Tuesday, May 9, 2017
April 2017 in Books
I'm back for a belated monthly book post. April really and truly got away from me, and I didn't even remember that I forgot to do this post until I saw someone else post about their reading list for the month....
Anyway, April turned out to be a lot more adult vice Juvenile Fiction, and a lot of non-fiction as well, definitely heavier reading in turns of subject matter, and lighter in volume as a result. Here are the details:
We Were the Lucky Ones - Georgia Hunter - non-fiction - 5 stars - This is the (true) story of a Jewish family from Poland who miraculously survived the Holocaust with their entire nuclear family intact. The extended family suffered many losses, but it was amazing to read about the journey of each of the members, many of whom were separated and weren't able to find one another again until months after the war ended. I can't recommend this one enough.
Swimming Across, A Memoir - Andrew S. Grove - biography - 4 stars - I think last month I might have mentioned that memoirs are not for me, but I went ahead and read this one. It's about one of the founders of Intel, but doesn't talk about that part of his life at all, rather it's about growing up in Hungary during WWII and through the Hungarian revolution. This was and wasn't easier to read. It was in that it moved chronologically rather than skipping around to various memories/fragments, but Grove is not a writer, so the prose isn't the greatest, yet it's a really interesting story, and having visited Budapest a few years ago, I really enjoyed hearing about the places and history that we learned when we were there.
The Nazi Officer's Wife, How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust - Edith Hahn Beer - biography - 5 stars - Another great book WWII book, Edith lived in Vienna and managed to survive by fleeing into Germany (Munich) during the war. She was helped by several friends along the way, and eventually married a German officer. She did confess to him that she was Jewish prior to the marriage, and he married her anyway. Before the war, she was studying to be a lawyer, and she was able to complete her degree afterwards and became a judge. An amazing story of survival, kind of the psychiatry of surviving within the Reich, and the aftermath.
Cryptid Hunters - Roland Smith - Juvenile Fiction - 5 stars - This was the final Battle Book from Ellie's spring Battler (her team came in 3rd), and another great selection by our school librarian. This is the same author who wrote the I, Q. series that I enjoyed so much from the last battle. This was also Ellie's favorite book from this round and is the first in a series. If you have boys, I highly recommend this series and author. It's about twins, Grace and Marty, who are pulled out of boarding school after their parents die to live with an uncle they have never heard of. He turns out to be an anthropologist who studies supposedly extinct animals. Adventure ensues, and of course there's an ongoing thread/mystery that I'm assuming will tie through the whole series.
Martin the Warrior - Brian Jacques - Juvenile Fiction - 4 stars - Another book from the Redwall series focusing on Martin, who helped to found Redwall to begin with. This is his origin story, how he became a warrior, what led him to Redwall to being with.
You Will Know Me - Megan Abbott - Fiction - 4 stars - I'm not sure what to do with this book. It was very compelling, I enjoyed reading it, but it was also kind of annoying. The people in it were annoying, the situation was annoying, I guess the whole gymnastics thing and how tied up the families were in it was annoying to me. But I believe that's the way that community works. I also just didn't care for how it ended up, but I'm kind of a justice person. I like it when the right people go to jail and good triumphs. Ambiguous endings never leave me satisfied.
Letters from Paris - Juliet Blackwell - Fiction - 4 stars - I had read her previous book (The Paris Key) and really enjoyed it, and I was looking for something a little quicker and easier after some of the other stuff I'd read this month. It was another enjoyable book, Claire Broussard goes to Paris after her grandmother dies to try and solve a mystery, finds another mystery and love at the same time. Quick, light, and easy.
I'll See You in Paris - Michelle Gable - Fiction - 4 stars - This was really interesting, it's the story of a young woman and her mother, but also of the later life of Gladys Spencer-Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, who was pretty crazy in her later days. While the story about the modern day people was interesting, I was really more interested in the Duchess' life, and I'm thinking may need to do some more reading on her.