Friday, January 24, 2014

Cracking Some Books

I've been on a reading binge lately!

I'm currently reading A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. I kind of think maybe I read this before but I'm not sure. If I did it was pre-Goodreads because I didn't have it marked on there. I've still got a bit to go before I'm done but it's a pretty good book. I decided to read that after it being mentioned in the last book I read.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Awhile back I had accidentally marked that as read (I think I was thinking it was The Memory Keeper's Daughter) on Goodreads. It showed up in my Facebook feed and a lot of people commented on it is I figured I'd read it!

Oh MY! What a story! I'm pretty sure I'm going to pick this as my book club selection when it's my turn to pick.

via Goodreads-Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. 

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home. 

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. 

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

I think I've read three books in a row now that deal with children being hungry. Weird how things like that happen.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I saw the preview for the movie they made for this book and it looked interesting. I was trying to find something interesting to read so thought I'd give it a try.

The story is about Liesel. She's sent to live with a new foster family in Germany during WWII. On the journey there her brother dies and her mother is sent somewhere, but she's not sure where. When she arrives at the foster family she is greeted by her foster mother who is anything but nice and her new foster father who becomes the light of her light.

While she is there the war is breaking out, kids are sent to Hitler's youth camp, every day school drama happens, and one day a Jew shows up at their house.

This was such a great book! Of course it is sad and I shed a lot of tears while reading it (as to be expected when reading anything about Nazi Germany).  I did say after reading this one that I thought maybe I was ready to read a chick flick about nothing too deep!

Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon I think I originally put this book on my to read list after reading a review by my friend Sara

What an interesting book. It's quite the mystery. It starts off with this girl Rhonda sitting in her car. While she's sitting there this person in a white bunny suit comes up and steals a kid!

She's just kind of like WTF just happened? And then she realizes that she was the only person to just witness this child abduction.

Cue the small town drama!

Then the story weaves in and out of Rhonda's life. A life full of Peter's, Peter Pan and a Peter The Rabbit.

I thought the whole Peter thing was quite interesting and I couldn't wait to see how it was all going to turn out. What a fantastic story! 

I've read quite a few of Anita Shreve's book's now. They always have a lot of layers to them. 

The Pilot's Wife is about Kathryn, who of course is a Pilot's Wife. The story begins with her finding out that her husband has died in a plane crash. 

The rest of the story is about her life before the plane crash which is much like any other long relationship where they have grown accustom to having grown apart.

The life revolving around the plane crash, who was at fault, why did it happen, dealing with the death etc.

And the the hidden life she finds out about.

I'm not going to lie I spent a lot of time crying while I was reading this book. It's really sad. Don't read it if you are feeling depressed.

The Things We Do For Love by Kristin Hannah

You know I love me some good Kristin Hannah. This one was pretty good but not quite my favorite (I don't think anything is ever going to beat Winter Garden)

This is another book with someone that's going hungry because her mother is a loser. Wow so many I have read lately that have that in there. So Lauren's mother is a drunk and Lauren is a great student who is trying to get good grades so she can get a scholarship and get away from her mother and make something of herself. She also has a serious boyfriend who is rich and is working on a scholarship. They are hoping to go somewhere together or at least the same general area after high school.

The main character in the book is actually Angie. Angie and her husband are calling it quits after all these years because the struggle for a baby is just killing their relationship. It's not clear exactly what happened in the beginning of the book but it's revealed over time. Something that's devastating that was kind of the last straw. After her and her husband break up she ends up moving back to her family's cabin and helping in her family's failing restaurant.

Eventually the two characters cross paths and the rest is history.

I thought this was a pretty good book. I thought it was a tad predictable and I was a little bit sad about how it ended even though it was a "happy ending".

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani

When I first started this book I thought it was going to be related to Very Valentine, but it's not. It's just another book that has shoe making in it. I thought that was a little strange for one author to have two books with shoe making in it but maybe that's just me.

So this story starts way back in Italy. Enza is just a young girl, the oldest of the children. She is like a little mother always taking care of everyone.

Ciro's life starts off very rough. His father has just passed away and his mother cannot make it on her own so she takes him and his brother to a nunnery and just kind of drops them off with a promise to come for them some day.

Tragedy happens and their paths cross, but only for a short time.

Years later they both come to America and have a chance meeting. Every so often they come across each other as they are growing up but things never seem to work out. Until the last time.

Overall I enjoyed this story but it was so sad. Sad big crying tears sad. It has so much heart ache in it. A good book on a beach day but maybe not on a cold winter day when you need something a little lighter.

Uncharted (On The Island 1.5) by Tracey Garvis Graves

A sequel to "On The Island", I couldn't wait to crack this one open (funny saying that when I'm reading it on a Kindle now) and see what it was going to be about!

This story is about Bones. If you read the first book you know about Bones. Bones is a skeleton that was on the island.

In this book we learn the story of how Bones got on the island and who he was.

I read this awhile back but I remember that it took me a bit to get into it to understand who this person was that came to visit Anna and TJ and what it was he was up to. Once the story started coming out it got much better.

The story within the story is about Owen who charters a plane to drop him off at the Island. At the last minute before he leaves he meets Calia and on a whim, invites her to come with him. She actually shows up on the morning when he's going to leave! She's got her bags and another man. Lucky for Owen the other man is her brother. They have a great time on the island until tragedy strikes.

I'd recommend both of these books. Very interesting and you can't wait to find out what's going to happen.

AND I'm finally caught up on my books. Have you read a good book lately?

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1 comment:

Chris H said...

I love your book reviews because it gives me an idea of what to read. We have similar tastes in books. Though I love crime/thrillers the most. Do you like them too?

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