Monday, August 6, 2018

11/22/63 by Stephen King

When I was a teen, I loved reading Stephen King's horror novels, but I didn't really enjoy horror stories, so I stopped reading him. I think I read them because King is such a good story teller. My sister, Christy, and my niece, Emily highly recommended 11/22/63 by Stephen King, so I listened to the audio version, and although this is a really long book, I loved every minute of it. I never once wanted it to hurry and move forward. This book is historical fiction with a lot of twists.

Blurb from Goodreads: Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

King did his research and this fantasy, suspense filled, historical fiction is wonderfully written. This book even has romance - a beautiful romance done well, and I really don't like romance books, but this one is tender, sweet, sad, and funny. King is quite good at writing romance, so if that horror thing stops working for him, I could become a romance fan.

This story makes the reader think about the choices we make, the things we view as coincidence, and how we affect the lives of those around us. I love the friendships in this story, the concern we have for some people and the way we sometimes look away from those we deem the other or not worthy of our help. I loved the ending, and although I was hoping for a different one, I felt the ending King wrote was the correct ending. I loved the humor in this and also the suspense. I loved the realistic and tender love story. I loved the characters in this - including the yellow and green card men. That lady on the bus towards the end of the story is a boss all the way through. She could have her own book; she is that good. I loved the little girl who drew on the apartment walls and the girls who skipped rope. King puts the reader into the story with sounds, temperature, smells, sights, everything. I think I need to go get another King book and revisit my teen years as King knows his craft well.

This book might possibly answer the question: If you could change something from the past, should you?

I am hoping to add a second hospital to our NICU book project, so click the link below if you are interested in donating books to babies.

Caitie donated these two books. They will go to the new hospital we are adding as they took such good care of her baby when he was in the NICU.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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