Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Surprisingly, I have read over 50 book so far this year.  Here are my favorites (so far):

Sarah's Key, Tatiana de Rosney
This book is set in both current day and World War II.  While researching for an article she is writing, woman tries to find out what happened to Jewish  family who occupied her husband's families apartment prior to their ownership.  She find that the young girl of the family (Sarah) was the only survivor-she finds out how her husband's family and Sarah's are connected. 

The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, Norman Doidge
 I loved this non-fiction book because it shows you how people overcame serious issues with forward-thinking doctors.

Best Easy Day Hikes-Pittsburgh, Bob Frye
 This book  has many great hikes usually 1-3 miles in length in parks in the Pittsburgh area.

Oh My Stars, Lorna Landvik
I think the last paragraph of the Goodreads description says it best: "It is a tale of love and hope, bigotry and betrayal, loss and discovery–as Violet, who’s always considered herself a minor character in her own life story, emerges as a heroine you’ll laugh with, cry with, and, most important, cheer for all the way."

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, The Man Who Would Cure the World, Tracy Kidder
This is the story of a doctor who sees problems in Haiti-and fixes them.  He went to Haiti at 23 and began treating the poorest of the poor.  He has since developed a model health care system and hospital (for the area of Haiti he lives in) and solves many problems simply.  Written before this years earthquake-I would love to know if/how his area was affected and his solutions-truly a great man.

Those Who Save Us, Jenna Blum
Set in World War II  Germany-it's a story of a woman and her struggle to survive in war-torn Germany.  A survivor of the holocaust-from a different angle, a German woman.  She falls in love with a Jewish man-then, pregnant and alone she finds refuge in a bakery-who makes some hard choices and struggles to live with them.

Simon's Cat, Simon Tofield
-This is just a fun book!  A book of cartoons about Simon's Cat of youTube fame. I swear I know a cat just like him!

A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents, Liza Palmer
Grace is leading a good life-great job, house and boyfriend, however, she has a secret-her family. When her father is in the hospital she finally goes home-to face her family and herself.  not quite Chick-Lit...Not quite novel-somewhere in between.
I love another book by this author (Seeing Me Naked) even more!-

Matterhorn: A Vietnam War Novel,  Karl Marlantes
-Definitely a book I would read again. It appears realistic (I say appears because having never been a soldier I can't say 100% for sure).  I am not into war books but this one grabbed me and pulled me through the thick book- I had to stop and read the (very thorough) glossary to make sure I understood at times-but it didn't really hamper the story-or my reading ease. It held my attention all the way through and I reluctantly put it down when I was finished. I wanted to know how it turned out for some characters. It is as much about the soldiers as it is about how war is directed-with the higher ups phoning in orders from safe locations and having no clue what is actually going on in reality.

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
-This book is about a young girl at what at first appears to be some type of boarding school/orphanage...but you eventually find out the truth...Told from the "present" when the main character meets up again with her private school friends.  It's chilling when you, the reader, realize the truth about their lives.  I heard recently this is being made into a movie.

Night of Many Dreams, Gail Tsukiyama
-The fact that I love this book isn't a big surprise to me-she is one of my favorite authors and there are only a couple that are not appealing to me.  this is a coming of age novel set in hong Kong-the story of 2 sisters during and after World War II. 

What are your favorites read (so far) in 2010?

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