Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand – The incredibly true story of Louis Zamperini, sometime hooligan and world-class Olympic runner, who survived an Army Air Force bomber crash in May 1943. Zamperini and two crewmen faced thousands of miles of open ocean, starvation, sharks, a broken raft and enemy aircraft as they drifted across the Pacific. An amazing story of Zamperini’s will to live in the face of cruel hardships, Unbroken is at times amusing and heartbreaking. I learned more about the Pacific Theater of World War II here than I did in any classroom!
Written with such heart and passion, it is a compelling read that will leave you filled with hope and awe. The Greatest Generation, indeed.
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern - The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
The Night Circus is a place of dreams, where two young magicians, Marco and Celia, must duel until only one of them is left standing. The problem? They don’t realize the nature of the contest until it is too late, and they have fallen in love. It is a dangerous game they are forced to play with alarming consequences for the performers and patrons of the Night Circus.
Morgenstern brings the circus to life with rich descriptions of the sights, sounds, smells and tastes within. I so wanted to stay up all night and spend more time with her characters! Escapist entertainment – a great debut novel.
A Dangerous Inheritance, Alison Weir – A tale of two Katherines – Katherine Plantagenet, illegitimate daughter to King Richard III and Katherine Grey, sister to the doomed Lady Jane Grey. Weir ties their sad stories together through the tale of the Princes in the Tower, perhaps England’s most famous unsolved mystery. Katherine Plantagenet longs to know the truth of the tale to clear her father’s name, while Katherine Grey searches for answers even as she is a prisoner herself in the Tower.
The story alternates between each Katherine’s tale, making for a confusing, disjointed read. And while Weir tries to build sympathy for her subjects, I found that I could not come to like them – they were young, foolish girls. For royal historical sagas, I’ll stick to reading Philippa Gregory from now on.
The Vintage Caper, Peter Mayle – When Hollywood big-shot Danny Roth’s priceless wine collection is stolen, there’s only one man to find the truth – Sam Levitt, former con turned consultant. Working with an LA insurance agency on the claim, Levitt travels to Paris and eventually Marseille to get to the bottom of things. Levitt enjoys some wonderful French meals and wine along the way.
Since we figure out who dun it about half way through the book, caper is a good word to describe this romp through the South of France. It is a light read filled with humor and a love of fine wine.
A Letter of Mary, Laurie King – Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes return in their third adventure. When an amateur archaeologist gives Mary an inlaid box from the Holy Land, she is surprised to find it contains a manuscript attributed to Mary Magdalene. But it is when the archaeologist dies in a suspicious traffic accident that Russell and Holmes work together to discover the truth of the scroll. Will the dangers of this case separate the sleuthing duo?
Coming back to Russell and Holmes is bit like curling up on the sofa with a blanket and a glass of wine – it feels like home! King explores the nuances of their relationship in an honest way, and as always, gives the reader a good mystery to solve as well!
For more information on these books or to purchase a copy, please visit my Affiliate Store on Amazon.com.