Sunday, August 7, 2011

On My Reading List

I've been getting quite a few requests for new books so, I thought it was time for another reading recommendation post!

Sarah's Key by: Tatiana de Rosnay

Publisher's Weekly Review: "In the summer of 1942, the French police arrested thousands of Jewish families and held them outside of Paris before shipping them off to Auschwitz. On the 60th anniversary of the roundups, an expatriate American journalist covering the atrocities discovers a personal connection—her apartment was formerly occupied by one such family. She resolves to find out what happened to Sarah, the 10-year-old daughter, who was the only family member to survive. De Rosnay's novel is captivating, and the powerful narration gives it even greater impact."

My review: Just finished this a couple of weeks ago, and let me tell you, it was amazing.  Such an amazing and endearing story.  A must-read.  It has also recently been turned into a movie.

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by: Neil White

Publisher's Weekly Review: "Following conviction for bank fraud, White spent a year in a minimum-security prison in Carville, La., housed in the last leper colony in mainland America. His fascinating memoir reflects on the sizable group of lepers living alongside the prisoners, social outcasts among the motley inmate crew of drug dealers, mob types and killers. Narrating in colorful, entertaining snapshots, White introduces the reader to an excellent supporting cast in his imprisonment: Father Reynolds, the peerless spiritual monk; Mr. Flowers, the no-nonsense case manager; Anne, the sorrowful mother with leprosy whose baby was taken from her arms; and Ella the Earth Mother, with wisdom to spare. Brisk, ironic and perceptive, White's introspective memoir puts a magnifying glass to a flawed life, revealing that all of life is to be savored and respected."

My Review: I was completely moved by this true story.  Although I would've never picked this book out on my won, my mother recommended it and I'm so thankful she did. The author is an Ole Miss graduate which also brought the story closer to home.  Definitely read this amazing book.

The Paris Wife by: Paula Mclain

Publisher's Weekly Review: "McLain offers a vivid addition to the complex-woman-behind-the-legendary-man genre, bringing Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, to life. McLain ably portrays the cultural icons of the 1920s—Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, and Ezra and Dorothy Pound—and the impact they have on the then unknown Hemingway, casting Hadley as a rock of Gibraltar for a troubled man whose brilliance and talent were charged and compromised by his astounding capacity for alcohol and women. Hadley, meanwhile, makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband's career. The heart of the story—Ernest and Hadley's relationship—gets an honest reckoning, most notably the waves of elation and despair that pull them apart." 

My Review: I loved being transported back to Paris in the twenties (think of the movie Paris at Midnight).  This book is actually quite sad, but also very enriching if you are interested in literature from the twenties.

The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins

Wikipedia Review:  It introduces sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem where North America once existed. This is where a powerful government working in a central city called the Capitol holds power. In the book, the Hunger Games are an annual televised event where the Capitol chooses one boy and one girl from each district to fight to the death. The Hunger Games exist to demonstrate that not even children are beyond the reach of the Capitol's jurisdiction.

My Review: Definitely a page-turner.  This futuristic book is along the same lines as the Twilight series (it has also been compared to The Giver and Brave New Word).  A very entertaining story, but more suited for a younger audience.  Still very entertaining and worth reading.  A VERY quick read.

Next on my list to read: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Any recommendations you would like to share?




Seek First said...

Love Sarah's Key and the Hunger games!

I have a fun rosette necklace giveaway going on, and you should enter!

Lindsey said...

The Paris Wife looks so good! Even at my busiest, I must make time for a good book!

The Fashionable Traveler said...

I'm looking forward to check out the other books on your list. I just read The Paris Wife,( while I was in Paris) It was really one of the best books I've read in a long time. You are right, it was sad...gut wrenching but I loved Hadley after reading it, and it makes me want to visit The Pfeiffer's home in Arkansas.

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