Posted in 5 Stars, Book Challenge - 2017

#7: A book set during wartime

nightingaleI think I’ve discovered my favourite book of the year.  I know it’s only March, but The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah was breathtaking and can’t imagine that I’ll encounter a more powerful book.

I’ve read several wartime novels from the German, Russian, and English perspectives but very few from the French perspective.  The only novel that comes to mind is Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay [who happens to be in mentioned in the acknowledgments as an author who helped Kristin Hannah].

Without giving away the plot, The Nightingale is a story of courage and bravery in all forms. It’s the story of two sisters, of lost loves, of broken families, of friendships, of coping during the darkest times, and ultimately it’s the story of the power of the human spirit.  Bottom line: it’s beautiful.

Posted in 5 Stars, Book Challenge - 2017

#6: A book you loved as a child

charlie chocolateHarry Potter has been placed on the backburner to make way for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!  I have such fond memories of this book. I still remember my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Walker, reading this book out loud to our class. We would hang on every last word. It was sheer magic – oompa loompas, chocolate rivers, and candy galore!

And now I get to read the same book, that turned me onto reading, to my own children. It’s truly delightful!

Posted in 5 Stars, Book Challenge - 2017

#5: A book with an unreliable narrator


Mind blown…

One of my students insisted that I read Ablutions by Patrick Dewitt. I was planning on reading it over Spring Break but I had a window of time last Friday, sans kids.  I cracked it open and quickly got sucked into the chaotic word of the novel. I could not put this book down and ended up powering through it over the weekend, finally finishing it at about 2:00 Sunday morning.

What a bizarre yet compelling book. The writing is absolutely brilliant. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that was written completely in second person point of view. I don’t think many writers could pull that off effectively. Dewitt’s choice of second person is very clever as the protagonist is despicable in many ways. Furthermore, the people he surrounds himself with are even worse. But as a reader, you’re right in there and become a part of the filthy fabric.

Ablution is captivating, shocking, disgusting, and funny all at the same time. It’s quite the memorable experience.

Posted in Musings

You had me at “Hello”

How I miss the days where I could spend an entire day in my pajamas reading. Nowadays, it’s a rarity to find 10 uninterrupted minutes in the day to complete a chapter (or write a blog post). It’s why I stay up so late at night and read into the twilight, often my book falling on my face.

With a stolen moment this morning, I just read the opening paragraph of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah:

In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.

I’m hooked…

How I wish I could shirk today’s responsibilities…

I know what I’m reading tonight after the kids are in bed, after the lunches are packed, after the house is in less disarray and the peace of a sleeping household has set in.

Posted in 4 Stars, Book Challenge - 2017

#4: A book involving a mythical creature

hp2I’ve been reading the Harry Potter series to my son.  We started with The Philosopher’s Stone last year when he was 5.  With several breaks in between for other books, we finally finished the second book, The Chamber of Secrets last night.

It’s been years since I first read this book and I have to say that it has been delightful reading it with my son. His reactions to the surprising bits like the flying car, Harry losing the bones in his arms, and Hermione turning herself into a cat have been priceless. He found Dobby punishing himself especially hilarious.

But on the flip side, this books was significantly scarier than the first installment. Part of the reason it took us so long to finish The Chamber of Secrets was that we had to take several breaks from reading it. The clever little guy that he is, any time there was mention of He Who Should Not Be Named (in any form), he asked me to say Teddy Bear instead. That lightened up the story enough for us to move on. We have the whole series to work through and tonight we start The Prisoner of Azkaban!