Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Best Reads For November

Karen's Best: My best was actually Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore; however, since that actually was over a period of three months and I am summarizing each chapter on here on Sundays, for my favorite November read I would say it is Breakfast At Sally's by Richard LeMieux

This is an excellent book about being homeless, written by a homeless person. He was once a very successful, wealthy business man who even had traveled abroad but when his business failed, he lost everything. His wife left him and his grown children didn't want anything to do with him. All he had was his van, some clothes, an old typewriter and his dog, Willow.

It's an inside look into the homeless way of life and their community. I will never look at the homeless in the same way again after reading this book because it showed how it could happen to anyone and how much a little help from someone can make a difference. Richard also suffered from depression and fortunately got some help. What stood out to me was the willingness of the homeless people to help out one another. Richard said the other homeless people became like a family to him.

It's a very interesting book about the 18 months this man spent living in his van which he was fortunate to have. Reading this certainly made me thankful for the things I have. The day I missed my bus one rainy, cold morning and had to wait an extra 20 minutes, I thought about the poor homeless people who slept outside the whole night and who would be outside today, looking for a place they could hang out for awhile just to warm up.

Gerard says: This book is about Richard Lemieux who was living the good life and then all of a sudden became homeless. Very interesting look at the world of homeless people. Lots of characters in this book which helps a lot, I think. Easy to read. Best parts for me were the homeless playing baseball and when Richard refused to sell his dog at any price even though he had no money left. Richard is writing another book and I am inclined to read it too. I recommend this book to anyone.

Gerard's Best is Measure of the Heart by Mary Ellen Geist (10 stars). What a wonderful book about Mary Ellen Geist who gives up her high paying job as a reporter, her lifestyle and all she knows to move back with her mom to take care of her dad who has Alzheimer's. This book has it all--humor, sadness, touching moments. You get into it quickly and at points it is hard to put down. I enjoyed this this book! I give it 10 stars!

Karen says: This nonfiction book is about a daughter who quits her job to move back home to help her mother care for her father who has Alzheimer's. Reading this is an enjoyable way to learn about Alzheimer's, what to expect and how to deal with it. It gives many resources for support for those who have Alzheimer's and their caregivers. I found it very interesting that the dad responded to music and could remember all the words to songs but couldn’t remember the right name of objects or people. He couldn’t read a book or newspaper, but he could read words written on a music staff such as song lyrics. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a relationship with someone with Alzheimer's or who just wants to learn more about this disease.

This daughter's role as caregiver to her father was similar to my experience in caring for my dad, although fortunately mine did not have Alzheimer's. The book I wrote My Funny Dad, Harry, shares my experience of being my aging dad's primary caregiver. He had diabetes and was practically deaf. I could certainly relate to what she was going through.

6 comments:

Mountain Woman said...

They both sound like excellent books and both focus on serious, important topics. I can't even begin to imagine being homeless. It must be so terrible and instead of chasing these people off the streets as some communities do, we should try to help them reestablish their lives.
Thanks for sharing.

Ana said...

c'mon girl, I'll prepare your Christmas theme. Which color do you prefer - Red, Green or Gold? ;-) Just send me an email ;-)

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Ana is going to do Christmas on your blog. Awesome.

Thanks for the book reviews. Have a terrific weekend. :)

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Mountain Woman: I can't imagine being homeless either. Another book I read a long time ago about a homeless teen is called "You Can't Get There From Here" (I think the author was Strasser). It was really good too!

Ana: Thanks, will do. Nice of you to offer--I just don't want to be a nuisance.

Sandy: I read your comment on Who Was the Most Influential Person in your Life over at "Nice Place In The Sun." It sure sounded a lot like my relationship with my mom so I answered that question too. It seems we have a lot in common.

A Gracious Home said...

Karen, I'm reading your book tonight and it's very good. Your parents had to be great people to take in other children. That is a wonderful way to show God's love. Doylene

Karen Zemek, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Doylene: So happy to hear to you are reading my book and enjoying it. I was very fortunate to have such wonderful parents--I couldn't have had any better if I handpicked them myself!

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