I've read so many books about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust that I couldn't imagine this classic would be able to stand out in its tale of horror. AfI've read so many books about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust that I couldn't imagine this classic would be able to stand out in its tale of horror. After all, it was written in 1956, leaving little time passed for historical perspective. But in truth, the immediacy of Wiesel's story and the rawness of his experience did not need the benefit of historical perspective to convey what he was determined could never be forgotten. Such a powerful story told in such a small book told through the voice of his sixteen-year-old self. His mastery of showing the horror that ordinary words came to convey ("selection," "chimney") was phenomenal.
The audio version I listened to was followed by the text of his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is very worth looking up to read in its own right....more
I usually like dual time period novels, but this one didn't appeal to me as much as I thought it would. I think maybe a ghost and a reincarnation themI usually like dual time period novels, but this one didn't appeal to me as much as I thought it would. I think maybe a ghost and a reincarnation theme that was a little too pat detracted from the interest that was built around the medieval castle and manor house in England. I did enjoy the part of the story that centered around Laura's love for Bannock Manor in the Cotswolds and her plans and efforts to fix it up. I didn't like the element of the creepy guy that trapped her in the secret chamber - his story was just not successfully integrated into the rest of the book and seemed almost just a way to facilitate Laura's findings in the chamber....more
My main thought after reading this book was that I absolutely had to get back to Paris, find the Rue des Martyrs, roam in and out of every shop, eat tMy main thought after reading this book was that I absolutely had to get back to Paris, find the Rue des Martyrs, roam in and out of every shop, eat the wonderful produce, cheese, bread and pastries, and meet these fantastic shopkeeper characters - just experience it the way American journalist Elaine Sciolino describes it in this little escape of a book. I loved the time I spent there while listening to the book....more
I'm definitely not a diamonds kind of person. My first thought was that a story about 13 women who are the kind of people who would agree to purchaseI'm definitely not a diamonds kind of person. My first thought was that a story about 13 women who are the kind of people who would agree to purchase an expensive diamond necklace would not really be my kind of book. But the real story here is what cooperatively owning such an extravagant and elegant piece of jewelry did for each of the women and for many of the people that their lives touched. It was a sociological/political experiment of sorts that slowly evolved into finding ways to use the necklace to affect the lives of people in their community. The necklace ('Jewelia") brings a day of joy to many outside the circle of 13, headlines fundraising events, and becomes the catalyst for changes in each woman as well as in the dynamics of the group as a whole. It was an engaging read and another illustration for me of the power and positivity of female friendships....more
What is the hold this series has on me? I literally can hardly wait for each new book. I love these Irish murder squad detectives, with their dogged tWhat is the hold this series has on me? I literally can hardly wait for each new book. I love these Irish murder squad detectives, with their dogged tenacity, their squad room squabbles, their tight ties to their partners. Tana French captures their world, their language (why does foul language sound so "charming" when expressed in Irish slang?), their cagy investigative and interview techniques. Antoinette Conway returns in this installment - she's tough, she's abrasive, she's paranoid, and has a huge chip on her shoulder... but she is GOOD at her job. Fighting the male dominated murder squad, her own demons, and the temptation to accept the obvious solution to the death of a beautiful young woman, Antoinette is one of the best fictional detectives ever! The characters are the focus of these stories and the interview scenes in this book are some of the best I've read.
I wish I hadn't discovered this series when the first book came out in 2008 - the wait is too agonizing between installments. I'd love to have experienced these in one big binge reading session! I think I would probably end up accepting that they are all 5-star books for me instead of the 4's I've been giving them. I'll start with this one - just because I know I love this author! And the audio versions are perfection!...more
This is written by a local San Diego author who attended my bookclub to talk to us about her book. Hearing her gave me an appreciation for the book thThis is written by a local San Diego author who attended my bookclub to talk to us about her book. Hearing her gave me an appreciation for the book that I didn't have while reading it, but didn't rescue the book for me. It was interesting that she based her novel on a true cold case involving a young boy's death in 1933 San Diego. In her novel, when the case is reopened in 1990, it is officially classified as an accidental death by forensic detectives in spite of autopsy findings in 1933 that clearly pointed to other conclusions. A young reporter smells something fishy and undertakes an investigation. One of the frustrations about the book for me was that the author chose to make it a novel instead of nonfiction, yet chose not to provide any clear conclusion. I have an easier time accepting that in nonfiction works, but it seemed unsatisfying in a work of fiction. She offered many innuendoes of high-level cover-ups, links to border smuggling, and even told our bookclub about threats she received for writing about this (insinuating that there were still powerful people alive who do not want the truth told to this day).
The historical setting was interesting because I live in San Diego and liked getting glimpses of what the area was like in the 30's However, I didn't connect with the characters and didn't find it a very satisfying read....more