05. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Horror, Kim

N0S4A2 by Joe Hill, 692 pages, read by Kim, on 09/04/2013

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photography, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing–and terrifying–playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble–and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

Great book!!! Joe Hill follows in his father’s footsteps as a classic horror writer!!!!!

27. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, History, Kim, NonFiction · Tags:

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, 274 pages, read by Kim, on 08/27/2013

It was wonderful to read this book again after so many years.

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic; a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

19. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, Kim, NonFiction

Treasures From the Attic: The Extraordinary Story of Anne Frank's Family by Mirjam Pressler, 404 pages, read by Kim, on 08/15/2013

This is a wonderful book to read because it puts Anne’s diary into context!

The story is one that is envisioned by many: a relative, an old woman who has lived in the same home for a lifetime, passes away, her death prompting the inevitable task of sorting through her effects by her surviving family. But in the attic in this particular house, a treasure trove of historic importance is found. Rarely does this become an actuality, but when Helene Elias died, no one could put a price on what she left behind.

Helene Elias was born Helene Frank, sister to Otto Frank, and therefore aunt to Anne Frank. Ensconced upstairs in the house she inherited from her mother, and eventually passed on to her son, Buddy Elias, Anne’s cousin and childhood playmate, was the documented legacy of the Frank family: a vast collection of photos, letters, drawings, poems, and postcards preserved throughout decades-a cache of over 6,000 documents in all.
Chronicled by Buddy’s wife, Gertrude, and renowned German author Mirjam Pressler, these findings weave an indelible, engaging, and endearing portrait of the family that shaped Anne Frank. They wrote to one another voluminously; recounted summer holidays, and wrote about love and hardships. They reassured one another during the terrible years and waited anxiously for news after the war had ended. Through these letters, they rejoiced in new life, and honored the memories of those they lost.

Anne’s family believed themselves to ordinary members of Germany’s bourgeoisie. That they were wrong is part of history, and we celebrate them here with this extraordinary account.

07. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Biographies, Kim, NonFiction · Tags:

Anne Frank: A Hidden Life by Mirjam Pressler, 176 pages, read by Kim, on 08/06/2013

This book was written for teens but is an excellent companion book to the Diary of Anne Frank and you learn more of the personal background of the Frank family and those who helped to hide them. You also learn more of what the Frank sisters, Anne and Margot went through in the seven months of their captivity in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.

05. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Biographies, Kim, NonFiction · Tags:

Anne Frank: The Biography by Melissa Muller, 458 pages, read by Kim, on 08/05/2013

I love learning more about Anne Frank and her family that goes beyond the diary. This is book is an updated version that gives us clues as to who may have betrayed the Frank family although we will never know for sure. It also goes into detail about the fate of Anne, her sister, Margot, and their mother after their arrest and deportation to concentration camps.

23. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Biographies, History, Kim · Tags:

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer, 382 pages, read by Kim, on 07/19/2013

Based on the true story of Irena Sendler, a Holocaust hero, and the Kansas teens who ‘rescued the rescuer’.

I loved this book. Couldn’t put it down!

23. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Historical Fiction, Kim

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, 216 pages, read by Kim, on 07/22/2013

Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called “Out-With” in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.

This was also a very short read but very powerful.

23. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Historical Fiction, Kim · Tags:

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, 165 pages, read by Kim, on 07/21/2013

World War I has started and the military needs horses to move equipment, charge the enemy, and carry wounded soldiers off the battlefield. Joey, a farm horse is sold to the Army. Joey misses the farmer’s son, Albert, and spends the war years wondering if the war will ever end and if he will ever see Albert again.

It was a short but very powerful read. I loved the story.

15. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Kim, Mystery

Nuremberg: The Reckoning by William F. Buckley, Jr., 366 pages, read by Kim, on 07/07/2013

Nuremberg’s Palace of Justice, 1945:
the scene of a trial without precedent in history, a trial that continues to haunt the modern world. Leading the reader into the Palace is Sebastian, a young German-American whose fate is to be intimately involved with the lives and deaths of others: the father who disappeared mysteriously, the ancestors whose stories become vitally relevant, and some of the towering figures of twentieth-century legal history, including Justice Robert Jackson, Albert Speer, Hermann Goering, and the dark, untried shadow of Adolf Hitler. In a gripping account of warmakers who must face the consequences of their actions, Nuremberg: The Reckoning flows through Warsaw, Berlin, Lodz, Munich, Hamburg, and finally Nuremberg, as Sebastian, an interpreter-interrogator, comes to terms with his family legacy and his national identity. With his customary authority and audacity, William F. Buckley Jr. has taken a pivotal moment in history and shaped it into absorbing and original fiction. The result is a riveting novel of insight and deep understanding exploring the characters and issues that made history.

Great Book!!!!!

15. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Inspirational, Kim, NonFiction

The Ancestral Continuum: Unlock the Secrets of Who You Really Are by Nalalia O' Sullivan and Nicola Graydon, 280 pages, read by Kim, on 07/06/2013

The Ancestral Continuum is an extraordinary investigation into the spiritual and emotional legacies we inherit at our birth from our ancestors, and a powerful and revolutionary blueprint for transforming how we feel about ourselves. The book takes you on a journey to discover how humanity, throughout time and around the world, acknowledges loved ones who have died and honors those who came before them. And it will give you the tools to explore your family tree, meet your ancestors anew and find your way through the labyrinth of your own legacy. You will begin to see yourself as just one strand in a never-ending tapestry of history and emotion, personality and achievement, tragedy and death, that will continue through your family into eternity.There is a massive interest worldwide in people tracing their roots. But researching into our forebears’ lives often unearths surprising or turbulent histories. The past 250 years have seen more change and upheaval than at any other point in history, and almost everyone alive now will have ancestors whose lives were touched by war, migration, mass upheavals and major turning points in society. Although we may not know their names, the stories of these ancestors have an impact on our lives now and will in the future. We are all connected. By remembering those who have gone before us, we can step into our true power and realize our highest potential.

This book is a great addition in helping to discover your family tree.

15. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Kim

The Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult, 460 pages, read by Kim, on 07/14/2013

Sage Singer becomes friends with an old man who’s particularly beloved in her community after they strike up a conversation at the bakery where she works. Josef Weber is everyone’s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses, but then he tells her he deserves to die. Once he reveals his secret, Sage wonders if he’s right. What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who’s committed a truly heinous act ever redeem themselves with good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren’t the party who was wronged? And most of all–if Sage even considers his request–is it murder, or justice?

I absolutely loved this book. It brings together everything I love about fiction writing.

21. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg, 365 pages, read by Kim, on 06/20/2013

This is a sequel to Flagg’s novel Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! Which was utterly hilarous. I love Flagg’s writing and love her characters even more. She does not disappoint with this book. She re-introduces us to her  much-beloved characters from the first book and her humor will make you laugh out loud!

05. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Kim · Tags:

Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys by Jeffrey Herf, 527 pages, read by Kim, on 06/05/2013

There is a lot of dry information in this book, but  if you want to get a feel for how West and East Germany handled the difficulties that presented themselves in the decades after surrendering in WWII, especially how they dealt with the memory of the Holocaust and their relationship with the Jewish faction of the population, it is very interesting and very meaningful especially to the amateur Holocaust scholar.

29. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Kim · Tags:

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, 280 pages, read by Kim, on 05/29/2013

“How about a story? Spin us a yarn.”
Instantly, Phoebe Winterbottom came to mind. “I could tell you an extensively strange story,” I warned.
“Oh, good!” Gram said. “Delicious!”
And that is how I happened to tell them about Phoebe, her disappearing mother, and the lunatic.

As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe’s outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold — the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother.

In her own award-winning style, Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion.

I liked this book!!! Good Read!!!!!

28. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Kim

Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, 325 pages, read by Kim, on 05/26/2013

It was a good read considering this is the year of the 50th anniversary of the assassination. However, I was a little concerned about where the authors came up with very private information about the JFK’s and Jackie’s personal life and their  private conversations. You have to read those incidents with a grain of salt.

20. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Kim

A Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe by Marci Shore, 370 pages, read by Kim, on 05/20/2013

Shore’s book was interesting but a little dry at times. She talks about historical figures that are little heard of  so it really didn’t peak my interest a whole lot.

16. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Kim

Lenin, Stalin, Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe by Robert Gellately, 696 pages, read by Kim, on 05/13/2013

I loved this book for its content and historical value. It gives a fresh new look at the three most infamous dictators of Europe and the havoc wreaked upon the world during their lives and the after effects once they were dead.

03. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Kim · Tags:

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, 324 pages, read by Kim, on 05/03/2013

I loved this book. Everyone knows that John Wilkes Booth killed Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater, but I never the story behind the assassination or the plot to kill him. This was a very fast read and I learned so much  more about this event in history than I ever knew before. Bill O’Reilly is correct when he states that every American should know the story of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. This book gets a 4-Star rating from me!

02. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Kim, Poetry

Dream Work by Mary Oliver, 90 pages, read by Kim, on 05/02/2013

Mary Oliver’s poems are alright but she’s definitely not my favorite poet.

02. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Kim, Poetry

Sweet Home, Saturday Night by David Baker, 94 pages, read by Kim, on 05/01/2013

Great poems and a fast read!