyone else seems to need her dead more than they need her alive. Not her best, but good.

#52: The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit. Yes, and children's book. I got it at the Friends of the Public Library sale. I had read her book Five Children and It to Zack when he was younger. This is a book about children keeping a holiday at school rather than going home. They meet up with another little girl, find a magic ring, see statues come alive, and learn that magic has unforeseen consequences. Charming.


Dear MamaT,

Being something of an expert on the mysteries of Agatha Christie (you can find my entry on Mayhem Parva in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Crime and Detective Fiction), another interesting aspect of Christie's first novel is that she uncovered one of her unorthodox solution which was to play a part in five or six other novels. Ms. Christie was endlessly inventive in her particulars, but careful analysis shows that there are actually only a few main plot lines. It doesn't detract at all from enjoyment of her fiction--indeed, I think it adds to figure out whether she's using plot 2a or 5b and if the latter, who is going to get it next or who is almost going to get it next. (Not to be a spoiler, but beware the person who is "almost killed" in a Christie novel. Along with the folie a deux of Mysterious Affair, the "almost killed" is a recurrent plot element.



Ah, another E. Nesbit reader! I read to my daughter from the same one-volume set of the Five Children books (The Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, and The Story of the Amulet) from which my mother read to me when I was little. And on its flyleaf, it bears her maiden name in childish handwriting. Then I went out and got The Treasure Seekers and The Railway Children and read them to her too. I never saw The Enchanted Castle, however.

Dear MamaT,

I'm now at home and looking at the volume in question--It is The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing ed. Rosemary Herbert--not whatever I wrote before.





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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on October 23, 2006 8:51 PM.

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