Thursday, September 29, 2011

September Books...

I only crossed two books off my list this month but they were both SO GOOD. Both were for Book Club - one was a book they read before I joined and one was for our next meeting.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield was my first read. I went into this without knowing a thing about it. I DO NOT read the backs of books. I know, that's a little bit weird but I don't want to risk knowing too much about a book. Usually, like this one, if it's recommended to me, I'll read it regardless. Otherwise, I just read books in series I've enjoyed or books that I keep hearing about over and over. This book was given to me by a friend and let me tell you - it was weird. I could not figure out what was going on, but I also could not put it down!

The story is told by a narrator, Margaret Lea, who is the daughter of a bookstore owner. She is tracked down by an author named Vida Winter, who is notorious for being coy about her past. She finds Margaret and convinces her to write her biography before she dies. Ms. Winter begins telling her story but Margaret winds up having to spend some time tracking down the truth. She meets people along the way who know more about Ms. Winter's life and we wind up in a strange, twisted story of a family. The story she tells us is about her grandparents, her mother, her uncle, her twin sister, and the people that have raised them. I can't tell much more than that because then it gets confusing until the end sets it all in place, but I'll say again that I couldn't put the book down! I really, really liked it, but I finished and felt like I needed to re-read it, now that I knew all of the pieces! So good! I really enjoyed it! (It was really different than a lot of the books I read!)

The second book I read was Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. This has moved up to one of my very favorite books. This, too, was so good - but in a very different way.

The story is set in France and goes back and forth between 1942 and present day. The story in 1942 is told through the eyes of a little girl named Sarah, whose Jewish family has been taken in one of the roundups that the French police were responsible for during the Holocaust. Sarah, along with her mother and father, are taken away from Paris to various camps on the way to Auschwitz. Unfortunately, because she didn't know what was happening, Sarah has locked her little brother in a hidden cupboard to keep him safe and she later realizes that they'll never be going back to get him. She makes it her mission to escape and return to him.

The present day story is told through the eyes of forty-five year old Julia, an American who has lived in Paris for all of her adult life. She is a journalist and is given the assignment to cover a story about the 60th anniversary of the Vel d'Hiv roundup. She becomes obsessed when she learns that her husband's family owns an apartment that they obtained after a Jewish family was taken. She makes it her mission to uncover the truth about the apartment, the family, and her husband's family.

This book was phenomenal. Again, another one I just couldn't put down. It is sad, but it is SO worth it. Excellent, excellent, excellent! I cannot say enough about how great this book is.

In case you're curious, here are the results of my summer reading list:

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
2. Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad
3. The Potty Boot Camp by Suzanne Riffel.
4. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.
5. Inconceivable by Carolyn and Sean Savage.
6. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.
7. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly.
8. Heaven is for Real by Thomas Nelson.
9. What Southern Women Know about Faith by Ronda Rich.
10. Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson.
11. Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman.
12. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
13. Room by Emma Donoghue.
14. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
15. The Shack by William P. Young.
16. Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls.
17. Georgia Bottoms by Mark Childress.
18. Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal.
19. Bossypants by Tina Fey.
20. The Toddler Years by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Murkoff, and Sandee Hathaway.
21. Rules of Vengeance by Christopher Reich.
22. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson.
23. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
24. London Bridges by James Patterson
25. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
26. The Soloist by Steve Lopez.
27. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.
28. Potty Training Boys the Easy Way by Caroline Fertleman and Simone Cave.

So I've read 10 of 28 but I'm working on or will begin 4 more of those this month.

What are you reading?

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Oh no. I haven't started Sarah's Key and I don't know if I can handle all that sadness!!!