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Refreshed from a road trip | Weekly Snapshot

I'm getting an extremely late start to this post. After the long drive yesterday back home and then a late evening meetup with our neighbors, I was out of juice very fast and needed to crash. And what does Sunday morning mean after a busy week? Tis a day full of chores. Ugh.  Life We spent this past week in Boston with my brother-in-law and his wife. We all got the break we needed - we did some shopping, watched lots of TV, and enjoyed lots of family time. I started writing this post on our drive back but didn't get to schedule in advance. We opted to drive the 13-hour route so although it made for some very long days, it felt good to get out of the house and enjoy a road trip. The weather cooperated all the days in all the places we were in those days so that was a plus.  As always after a long vacation, we have come back to a lot to do. I have so much to catch up with and need to do some of that today as there's just as much to do on the work front from tomorrow.  Renovat

Friday Finds -- July 30, 2010

Friday FindsHosted by MizB at Should be reading, this meme asks you what great books did you hear about/discover this past week?

There have been a lot of good books floating around lately. Well, they are there always - but I did find some great ones this week.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

I came across this book first last year, but didn't find it interesting enough to add it. But when one of my online book clubs chose this book to read, I had to add it. It's interesting how your tastes change. One moment you are sure a book is not for you, and the next day, it goes to the top of your TBR. It's a good thing, else we would be very boring people with predictable reading tastes. Incidentally, I was reminded of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series when I read this synopsis.
In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them. Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez

This title has all the promise of being either a jovial or a thought-provoking book. This one's the latter. Books and movies about culture change always interest me, probably because I've been through that thrice already and it's interesting to see how someone copes. There's also the element of migrating to a new country because your current one is besieged.
The Red Umbrella is the moving tale of a 14-year-old girl's journey from Cuba to America as part of Operation Pedro Pan—an organized exodus of more than 14,000 unaccompanied children, whose parents sent them away to escape Fidel Castro's revolution.

In 1961, two years after the Communist revolution, Lucía Álvarez still leads a carefree life, dreaming of parties and her first crush. But when the soldiers come to her sleepy Cuban town, everything begins to change. Freedoms are stripped away. Neighbors disappear. Her friends feel like strangers. And her family is being watched. As the revolution's impact becomes more oppressive, Lucía's parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States—on their own. Suddenly plunked down in Nebraska with well-meaning strangers, Lucía struggles to adapt to a new country, a new language, a new way of life. But what of her old life? Will she ever see her home or her parents again? And if she does, will she still be the same girl?

Anna In-Between by Elizabeth Nunez

I was looking through Akashic Books' catalog where I saw this one. 
Anna, who has a successful publishing career in the United States, is the daughter of an upper-class Caribbean family. While on vacation in the island home of her birth she discovers that her mother, Beatrice, has breast cancer. Beatrice categorically rejects all efforts to persuade her to go to the United States for treatment, even though it is, perhaps, her only chance of survival. Anna and her father, who tries to remain respectful of his wife’s wishes, must convince her to change her mind.


bermudaonion said…
The cover of Unwind totally creeps me out!
I like the look of all three.

Here is my Friday Find!
Anonymous said…
Great finds!
Aleksandra said…
Great finds! I read Unwind a few weeks ago & I loved it! Have a great weekend!
Awesome books, I'm so glad you featured them!

Unwind sounds really cool... I love the concept. And I've only been hearing great things about The Red Umbrella. I'd love to read them all!
DelGal Reviews said…
the excitement of never knowing what may "tickle your fancy" one day reading from the next day is always a cool thing. Hope you enjoy these, they look cool, and I may have to add them to my TBR list too
Have a cool weekend! :)
Alyce said…
I'm in the middle of listening to Unwind as an audiobook, and it's good so far. I was very excited to see that it was available on audio from my library a couple of weeks ago. :)
Tales of Whimsy said…
The Red Umbrella is so good. I absolutely loved it. It's young but it accurately portrays the time and experiences. Enjoy!
Leslie said…
What I like about your reviews and from what I see of your site you read some very eclectic books. They are about real people and their ups and downs. Even Unwind has that sort of element if a bit more futuristic. Some great stories, keep on blogging, I will follow.
I've had my eye on The Red Umbrella for a while now. I'm excited to read it!
Ellie said…
Just dropping by to say I just found your blog, and it's great! It's especially nice to find a blog with such a wide range of books amongst so many YA ones... not that I don't come away with a ton of recs from those ones, but I read such a mixture I think I'm going to like it over here! :-)
Ellie @ Musings of a Bookshop Girl