Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Hobbit Companion - David Day

The Hobbit Companion - David Day
96 pages

A truly fascinating examination of Tolkien's use of linguistic hints and puns in the naming of his people and places within Middle Earth. Very interesting and informative, especially for rabid Tolkien geeks.

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooth - A. A. Milne

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh - A. A. Milne
344 pages

Cute stories. Very British.

Uppity Women of Medieval TImes - Vicki Leon

Uppity Women of Medieval Times - Vicki Leon
247 pages

Although the histories of the women contained in this book are understandably abbreviated and embellished, it was still an informative and fascinating read.

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
244 Pages

Despite the stigma surrounding this book, I loved it. I really identified with the main character (hopefully not worryingly so), and I felt like I came away with an uplifting message. Plath's divergent fate from that of her protagonist is somewhat disheartening, but oh well.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (Books 3-7)

A Series of Unfortunate Events - Lemony Snicket
Books 3-7
1,143 pages

I've always loved this series, and I'm rereading it for the first time. I started with the third book because I often listen to the audiobooks of the first two, so I already know them well. This series is quirky, educational, and sometimes even poignant--despite the simplistic diction.

Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos

Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos
162 pages

If this book doesn't make you think differently, I am not really sure what would.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 7-10. What is it like to be an illegal alien in New York now? In a moving first-person, present-tense narrative, Nadira, 14, relates how her family left Bangladesh, came to the U. S. on a tourist visa, and stayed long after the visa expired ("Everyone does it. You buy a fake social security number for a few hundred dollars and then you can work."). Their illegal status is discovered, however, following 9/11, when immigration regulations are tightened. When the family hurriedly seeks asylum in Canada, they are turned back, and Nadira's father, Abba, is detained because his passport is no longer valid. The secrets are dramatic ("Go to school. Never let anyone know. Never."), and so are the family dynamics, especially Nadira's furious envy of her gifted older sister, Aisha. But Aisha breaks down, and Nadira must take over the struggle to get Abba out of detention and prevent the family's deportation. The teen voice is wonderfully immediate, revealing Nadira's mixed-up feelings as well as the diversity in her family and in the Muslim community. There's also a real drama that builds to a tense climax: Did Abba give funds to a political organization? Where has the money gone? Will Immigration hear his appeal? The answer is a surprise that grows organically from the family's story. Readers will feel the heartbreak, prejudice, kindness, and fear. Hazel Rochman

Nothing by Janne Teller

Nothing by Janne Teller
227 pages

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Indelible, elusive, and timeless, this uncompromising novel has all the marks of a classic. A group of Danish seventh-graders have their insulated suburban world jolted when classmate Pierre Anthon stands up and announces, “Nothing matters.” He promptly takes up residence in a plum tree and creates an existential crisis among the group with his daily reports on the pointlessness of life. Feeling a need to refute the alarming notion, the kids decide to assemble a pile of objects that will prove Pierre Anthon wrong. It starts simply: Agnes gives up her favorite shoes; Dennis, his beloved books. But as each sacrifice grows in intensity, each kid enacts revenge by demanding an ever-greater sacrifice from the next. With chilling rapidity, the “heap of meaning,” which they keep stored in an abandoned sawmill, is towering with gut-wrenching artifacts of their loss of innocence—if innocence is something that ever existed. Teller offers just enough character detail to make the suffering and cruelty palpable. The terse purposefulness of her prose may put off some readers, but that singularity is also what will endure the test of time. Already a multiple award winner overseas, this is an unforgettable treatise on the fleeting and mutable nature of meaning. Grades 7-12. --Daniel Kraus

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Mirjam Pressler

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Mirjam Pressler
207 pages


It's 1995 in Germany, and eighteen-year-old Johanna has been changed irrevocably by a school trip to Israel for a history project that involved interviewing old alumnae of their school. Since then her grandfather has committed suicide (as did his wife thirty years previously), and Johanna is struggling with new revelations about her family history: the family store was bought cheap in 1938 from oppressed Jews seeking to flee the country, and her grandfather had the opportunity to buy it because of his established status in the Nazi party. The story is deliberately paced and the exposition is elliptical, realistic in the way that characters rarely bother to explain references that eventually become clear to the reader through greater exploration and consideration, and the result is a gradual teasing out of Johanna's familial history that keeps pace with our deepening knowledge of the family. Johanna's quandary is a gripping one, and it's explored with sensitivity but also fairness and sad practicality: the narration acknowledges the impossibility of reparation even as it condemns the refusal to acknowledge wrongdoing - even though that acknowledgment is only a start, not a solution. Characters are clear and rounded, with the book speaking skillfully in specific, individual terms; even Johanna's sexual experience involves a personification of the political when she has an encounter with the grandson of the woman whose store her grandfather conveniently acquired. Books for young people have rarely directly addressed the moral issues surrounding the legacy of historical sins; this thoughtful and provocative volume will elicit plenty of discussion about American historical heritage as well as European. --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn
371 pages

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

480 pages

I love Jodi Picoult's books! She really helps you see all sides of an issue and challenges any preconceived notions/opinions you may have. The plot is so involved that I'm going to let Amazon do my summarizing. I think this book would appeal to a lot of people, and I recommend it.

From Amazon - "Popular author Picoult tackles the controversial topic of gay rights in her latest powerful tale. When music therapist Zoe Baxter's latest pregnancy ends in a still birth, her husband Max decides he can't handle any more heartbreak and leaves her. As she picks up the pieces of her life, Zoe is surprised to find herself falling for a school counselor who happens to be a woman. While Zoe is finding happiness with Vanessa, Max falls off the wagon and is helped by a pastor from his brother's evangelical church. Vanessa and Zoe wed in Massachusetts, and Vanessa offers to carry one of the fertilized embryos Zoe and Max stored. Excited by the prospect of being a mother, Zoe goes to Max to get him to release the embryos to her and is shocked when he instead sues her for custody of them, backed by his church."

Picoult always has a surprise ending, and she did not disappoint us this time.

Private Life by Jane Smiley

336 pages

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Jane Smiley's latest book is set in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We get a glimpse at marriage during that time. Margaret Mayfield narrowly avoids the stigma of "old maid" by marrying Captain Andrew Early, an astronomer, teacher, deep thinker, and eccentric. She becomes his cook, driver, helpmate, and typist. She slowly comes to dislike her husband and the entire idea of being married, and she develops her own group of friends including a Japanese family that gets scooped up in the internment following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

I didn't enjoy the characters very much, but I did like learning more details about events during this time in history.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pages read

I also read two historical romances this month but I'm not putting down the titles because I'm a bit embarrassed to admit reading them.  But apparently, not embarrassed enough to keep me from counting them as part of this reading challenge.

Sooo. . . put me down for two more books.  One was 419 pages and I spent 3 hours reading it.  The other was 416 pages and I also spent 3 hours reading it.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

563 pages
9 hours, 42 minutes

Once again, I say:  it's a real shame that Larsson is no longer alive to write more books.  This trilogy was amazing!

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

503 pages
8 hours, 38 minutes

This sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was so good and had such a cliff-hanger ending that I had to immediately go to Amazon and take a sneak peek at the beginning of the next book!

Such a well-written story!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The HEALING QUILT BY Lauraine Snelling

371 pages
6 hours

Four very different women from the small town of Jefferson City work together to get support of the community to raise funds for a mammogram unit at the small local hospital.

As they work together, they become closer and each life is changed dramatically as their common goal becomes closer and closer to a reality.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chanda's Wars by Allan Stratton

Chanda's Wars by Allan Stratton
384 pages

This sequel to Chanda's Secrets is even more heartbreaking and chilling.

Product Description (from Amazon.com)

She promised her mama she'd keep them safe.
It's been six months since Mama died, and Chanda is struggling to raise her little brother and sister. Determined to end a family feud, she takes them to her relatives' remote rural village.
But across the nearby border, a brutal civil war is spreading. Rebels led by the ruthless General Mandiki attack at night, stealing children. All that separates Chanda from the horror is a stretch of rugged bush and a national park alive with predators. Soon, not even that. Before she knows it, Chanda must face the unthinkable, with a troubled young tracker as her unlikely ally.
Chanda's Wars is the unforgettable story of a teenager who risks everything to save her brother and sister. Epic in its sweep, intimate in its humanity, here is a gripping tale of family intrigue, love and courage, forgiveness and hope.

Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton

Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton
193 pages.

Amazing book!

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 9-12. The statistics of the millions infected with HIV/AIDS in southern Africa find a human face in this gripping story of one teenager, Chanda Kabele, who sees the disease threaten her family and community. Far from case history, Chanda's immediate, first-person, present-tense narrative is neither sentimental nor graphic as it brings close the personal struggle with all its pain and loss, shame and guilt. Chanda's stepfather and baby stepbrother died of the disease. Now Mama may have it. No one will talk about the cause. Is Chandra infected? Her best friend, driven to prostitution, does get AIDS, which is dormant. Should Chanda take her in? Stratton, who has lived and worked in southern Africa, creates an authentic sense of the community in town and in the bush, including the poverty, overburdened hospitals, struggling schools, and packed cemeteries. The message about overcoming ignorance and shame and confronting the facts is ever present, but the tense story and the realistic characters--caring, mean, funny, angry, kind, and cruel--will keep kids reading and break the silence about the tragedy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

GUILT by John Lescroart

462 pages
8 1/2 hours

Guilt is one of Lescroart's earlier novels. The wife of a well known and prestigious attorney is found murdered in their home. Investigators find nothing to link any outsider to the murder and investigate the attorney and finally get an indictment and go to trial. Lifelong friend and fellow attorney has a chance to improve his image as he defends this suspected murderer. As the trial proceeds, witnesses are discredited and the surprises continue. Lescroart has another winner in this novel.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tyrell by Coe Booth

Tyrell by Coe Booth
310 pages.

Story about Tyrell, who does his best to legitimately raise money to get his mom, his little brother, and himself out of a homeless shelter while his father is locked up once again. Very good book, but I would have a hard time recommending it to just anyone because of strong sexual situations.

Can't Get There From Here by Todd Strasser

Can't Get There From Here by Todd Strasser
198 pages.

Very sad story about a homeless girl named Maybe, who feels very close to her street tribe. But, living on the streets destroys them all one by one as they fall to drugs, alcohol, prostitution, all while living on the below freezing streets. Despite an angry library security guard, who would prefer to throw the kids out of the building, one librarian offers shelter, food, friendship, and help to get out of their desperate situation.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
210 pages

Ummm. Wow. I have a secret. I am one of those who watches Hoarders, then immediately gets up and throws 15 things away. Hoarding is very sad, and it is definitely a mental disorder. But what about the kids? How could they possibly have a normal, healthy life living in squalor...let alone have a social life? This is the story of a 16-year-old girl, living with a mother who hoards. Her brother and sister have already been able to fly the coop. She has tried to clear away the mess, but her mother will not have it. But when her mother is killed by the 'treasures' falling on top of her and smothering her, she must find a way to hide her dirty little secret before everybody knows. This was so well written...I loved Lucy's voice. Her sadness, and the hope that someday she can get everything clean, have a sleepover, have a boyfriend who she is not to embarrassed to have him pick her up at the front door. In her hopelessness, she doesn't give up on the dream of one day having her own home, children, and doing things so differently.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Clary is yet again faced with the fact that she can't be with the guy of her dreams, first he was a playboy (book 1), then he was distant (book 1 and 2), then she thought he was her brother (book 2) and now he is having visions that he will kill her...unfortunalty his vision are never wrong....bummer. On top of that her best friend is juggling two of the most powerful being as his girlfriends...they just don't know about the other. Messed up love lives aside they are all about to fight one of the greatest evils known to man. Well where there's a will, there's a way and maybe a prayer.

This book was great, at times it seemed alittle teen angest-y but get past the drama and the plot is amazing. I would recommend this book to fans of the series.

4 1/2 hours

pages: 424

Redemption by Stacey Lannert and Kristen Kemp

Redemption by Stacey Lannert and Kristen Kemp
318 pages
Adult Biography

Very intense bio about a young woman who was sexually abused since the age of 8 by her father. At the age of 18 she shot and killed her abuser after he raped her 16-year-old sister, who had been physically abused by her father her entire life. Stacey Lannert was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. This is the story of her horrific journey, until after serving 18 years in Missouri prisons, she finally had her sentence commuted and was released.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blue Fire by Janice Hardy

Blue Fire by Janice Hardy
373 pages
(sequel to The Shifter, Truman Nominee)

I was super impressed with this sequel. The story continued very smoothly, without bogging you down with details from the first book. Nya, who is a Shifter, is able to place her hand on an injured victim, draw that pain out, and send it into somebody else. In The Shifter, she stays away from her talent, hating that she has the ability to hurt someone. But when her sister, a Healer is kidnapped and held against her will, she learns to use this skill to free her sister, as well as the other Healers, and take down the evil dictator controlling them all. Nya gets her sister and the others away, but the Duke escapes.
In the sequel, Nya and her friends go after the Duke once again, this time determined he will not escape.

OPAL by Lauraine Snelling

317 pages
5 1/2 hours

Opal is the third and last of the Dakotah Treasures series.

Opal is the younger sister of Ruby who inherited "Dove House" from their father, Per. When Ruby marries a local rancher, Opal is thrilled with the whole ranching scenario, she is an excellent horse trainer.

Because of an unpleasant experience with a drifter, Ruby sends Opal to New York for a summer visit with the family with whom they lived prior to moving to Little Missouri. The Brandons love Opal and want her to stay in New York to continue her education. Will she decide to stay and live in luxury or return to the hard life in the Dakota Territory?

PEARL by Lauraine Snelling

318 pages
5 1/2 hours

Pearl is teaching at the settlement house in Chicago when her father decides that it is time for her to marry, he even has the groom chosen. Pearl finds the chosen one not to her liking and by chance reads an ad for a teacher needed in Dakata territory. She applies for the position and when chosen slips off in the night to go to a whole new life, beginning at Dove House.

Pearl soon fits right in with the town of Little Missouri and when she makes the acquaintance of a young carpenter who shares her love of reading, things are looking good. Then her father arrives to return her to Chicago!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels

341 pages
3 hours 28 minutes

Enjoyed this story.  Feels real, even the parts that are too girly for me.

Daniel Half Huma and the Good Nazi by David Chotjewitz

Daniel Half Human and the Good Nazi by David Chotjewitz
292 pages.

This was a view point on the Holocaust that I have not read much of: from Germans. Daniel has waited a long time to be able to join the Hitler youth, to fight for his country, and do what he can to rid the world of Jews. Until he discovers his family's secret...his own mother is Jewish.

(from jacket cover)
All his life, Daniel has been hiding. He just doesn't know it.
Until the spring of 1933, he's enjoyed a comfortable German boyhood with his well-to-do family, in school, at soccer. Daniel's even enjoyed jail-for one exciting night-with his best friend, Armin, after they've been caught painting a swastika on a wall in the hated Communist section of Hamburg. In their cell, the boys cut their wrists, mingle blood, and swear lasting brotherhood.
Then, a thunderclap: Daniel learns to his horror that is mother is Jewish, that he is therefor half-Jewish and, in Aryan eyes, half-human. Daniel keeps the truth a secret. He and Armin still talk of joining the Hitler Youth. But Armin's father, an out-of-work longshoreman and a Socialist, forbids it. Armin joins anyway, with fateful consequences for Daniel's family.
Throughout World War II, and until the story's haunting final scene, each friend holds the life of the other in his hands.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan
216 pages

This book didn't grab me like I thought it would. Couldn't focus on all of the characters.

(from jacket cover)
Jake Semple is a scary kid. Word has it that he burned down his old school and then was kicked out o every other school in his home state. Only weeks into September, the middle school in Traybridge, North Carolina, has thrown him out too.
Now there's only one place left that will take him-a home school run by the most outrageous, forgetful, chaotic, quarrelsome family you'll ever meet. Each and every Applewhite is an artist through and through-except E.D., the smart, scruffy girl with a deep longing for order and predictability. E.D. and Jake, so nearly the same age, are quickly paired in the family's first experiment in "cooperative education."
The two clash immediately, of course. The only thing they have in common is the determination to survive the family's eccentricities.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The thing about life is that one day you'll be dead by David Shields

I only read 105 pages of this book (225 pages) because although it sounded promising, it was a disappointment.  On the surface, the notion of combining tons of information about the human body with musings about the author's personal body and that of his 97-year old father is intriguing.  BUT it's a huge problem when Shields produces information that is basically incorrect about the female body.  It is so blatantly wrong that I actually doubted my own knowledge of female anatomy and did research.  Within a few minutes, the National Institute of Health website confirmed that Shields is so mistaken that it's almost laughable.  Note the word almost.  I was offended by Shields' junior high school attempt at writing a factual book.

1 hour reading time.

Ruby, Dakotah Treasures# 1 by Lauraine Snelling

285 pages
4 3/4 hours

This is the first in a new frontier series by Lauraine Snelling. Opal's mother died when she was born and Ruby, the older sister, has been caring for her since with the help of her grandmother and then of a family where she obtained a position as a maid/nanny in New York City.

After receiving a missive from their father, who has been "seeking his fortune" since the loss of his wife, their mother, the girls load up to travel to the Dakota Teritory to seek their inheritance.

Are they ever in for a surprise when they arrive and learn that the inheritance, Dove House, is not exactly what they expected.

Rebecca's Reward by Lauraine Snelling

319 pages
5 1/2 hours

Rebecca's Reward is the 4th and last book of the Daughters of Blessing Series.

Rebecca Baard is the daughter of one of the early families to settle in Blessing after the Norwegian immigrants had claimed their land. The Baard's were great friends of the Bjorlands. Rebecca lost both of her parents when she was still quite young and was thrown into the "Mother" role to help her brothers on the farm.

Rebecca dreams of love but is afraid to risk the pain of losing another loved one. Will she be able to risk love? Will she fulfill her dream of opening a soda shop?

Her mind is in a whirl after she visits Penny and gets a taste of city life and meets a very nice sophisticated as well as wealthy young man.

The Long Way Home by Andrew Klaven

The Long Way Home by Andrew Klaven
(sequel to The Last Thing I Remember, book 2 of Homelander series)
345 pages

Fantastic! But, if you, like me, are an adult who reads teen fiction, this isn't the greatest book. The author takes great care in bringing the reader up to speed, including tons of details from the first book. I would recommend this to any teen looking for a Christian adventure.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Beastly by Alex Flinn
304 pages

Amazing fantasy about a gorgeous conceited man who is turned into a beast so that he may be as ugly on the outside as he is on the outside. He is described quite like the Beast in the famous Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast...covered in hair. He is given two years to find someone to fall in love with him, he in love with her, and of course, to proclaim their love with a kiss. Wonderful modern twist to this old fairy tale...but I have a question. I know they made a movie out of this, and I truly cannot wait to see it. And I know they change details for movies. But they totally changed the looks of both characters...completely. I still don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is this...

Why does the cover of my book look like this? In the book, the man is a hairy monster, and the girl is a redheaded Plain Jane kind of girl. If you wanted to change it for the movie, fine.  But don't mess with the cover!

Winter's Bone by Danial Woodrell

Winter's Bone by Danial Woodrell
193 pages.

Ugh. Should have just watched the movie.

(from jacket cover)
The sheriff's deputy at the front door brings hard news to Ree Dolly. Her father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dolly's will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date.
Ree's father has disappeared before. The Dolly clan has worked the shadowy side of the law for generations, and arrests (and attempts to avoid them) are part of life in Rathlin Valley. But the house is all they have, and Ree's father would never forfeit it to the bond company unless something awful happened. With two young brothers depending on her and a mother who's entered a kind of second childhood, Ree knows she has to bring her father back, dead or alive, or else see her family turned out into the unforgiving cold.
Not since Mattie Ross stormed her way through Arkansas in True Grit has a young girl so fiercely defended her loved ones. Sixteen-year-old Ree, who has grown up in the harsh poverty of the Ozarks, learns quickly that asking questions of the rough Dolly clan can be a fatal mistake. She perseveres past obstacles of every kind an finally confronts the top figures in the family's hierarchy.
Along the way to a shocking revelation, Ree discovers unexpected depths in herself and in a family network that protects its own at any cost.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

465 pages
5 hours 32 minutes

Wow!  It's taken me some time to get around to reading this book.  I have heard wonderful things about it and they are all true.  The next book I read will be the sequel.

I feel sad that such a talented writer is gone.

Adventurers Wanted: Slathbog's Gold by M.L. Forman

Adventurers Wanted: Slathbog's Gold by M.L. Forman
387 pages
Truman Nominee

Ok...this might be one of my favorite fantasies! The characters were a rich variety of dwarves, elves, humans, wizards, and of course, a dragon. But what I loved? The didn't go into miles of background information on the land and the races...that was just the way that it was. Sometimes I feel so bogged down by the details, that by the time I get to the adventure, all I wanna do is nap!  This was a quick read, and I definitely cannot wait for the already released sequel to get to the library. First thing I did when I got to work was put in a request for purchase, it was that good!

(from jacket cover)
The sign is small, tucked into the corner of Mr. Clutter's bookshop window: "Adventurers Wanted. Apply Within." No one but fifteen-year-old Alex Taylor even seems to notice it is there. And for Alex, who has wished for a change in his life, it is an irresistible invitation.
Upon entering Mr. Clutter's shop, Alex is swept away on an incredible adventure to a faraway land filled with heroic warriors, mysterious elves, and hard-working dwarves.
Alex becomes the eighth man in a band of adventurers seeking the lair of Slathbog the Red-an evil dragon with a legendary treasure. Along the way, Alex and his new friends must battle dangerous trolls and bandits, face undead wraiths, and seek the wisdom of the Oracle in her White Tower.
Alex's adventure takes him to distant and exotic lands where he learns about courage, integrity, honor, and, most importantly, friendship.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Shanghai Shadows by Lois Ruby

Shanghai Shadows by Lois Ruby
282 pages

Lois Ruby's mother was a translator who worked with the American embassy for the Jewish refugees coming into the country in the 1940's to escape Hitler. She met a Polish man who had escaped into Shanghai, who needed an American wife to get into the states. Her mother married that man, and divorced weeks later. Although contact with that man was not kept up, it fueled her curiosity about the stateless refugees living in Japanese occupied China. When she visited the park built in memory of these people, Shanghai Shadows begin to form. This book was interesting, rich with details about the food, architecture, and customs. Beautifully written.

(from jacket cover)
After the Nazis move into Austria, Ilse's family makes plans to escape. But the only place they're able to go is Japanese-occupied China. Life in Shanghai is far harsher than Ilse ever expected. While she and her brother join the resistance, their mother keeps connections to the past, and their father holds tight to the violin that had been his livelihood for so long. But life grows harder and harder as they are forced to relocate to Shanghai's ghetto. Yet they  always manage to take solace in one another-that is, until a mother's secret threatens to tear them all apart.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jacob's Rescue by Malka Drucker and Michael Halperin

Jacob's Rescue by Malka Drucker and Michael Halperin
117 pages

An amazing story based on true events of a young boy and his brother, who are hidden away during the Holocaust. Alex and Mela hide Jacob and his brother, David, sometimes going without shelter and food to save these boys.

(from jacket cover)
Once Jacob Gutgeld lived with his family in a beautiful house. He went to a proper school and played hide and seek in the woods with his friends. But everything changed the day the Nazi soldiers marched into Warsaw, Poland. The year was 1939. Suddenly it wasn't safe to be Jewish in Poland anymore. Eight-year-old Jacob and his relatives who remained found themselves convinced to a walled in ghetto, where night and day the terrible click click of the soldiers' boots echoed on the cobblestones. It was then that Jacob's aunt Hannah decided that the boy had only one hope of rescue-to pretend he was not Jewish.
One afternoon, while the soldiers were on their break, Jacob slipped through a hole in the wall to meet Alex Roslan, a kind non-Jewish man who agreed to be Jacob's new 'uncle.' The Roslan family called Jacob 'Genyek,' and at the risk of their own lives they kept his identity as a Jew hidden.
For all of them, every day of hiding meant a new danger, a new threat of discovery. Jacob worried about his real family, longed to go to school and to go outside like the Roslan children. Yet the fear, the hardships, and the hunger brought Jacob closer and closer to all the Roslans-until at last the time of hate and war came to an end and a new chapter began in all their lives.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan

336 pages
2 hours 46 minutes

I had already started reading this when I looked at the blog and realized that Bobbie had already posted on this book.  That's because I always try to imitate Bobbie.  I'm stalking her.

As for the book, what a ride!  I'm going to read the sequel as soon as possible

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

344 pages
3 hours 14 minutes

This is an intense book about a girl surviving in a Soviet prison camp.  Good read.

A Touch of Grace by Lauraine Snelling

319 pages..................6 1/2 hours

Book three of the Daughters of Blessing series. Grace is the twin sister of Sophie of the last book. Grace was born deaf and her mother learned to sign and taught many of the Blessing people how to sign, then, she opened her school for the deaf. Grace has been helping with the school but now has graduated from high school and is given an offer by the Goulds of New York to come to New York to attend the Deaf Institute there.

This past Summer, Jonathan Gould has been sent to Blessing to live with the Bjorland family to learn how life is outside of the priviledged circle where he has been raised.

More trial and tribulations as the hoof and mouth disease epidemic causes all the farm families in North Dakota to have to kill off all of the cloven footed animals, so they lose their livelihood, the meat, the milk and cream and the cheese, etc.

Sophie's Dilemma by Lauraine Snelling

334 pages .................................................6 1/2 hours

Book two of the Daughters of Blessing series continues the story of the Norwegian immigrants.
Sophie is one of the twin daughters of Kaaren who came to America in 1880.

Sophie decides that she cannot live without Hamre and convinces him to elope with her and take her back to Seattle with him. However, when she gets to Seattle married to a fisherman who is gone for weeks at a time, life is not as she had envisioned.


Apparently I deleted the individual standings.  I'm not sure how I did that but I will get it reinstated soon.  Sorry about that!

On a happy note, the winner of  the drawing for April is Ginger! She won a lovely CD holder, complete with the Missouri Library Association logo.

Congrats to Ginger!

April Totals

Books:  50
Pages: 15,643
Time: 129 hours, 30 minutes

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

254 pages
4 hours 23 minutes

Wow!  Does this woman love her history.  I learned a lot!

Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

Death Cloud by Andrew Lane
Sherlock Holmes The Legend Begins
308 pages

I am not a Sherlock Holmes fan...not that I don't like him. Just never really got into it. But I truly enjoyed this book. This is Sherlock's first 'case', and tells how he fell in love with the investigative process. The background was rich with details, the characters full of life. Guys are going to love this series!

(from back of book)

A teenage Sherlock solves his first murder mystery.
A cloud of smoke began to rise from the object just as Sherlock recognized it for what it was: a man's body, lying twisted on the ground. The smoke wafted away, driven by the breeze, but there was no sign of fire. For a moment Sherlock thought the man was lying there smoking a pipe, his face wrapped for some reason in a red-spotted white handkerchief, but as he got closer he realized that the red blotches were neither markings on a toadstool not spots on a white handkerchief.
They were bloody boils on the face of a corpse.

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata
260 pages

Amazing book about a young Japanese girl, already orphaned when a car wreck kills her parents, leaving her and her younger brother in the care of Aunt and Uncle, who are relocated to an interment camp after the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor.

(from jacket cover)
Twelve-year-old Sumiko feels her life has been made up of two parts: before Pearl Harbor and after it. The good part and the bad part. Raised on a flower farm in California, Sumiko is used to being the only Japanese girl in her class. Even when the other kids tease her, she always has had her flowers and family to go home to.
That all changes after the horrific events of Pearl Harbor. Other Americans start to suspect that all Japanese people are spies for the emperor, even if, like Sumiko, they were born in the United States! As suspicions grow, Sumiko and her family find themselves being shipped to an internment camp in one of the hottest deserts in the United States. The vivid color of her previous life is gone forever, and now dust storms regularly  choke the sky and seep into every crack of the military barrack that is her new 'home.'
Sumiko soon discovers that the camp is on an Indian reservation and that the Japanese are as unwanted there as they'd been at home. But then she meets a young Mohave boy who might just become her first real friend...if he can ever stop being angry about the fact that the internment camp in on his tribe's land.