Monday, April 2, 2012

Sidne's Reading Challenge First Quarter

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The first quarter of the Challenge has come to a close.
Our first quarter reading challenge winner is Angie of Angels are kids and furkids 
The first quarter reading challenge themes were:
Jan-Nigerian author
Feb-non fiction black history novel
March- fiction or non fiction novel on AIDS
Below are a few of the march reviews

March -Sidne the Reading Socialite
Confessions of a Lonely Soul is a compelling novel about a lonely wife, a workaholic husband, adultery, guilt, consequences and secrets.   The author, Harold Turley spins a story line that involves characters dealing with the effects of AIDS and Depression, a perspective not often presented together in novels at the time this book was published.

From the beginning of the story you are presented with a different setting than most novels.  The author poured his creativity into this one.  We've all read novels that left us shaking our hands, brought tears to our eyes and even screamed.  This novel is no different. You will engage in those same attributes and some.

A marriage is destroyed because a wife begs for TIME with her husband.  The husband is so involved  work affairs that he forgets events with his wife.   Constant forgiveness is becoming a strain.  Talk after talk is going in one ear and out the other, and the small gifts don't take the place of a lonely soul.  Who is creeping on who? Aids and Murder! Oh Yes, this one leads to death.  In the end you will just sit, think and say, 'DAMZ!  Rating: on my bookshelf: Deep In My Soul

Title:  What Looks Like Crazy on an ordinary day…
Author:  Pearl Cleage
Reviewer: Angie of Angels are kids and furkids

Ava has such strong support, which she needs in light of her being diagnosed HIV positive, from her sister Joyce and friend Eddie that she decides Idlewild is where she is meant to stay, not move on to San Francisco after the summer.  They help her see that things are worth fighting for and that love is a beautiful thing, no matter how short it may be.  To give a summary of this book in a short version would be impossible, so much happens in this book and so much is addressed.  This book may be fiction, but it has a very true story plot and feel to it so as I read this book I found myself forgetting that is was indeed fiction.  This was a very touching and enlightening read for me.  I love that it’s main component was a disease that you hear about, but never really hear about as far as the lives of those that have it.  This book has touched me in a way that is not easily described. 

My favorite character by far in this book is Ava.  She is a strong, independent, yet soft hearted woman, who was very easy to love in this book.

My least favorite character was Gerry, the Reverend’s wife.  She is discriminating, deceitful, and close-minded.

The quote in this book that inspires and touches me most is this one thought by Ava while in the airport bar waiting for her flight watching a talk show:  “They were interviewing some women with what the host kept calling full-blown  AIDS.  As opposed to half-blown AIDS, I guess.”

A-Darn Great Read!!!

Reviewer: Darlene of Darlene's Book Nook

Paula is a white, Jewish, middle-class, married woman with an 11-month old baby when she receives the devastating news that she is stricken with AIDS. She is not a prostitute or an intravenous drug user, and she and her husband were in a monogamous relationship. However, as with the majority of people in the 70s and 80s, “safe” sex was not practiced and she was unknowingly infected before she even met her husband. She does not know who infected her, but she believes that she began exhibiting symptoms of infection at least ten years before she was diagnosed in 1996. Neither her husband nor her son has been infected.

This book shatters the myth that HIV/AIDS is a “gay man’s disease” as many like to think. How many times have you heard, “It won’t happen to me, I’m not gay!” The reality is that it could happen to any one of us at any time who are not in a monogamous relationship with someone who has been tested negatively twice with six months between each test because it takes up to six months for antibodies to HIV to appear in the blood after infection.

I did not learn anything new that I did not already know in terms of the disease. I have first-hand knowledge because a dear friend succumbed to it. However, I would still recommend the book to others simply because Paula is a woman who would be considered in the “low risk” category yet she still became infected. She is an admirable woman who is very proactive in educating others about the disease, manning self-help telephone lines, and travelling to Washington to lobby on behalf of non-profit organizations for government funding to provide social and medical services for people with AIDS.

The last part of the book is a series of candid letters to her son, which she wrote in the event that she died before he grew up. According to Wikipedia, Paula is still alive so she has lived 16 years post-diagnosis!

MY RATING: three stars

Our second quarter is up and YOU can JOIN us at versatile reading challenge

1 comment:

  1. That is a really interesting theme and I would have never really thought about novels around AIDS until you mentioned it. Thanks! And congrats Angie! Wonderful reviews.