Friday, August 1, 2014

July Reading Round-up

This was an amazing book. I didn't know what to expect exactly, but heard great things. It is a captivating novel that takes such an interesting look at an often written about part of history: World War 2 and Nazi Germany. The book is narrated by Death, which might be the most intense narrator ever. It follows the story of Leisel, a young girl who is fostered by a family in a small German town. She begins to steal books and her foster father teachers her to read. As the war grows and gets worse, Leisel's world is made more complicated when the family begins to hide a Jewish man in their basement. Leisel navigates life while Hitler's grasp grows and Death knocks on everyone's doors. I so recommend this book, it is one of the most compelling and powerful books I've read in a long time.

I had heard a lot of great things about this book (and series) and finally read the first installment. It's written by Chris Colfer, of Glee fame, nd he can write!. It's considered a Young Adult novel, but kids in my 3rd grade read it and I know younger kids who have adored it!  It's such a fun and imaginative book about a set of twins whose father has recently passed away. As they struggle with the grief, their grandmother passes down the big book of fairy tales they were read by their father when they were little. Somehow, the book comes to life and the end up in it! The book follows their adventures to attempt to find a way to return home. It brings to life all your favorite fairy tales, makes imaginative connections between stories, and is an enjoyable and quick read. Having always loved fairy tales and Into the Woods this brought all of this together is such a great way. I can't wait to read the second book!

I had heard about this book on Morning Joe. Mika raved about it, so naturally I had to check it out (and I needed a dose of non-fiction). Arianna Huffington (of Huff Post fame). She writes about our constant need to succeed and advance in the world, but that style of life and mentality is slowly causing us to lose who we really are and harms our health and over all well being. She targets 4 areas that when focused on allow us to redefine success and thrive. She focuses on our well being, wisdom, wondering, and giving. It really made me think about how I go about my life and how I can thrive even more without compromising who I am and who I want to be. I recommend as good "make you go 'hmm'" book!

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9 thoughts on the matter:

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said... {Reply}

Do you know I am Still trying to read Alice in Wonderland! And for some reason, your description of the second book make me think of Madeleine L'Engle's A Swiftly Tilting Planet. Have you read either or both?

Dara @ Not In Jersey said... {Reply}

I loved the book thief. still have to see the movie!

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said... {Reply}

These all sound like great reads!! I saw that Chris Colfer had written a children's book but I didn't know it was a YA book, now I'm interested! :)

Rebecca said... {Reply}

Thanks for the suggestions. I am always looking for a good book to read. That first book reminds me, sort of, reading a book called German Boy. I learned about the book from a tour guide in Germany. It tells the story of Nazi Germany from a boy's perspective - a true story too. It made a big impact on me.

Nicki said... {Reply}

Ryan was torn between two English classes last year and until his schedule was resolved, 'The Book Theif' was on the reading list. Ultimately he didn't 'have' to read it, but I did and am so glad I did. A wonderful book. I didn't get out to see the movie, but hope to one day.

The Artful Diva said... {Reply}

I started to read "The Book Thief." Saw the movie and enjoyed it. One day I hope to get back to the book.

amanda | wildly simple said... {Reply}

The Book Thief remains one of the most (if not THE most) beautifully and powerfully written books I've ever read. Loved it.
A Thousand Splendid Suns was another powerful favorite.

Shoshanah said... {Reply}

I definitely am glad to have read The Book Thief, but I can't quite say I loved it. I just think I built it up a little too much, and I didn't quite live up to all the hype. But even so, I'd still recommend it, and I'd love to see the movie someday.

Adrienne said... {Reply}

I've wondered about the book thief - so glad to read your thoughts on it! Will add it to my stack. I got another recommendation the other day - "The Orphan Train" ... my list keeps growing!