Blogging from A to Z Challenge Diversity Reading Challenge

Bad Girls Book Club Letter I #atozchallenge The impossible knife of Memory and I am Malala

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Today’s letter is


I have 2 kick ass bad girl books to share today!

The Impossible Knife of Memory

The Impossible Knife of Memory

in which young Hayley tries to grow up while caring for a father suffering from PTSD.



I am Malala

Need I say more?

Malala spoke to me so hard I donned my salwar kameez in honor of her.


If you haven’t read I am Malala do it NOW.

You won’t regret it.


Books Young Adult

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Wow. This is SOME book!
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
There is so much going on in this book it’s difficult to know where to start. Our heroine is Hayley and her father is an Iraq war vet. Dad suffers from a MONSTER case of PTSD and isn’t able to follow through with treatment. As a result, poor Hayley’s life is a nightmare. Hayley has had to care for herself and her father in a way that only children of mentally ill or dysfunctional families can understand. The best bit about Hayley is that she has a few friends who try to get close to her. And of course, there’s a boy. Hayley’s been through a lot of crap but she also realizes that she’s not the only one who has a bad family life at home. And this knowledge helps her.
I am at times so angry with Hayley’s dad that I want to jump through the (audio) book and grab that poor kid and get her out of the situation and leave Dad to his own destruction. This is a thought provoking book that will rip your guts out.I can’t say that it’s my fave LHA book but it sure makes you think. LHA knows how to get to the meat of the issue; I’m still recovering from Speak.  LHA needs to hug a puppy or something!
I’m not sure if I should classify this as diversity. The characters are white but the mental illness issues in here are devastating. Have you read this? What did you think?

REVIEW: Year of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins

You’re prolly very familiar with Suzanne Collins.  Long before Hunger Games, she had written Gregor the Overlander, which #1 son had read a young teen.  Now that she’s a household name and young kids are clamoring to read Hunger Games, which in my opinion is not suitable for anyone under 11, there’s finally a book for them!

Year of the Jungle

Year of the Jungle is a fictionalized account of a very young Suzanne Collins whose father goes off to fight in Vietnam.  Naturally, little Suzy doesn’t understand much of what’s going on.  The child’s perspective feels accurate and I’m sure this tale could be applicable to little ones today encountering their own missing parents due to war.

It’s beautiful and sensitive and adorbs! Add this to your get list.

I give it four paws for addressing post traumatic stress disorder in a way a younger one might see it.

Unconventional Librarian 4paws

Adult Fiction Books

Circles of Time by Phillip Rock a TLC Book Tour

Please watch the video to see how much I am enjoying Circles of Time by Phillip Rock.

After you watch the video, listen to some jazz from the 1920s.  It’ll make you feel good.

I can’t wait for book three!

Books Non Fiction

Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan

I’ve had the recent honor of being promoted to book club doyenne at the book store where I work (Towne Book Center & Cafe) and our pick for December is Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan.


Montalvan is a career Army Captain stationed in the recent war in the Middle East.  He’s suffered some debilitating PTSD for which he receives the most darling and helpful golden retriever named Tuesday. Since I’m a dog lover, I thought the book would be the perfect blend of oohing and ahhing over how adorable the pooch is and how helpful he’s made Montalvan’s life.  To be sure, Tuesday is helpful and probably kept Montalvan from hurting himself and others.

What’s surprising about the book is how much the author talks about the war effort. War is gruesome stuff and Montalvan describes the atrocities that he and others faced more than I cared to read.  it gave me nightmares, this stuff.  I cannot even begin to imagine how these heroes live now that they’ve been to war.  What else I cannot believe is how it’s only been very recently that vets have been getting accurate treatment.  We’ve been fighting war for millenia and vets are only just now getting treatment for PTSD.

It’s sad.

Amazingly, Montalvan (and I suspect his ghost writer) added relevant, thought provoking quotes at the beginning of each chapter such as:

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over.  Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

That quote was from the famous writer Kurt Vonnegut, a WWII veteran.  You’d be surprised how many famous writers were war veterans.

As a civilian, I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes during war time.  Montalvan gives us some insight into the mismanagement and I’ll admit it makes me a bit angry.  But you try to stow that anger when you read Tuesday’s goofy personality or his contagious smile or the way he calms Montalvan’s tension, potentially staving off an anxiety attack.

Where would we be without our pets?  You know I love my Bailey, and while he’s no service dog, mostly cuz he’s a little neurotic,  his daily greetings make me feel like I’m the best person he’s seen all day (at least until someone else comes home).

Bailey, not a service dog

My hope is that service animals will become more available to those who need them.

World peace wouldn’t be too much to ask for, would it?

Our book club meets at 7pm and I’m sure there will be a great discussion surrounding this book (and prolly a war discussion).

I give Until Tuesday 4 paws!