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Vacation Book Review

doc

I picked up Doc: A Memoir by Dwight Gooden and Ellis Henican a few months ago, but I waited until my long Michigan vacation to read it. I knew that the book would not be an easy read, as Gooden struggled with a drug addiction for most of his adult life. The book starts with an introduction: The 1986 Mets have just won their second World Series (the first was by the 1969 “Miracle” Mets team) and Dwight Gooden misses the ticker tape parade after snorting lines of coke all night.

Mr. Gooden laid it all out right there in the opening pages; he was in the grip of a demon. Despite several stints in various treatment programs, he didn’t get that demon off his back until appearing on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab in 2011. Doc: A Memoir chronicles his rise and fall and his struggle to become the father his seven children deserve.

1986 was a special year for me also; my first child, Emmalyn Rose, was born March 21, 1986. I was married to a die-hard Mets fan that had gone to one of the “Miracle” Mets World Series games in 1969. That October, Emi’s dad and I watched every game of the playoffs and were thrilled by the athleticism of Dwight Gooden, Mookie Wilson, Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, Darryl Strawberry, Jesse Orosco, Wally Backman, Rafael Santana, Roger McDowell, Howard Johnson, and Lenny Dykstra.

In subsequent years, we followed Gooden’s career and his struggles with his addiction to cocaine. The early promise of Dwight Gooden’s career was swallowed up by those struggles, but I never quit rooting for him. I was touched by the honesty in the book and I think that honesty is the factor that will keep him drug free. I thank him for sharing his story and being a beacon for others.

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beekeeper's apprentice

I can’t believe that Groundhog’s Day has passed and we will soon be celebrating Chinese New Year on February 10th! I have a difficult time in the winter; I don’t like the cold, short days and I really miss the sun. So this year, I thought a good way to tackle the winter blues would be to curl up with one of my favorite book series of all time.

Author Laurie King’s character, Mary Russell, an intelligent girl who has lost her parents, has come to live on the Sussex Downs with an aunt who has no use for Mary, but does have use for her money. On one of her many walks (to get away from her cold Aunt), Mary happens to come across a quirky older man who is none other than Sherlock Holmes. Despite their many differences, these two unusual people form a connection and Mary becomes part of Holmes’ life and a particular favorite of his friend, Watson and his housekeeper Mrs. Watson.

The series starts with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (the beekeeper being Sherlock Holmes) and Ms. King just released the 12th in the series, Garment of Shadows. I am in the middle of the 7th in the series, The Game, which is set in India in 1924. When I am finished, I will have to read Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, as Kimball O’hara is the person Russell and Holmes are sent to find. After Kim I will return to children’s literature and start reading the new award books. (It’s award season in the book world, too.) Next year’s Monarch, Bluestem, and Caudill lists will also be released soon. I can’t wait to see them!

What do you read during the cold (and some not so cold) days of winter. Please comment below!

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