Posted in Reading, World War II

What I’ve been Reading…

 

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a wonderful Christmas season with my family. For some reason, I looked forward to Christmas this year more than I have in the past. I’m not sure why, maybe because I started shopping early and this season was less stressful. Or it could be because we were all healthy this Christmas and I was thankful for that.

 

Photo by mclcbooks on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Anyway, whatever the reason, I had a great Christmas and I hope you did, too.

This is my last blog post of 2017. It’s kind of anti-climactic because I don’t have the “I’ve figured out the meaning of life” post I thought I’d have at this juncture in the game, and I haven’t figured out my New Year’s resolutions yet or my One Little Word for 2018. So as I struggle for something to write, I fall back on one of my favorite hobbies and that is reading. I’ve finished a couple of excellent stories I haven’t shared with you yet so I thought this might be a good time to discuss them. One was recommended to me and the other one is one of my favorite authors. Both books were excellent. So without further ado, here they are.

 

THE CITY OF THIEVES:

 

City of Thieves: A Novel by [Benioff, David]

 

From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour and When the Nines Roll Over and co-creator of the HBO series Game of Thrones, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, the New York Times bestseller City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

 

My Thoughts:

 

I love a good World War II story, especially the ones where good triumphs over evil. In this story, two unlikely men become friends in occupied Russia during the Nazi invasion when they are captured by the Nazis. Instead, of death, they are tasked with finding eggs for the Commander’s daughter’s wedding cake in a time when eggs are nowhere to be found. The two characters take us on their journey where we run into some dangerous characters and some heroic ones.  I absolutely loved the ending. It’s one of hope and shows that even in the most horrible of circumstances love triumphs over all.

 

LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE

 

 

Little Fires Everywhere by [Ng, Celeste]

 

The runaway New York Times bestseller

Named a Best Book of the Year:
People, The Washington Post, Bustle, Esquire, Southern Living, The Daily Beast, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Kirkus ReviewsSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, Book of the Month, Paste, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Audible, Goodreads, Library Reads, and many more!

“I am loving Little Fires Everywhere. Maybe my favorite novel I’ve read this year.”—John Green

“I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting.” –Jodi Picoult

“Witty, wise, and tender. It’s a marvel.” – Paula Hawkins

“To say I love this book is an understatement. It’s a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears.” – Reese Witherspoon

From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

 

My Thoughts:

 

Celeste Ng has become one of my favorite authors. I fell in love with her first book “Everything I Never Told You” and her second book is right up there with her first one.

“Little Fires Everywhere” is the story of the Richardson family and the quiet life of Shaker Heights and how one addition to this little town can turn everything upside down. The addition I’m talking about is Mia and Pearl. Mia is a photographer who’s been moving from town to town for quite some time, but she wants to stop and put down some roots for her daughter Pearl.

They rent a home from the Richardson’s and the Richardson children befriend Pearl and soon Mia begins working for the family to help pay the rent. Their lives become intertwined and fires start. It’s a great story of family dynamics and explores issues of adoption, abortion, and parenting. If you like human drama stories you’ll love this one.

 

So there you have it, my last post of 2017.  If you’re snowed in, these two books are a must read…even if you’re not snowed it. They’re great stories. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I’m putting together a reading list for 2018 do you have any recommendations for me? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Author:

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

38 thoughts on “What I’ve been Reading…

  1. I’m not sure I would read the first one- I’m not big on war stories but the second book definitely sounds like something I would love to read- it sounds riveting! 🙂 thank you for sharing, I love finding new novels!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I will look her up. I’m reading another WWII story right now and then I’ve got a thriller on my list. The Good Earth might be a good one after that. 🙂

  2. I read City of Thieves some years ago and remember having the same reaction as you. Beautifully written, and though still tragic, redemptive overall. I have not read Ng. I’d like to. I’ve heard a lot about this book and I like your take on it. Are you going to participate in Hayley’s book club in 2018?

    1. I don’t know too much about it. I’d love to. I should chat with her and find out what it’s all about. I know it’s books, but there are times when I have more time to read than others. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll chat with her about it. 🙂

  3. Regarding your final post of 2017, I stand by the phrase, “The right thing will happen in the right way at the right time!” So, this was the right post at just the right time! I’m typically not a fiction reader anymore, but the first one sounds great! Might have to pick that up! Incidentally, I am currently reading The Nest, a fiction book that was given to me by my Secret Santa at work. It’s pretty good, as well!

  4. Both books sound wonderful, and I’m such a fan of war stories. I don’t know why, but the history fascinates me. Also, I’m right there with you on New Year’s resolutions – I need to get thinking. I’m so glad you had a nice Christmas, and that you were all healthy! We were too. I figured out that we had missed the last three out of four Christmas’ with my in-laws due to sickness. I guess that’s what you get with little ones around the house. 🙂 Happy New Year to you, Lisa!

  5. You don’t have to have the answers to the world by the end of each year! I think sharing your thoughts on recent reads is just as helpful!

    I’m glad you had a nice Christmas. Have a lovely new year!

  6. I did not know that David Benioff was an Author! How did I not know this? I will be checking that out asap’ cheers!

  7. Well I just received 3 months of audible.com from my sister for my birthday so I’ll have to see if City of Thieves is available. Thank you for the recommendations and Merry Christmas!!

  8. How ironic is it that I come across a book review when I mentioned just hours ago to myself that I need to get back in the habit of reading during my free time? Little Fires Everywhere sounds pretty interesting but I’m curious to know if you’d done a review on Ng’s first novel? If it as interesting as this one sounds I may have to add them both to my list.

    Great post, Happy New Year!

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