#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.
LOVE THEM BOTH!
#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.