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.

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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

ablutions

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.