Weekly Reads

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Brianna – Boundary

Jeanne – The Crystal Cave

JoAnna C. – How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You

Shianne – A Court of Mist and Fury

Weekly Reads

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Brianna – The Fireman

Candace – The Romanovs: 1613-1918

Jeanne – The Edge of the World: A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe

JoAnna C. – On Death and Dying

Sue – Me Before You

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The Last StarRick Yancey

“The final book in the popular Y.A. dystopian series, The 5th Wave.”

All Things Cease to AppearElizabeth Brundage

“One afternoon, George Clare comes home to find his wife murdered and their three-year-old daughter alone in her room down the hall. And he is the immediate suspect-the question of his guilt echoing in a story shot through with secrets both personal and professional. While his parents rescue him from suspicion, a persistent cop is stymied at every turn in proving Clare a heartless murderer. The pall of death is ongoing, and relentless; behind one crime are others, and more than twenty years will pass before a hard kind of justice is finally served. A classic “who-dun-it” that morphs into a “why-and-how-dun-it,” this is also a rich and complex portrait of a psychopath and a marriage, and an astute study of the various taints that can scar very different families, and even an entire community

Girl Through Glass – Sari Wilson

“Interweaving narratives that move between past and present follow a young ballerina whose life is upended when she falls in love with her much-older mentor, and a professor of dance at a Midwestern college who has a risky affair with a student in 1977. Maurice DuPont is a reclusive balletomane who becomes her mentor- touching dark places within herself and sparking unexpected desires that will upend both their lives. In the present day, Kate, a professor of dance at a Midwestern college, embarks on a risky affair with a student that threatens to obliterate her career and capsizes the life she has created for her reinvented self. A letter from a man she’s long thought dead hurls Kate into a past she thought she had left behind.”

The Doll Master:And Other Tales of Terror – Joyce Carol Oates

“Six terrifying tales to chill the blood from the unique imagination of Joyce Carol Oates. A young boy plays with dolls instead of action figures. But as he grows older, his passion takes on a darker edge . A white man shoots dead a black boy creating a media frenzy. But could it be that it was self-defense as he claims? A nervous woman tries to escape her husband. He says he loves her, but she’s convinced he wants to kill her . These quietly lethal stories reveal the horrors that dwell within us all.”

Shoe Dog – Philip H. Knight

“A Memoir by the Creator of Nike.”

A Mother’s Reckoning:Living in the Aftermath of a Tragedy – Sue Klebold

“Klebold is the mother of one of the Columbine shooters. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.”

Weekly Reads

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Brianna- A Death Struck Year

Candace- Loves of Louis XIV:The Women in the Life of the Sun King

Christine- Listen, Slowly

JoAnna C.- Hey, Waitress! The USA from the other side of the tray

Joanna P.- Love and Friendship

Shianne- Sakura’s Story

Sue- Broken Angels

 

Weekly Reads

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Brianna- I am Princess X

Christine- Scarlet Women:The Scandalous Lives of Courtesans, Concubines, and Royal Mistresses

JoAnna- Big Girl Panties

Shianne- A Court of Mist and Fury

Sue- A Man Called Ove

Weekly Reads

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Brianna- The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu (nd their race to save the world’s most precious manuscripts)

Christine- The Blackthorn Key

Meghan- Lady Midnight

Sue- A Wrinkle in Time

Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I was Gay, and that’s When My Nightmare Began

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saving alex

Saving Alex: What I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and that’s When My Nightmare Began
By: Alex Cooper & Joanna Brooks

“When Alex Cooper was fifteen years old, life was pretty ordinary in her sleepy suburban town and nice Mormon family. At church and at home, Alex was taught that God had a plan for everyone. But something was gnawing at her that made her feel different. These feelings exploded when she met Yvette, a girl who made Alex feel alive in a new way, and with whom Alex would quickly fall in love.”

Alex Cooper’s plight within the Mormon Church was horrifying and brought to light a growing problem that many LGBTQ children face within religious communities. After coming out to her strict Mormon parents, she was forced into an eight month conversion therapy and rehabilitation program in Utah. These programs are spread out all across the country with the intention of “praying the gay” out of children. Under the guise of a therapeutic residential treatment program, these conversion therapy programs are notorious for being highly abusive.

I found this biography to be disturbing and heartbreaking. Cooper’s story is not unique to the teens forced into these programs by fanatical parents believing that their children’s sexuality can be changed with routine praying, isolation, verbal abuse, routine beatings, and forced labor. In a time when acceptance is the societal norm, reading about families still living with archaic beliefs is unnerving, especially when their beliefs overshadow the love and devotion they are meant to have for their families.

Within these conversion programs, LGBTQ teens are basically held captive and faith is used as a means of punishment and fear. What makes Cooper’s story unique is the fact that she managed to escape the program and was granted amnesty in Salt Lake City, Utah under the law’s protection as an openly gay teenager. Her story helped make legal history by allowing LGBTQ teenagers fundamental human rights.

Saving Alex tells the story of a brave young woman willing to defy her family and their religion in order to gain her own freedom, acceptance, and truth. 9/10.

“Alex Cooper’s story is a call to action—we must put a stop to this brutal practice of conversion therapy and ensure that every child is embraced for who they are in their homes, schools, and communities.” —Chad Griffin, president, Human Rights Campaign

For further reading about this topic, I recommend Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan and Lisa Dickey.