illness

Five Feet Apart

4
Rated by Julia B.
Feb 4, 2019

A beautiful and compelling story. The book is about two inseparable teens who suffer from cystic fibrosis, and they long to touch each other, but they must stay the dreaded six feet apart at all times, because two people with cystic fibrosis can not go closer then that. They can't even get a few feet closer without risking their lives. The perfect story for anyone who likes a spinning romance with loving characters, and an exciting but emotional plot. Once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down! I even skipped my dinner that day just so I wouldn't have to stop reading!


I think the

Stir

By Jessica Fechtor
4
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Jul 9, 2017

​I'll admit I wasn't sure about a memoir that alternated between recipes and recovery from an aneurysm​, but Stir must have won me over because I not only felt the unique disappointment that only happens when finishing a good book, I also can't stop talking about it. Jessica Fechtor's recovery from a brain aneurysm while running on a treadmill is memoir-worthy without the wonderful observations, recipes, and memories. That's why Stir is a multi-layer cake of a memoir, a cake so fluffy with life and beauty, not even an aneurysm can sour it.


Each chapter is comprised of both an intimate essay

Mar 10, 2017

The title of Cheryl Dumesnil's latest collection, Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes, is like an irresistible flashing light, letting readers know that there's dark humor to be found inside. And yes, her poems twinkle with dark humor, but they are also candidly soulful, colorful and even sweetly sexy at times. Her poem, The Gospel According to Sky, explores cloud shapes, and how "the immutable blue holds those changing shapes, like a lover who's finally learned how to love her right." My heart soars at the idea of the sky holding the clouds like they are all the pieces of its cherished

The Big Tiny

By Dee Williams
5
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Jun 9, 2016

I laughed most of the way through The Big Tiny. Dee Williams, a superhero of the tiny house movement, is a very funny and big-hearted lady. While at the doctor’s office waiting for one of her many appointments for her recently-diagnosed congestive heart failure, forty-one year-old Dee finds a magazine article about tiny-house designer Jay Shafer, and she’s instantly hooked. She knows immediately that she not only wants to downsize to a tiny house, but that she wants to build it.  She flies to Iowa to meet Tiny House Man, as she affectionately refers to him, and sets the plan into motion.   

Jul 9, 2015

It’s a shame that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl gets lumped in with John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Even though both are excellent novels involving a person dying of cancer, both are about vastly different things. Both have a vastly different tone, too - instead of Green’s warmth and earnestness, here life is more confused and bitter and darkly funny and deeply personal, which is more like how I remember high school. An unmotivated senior, Greg Gaines tries to stay under the radar and just survive the day unscathed. His goal is to drift through the year and deliberately keeps himself

Comet's Tale

By Steven D. Wolf with Lynette Padwa
4
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
May 7, 2015

Comet, a rescued greyhound, will win you over with her lovable, graceful and insightful personality.  Steven Wolf rescues Comet from the horrors of greyhound racing, and in turn she rescues him when his debilitating back injuries leave him disabled and unable to participate in everyday life. 


Shortly after adopting Comet, Wolf stumbles upon the idea of training her to be a service dog.  Comet learns how to open doors, provide stability so that Wolf can hoist himself up, and even pulls Wolf’s wheelchair around the local airport.  While Comet is not your average working dog, she tackles every

Two Kinds of Decay

By Sarah Manguso
3
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Feb 3, 2015

Sarah battles a crazy disease, the kind of mysterious disease with no definitive end. It’s a disease that requires a central line (a catheter placed into a large vein in the neck), the kind of disease that attacks nerves and turns the body into a battleground.


And while all these things are very critical in this memoir, the most important element is how the disease is presented to the reader. This book may be comprised of poems threaded with angst, humor and despair or it could be a teetering castle of prose blocks. Or perhaps it’s one long essay ravaged by the disease itself. The way this

The Fault in Our Stars

By John Green
5
Rated by Kate M.
Mar 2, 2012

Hazel has been hovering on brink of death for over 2 years. At 12 she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and just when all was lost she was entered into a drug trial which holds the cancer at bay, never curing her, but keeping it from killing her. But she knows her time is limited. Because of the disease she cannot go to school and mostly sits around the house reading and watching America's Next Top Model.


One fateful day, her mom forces her out of the house to attend a cancer support group where Hazel first meets Augustus Waters, who will change her world. Augustus is a cancer survivor

13 Reasons Why

By Jay Asher
4
Rated by Kate M.
May 6, 2011

So yesterday I was reading at the gym, and I am just about to the end of my book and something horrible happens. It starts with a little catch in my throat, then I can feel my eyes starting to fill up...and I realize that I am about to cry over a book in public. And not just anywhere, at the gym, in front of all the ladies going to zumba and the body builders lifting weights. I avoided the full out break down (thank goodness a character didn't die or I would have had to leave immediately and go cry in my car) and I hope that anyone who saw just thought I was sweating from my eyeballs from my

Jun 2, 2010

What do you say about a book that has been lauded by professional reviewers as a “taut, clear-eyed memoir” with a “sheer and highly efficient writing style” and is “elegant [in its] rendition of the stages [of grief]”?

All I can say is bleech. I didn’t come close to shedding a tear while reading this book and I weep during Hallmark commercials. I don’t understand how a book about the sudden loss of a loving husband after returning from the ICU where a daughter hangs by a thread can leave me void of emotion. But Didion has done it here. It’s inexplicable.