Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What I Read Wednesday

I only read two books this week! I feel like that can't be right, but I think I was trying to read multiple books at once and then I got distracted and then our furnace broke and I spent a lot of time whining about being cold. So it probably is right.

Three Wishes
Sometimes I just need to read chick lit. This was a good one. It centers on three triplets: Gemma, Lyn and Cat. Gemma is flighty, both in jobs and relationships. Lyn is type-A and focused. Cat is fierce. The novel opens on their 34th birthday, with the three sisters at a restaurant, seemingly enjoying themselves until a fight erupts. Then it flashes back to the year leading up to this event, as everything falls into place. For a debut novel, I thought this was great. It was an easy, fun read and the author did a great job switching between characters and making the voices unique. I was interested in each one and found the story lines believable. This is one of those reads where it's easy to lose yourself in it for awhile! Bonus, the Kindle edition is currently $1.99.

The Berlin Boxing Club
I was without a book the other day and wandered into the Media Center to ask the librarian for a recommendation. She recommended this and when both copies were gone, she brought in her own copy for me to borrow the next day. Good librarians are amazing. I was immediately drawn in. I love historical fiction that takes place during WWII, but what I really liked about this one is that it began shortly before WWII and did an excellent job of detailing the slow, creeping rise of anti-Semitism in Germany. As a reader, you know it's coming, but you can understand why the characters in the book are so slow to believe it: as the Hitler youth uniforms become more prevalent, as Karl Stern--the main character--is beat up at school for being Jewish, then forced to leave school for being Jewish, as his family cowers inside their house during Kristallnacht. It was incredibly believable and very well-written. The story itself was also engaging. Karl is taken on as a boxing protege by famous boxer Max Schmeling and the history intertwines with Karl's boxing and Max's career. I didn't realize until the end that some of this was based on a true story, which made it all the more fascinating. This isn't the lyrically beautiful read that The Book Thief is, but it's still just as good in its own right.

What are you reading?

7 comments:

Barb said...

I enjoyed Berlin Boxing Club too. I appreciated how it told the story of an event you know about but from a slightly different angle.

Goldfinch has been returned to the library for the next lucky reader. And it lived up to the hype, great book. Now I'm on to Apple Tree Yard which grabbed me pretty quickly.

keli [at] kidnapped by suburbia said...

I tried to look up Berlin Boxing Club at the library yesterday, and ours didn't even have it in the system! So I put in a request for them to purchase it. Maybe I'll get to read it in 2017. ;)

Currently reading Crossed, and if I decide to read 2 books at once, I'll start The Rosie Project. But I'm really bad at reading books simultaneously.

Brooke said...

still slogging thru Book Thief. But I've started a fluffy book on the side.

One crazed mommy said...

I'm slowly getting through the Book Thief also - it's a great book, but it's not a quick read for me. Almost, but not quite, halfway done...hoping to finish by next week.
I have a LOT of other books piling up on my bedside table and on my kindle...

InTheFastLane said...

I will have to check out the Berlin Boxing Club... that is right up my alley.

Right now I am reading The Invention of Wings. I like the comparison of how Sarah and Handful are both trapped in their own way. The same, but yet so very very different.

I also like this review of the Invention of wings http://www.npr.org/2014/01/11/260192246/finding-flight-in-the-invention-of-wings in which the reviewer states that she liked to think that she would stand up to evils of history such as slavery or anti-antisemitism during the Holocaust. But, has realized that sometimes the reality of survival is a whole different story than the heroism that we like to think we are capable of.

This book really explores how sometimes survival is ugly, even with the very best of intentions.

Lyndsay said...

The Silver Star - Jeannette Walls (and I'm enjoying it!)

Theresa Mahoney said...

I am amazed that everyone here seems to read more than one book at a time. I just can't do that. My scattered brain just can't switch between the two books without getting things jumbled up. So, it's real hell when I leave the house and forget to bring my current book with me because I refuse to start a new one until the other is finished lol.