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View Full Version : MOMS' BOOK THREAD: Week 5 of 2012



Stacia
01-29-2012, 09:03 PM
What reading goodies can you share with us this week? :)

I recently have fallen in love with books published by Europa editions (http://www.europaeditions.com/). I'm currently reading two of their books: Broken Glass Park (http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Glass-Park-Alina-Bronsky/dp/1933372966/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327866440&sr=1-1) by Alina Bronsky and Hygiene and the Assassin (http://www.amazon.com/Hygiene-Assassin-Amelie-Nothomb/dp/193337277X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327866293&sr=1-1) by Amelie Nothomb.

Broken Glass Park/review from Booklist:

"Growing up in a rough city neighborhood in Germany, Sacha, 17, is a brilliant student, the only Russian immigrant in her elite Catholic high school. But everything is on hold when her brutal stepfather murders her mother. Sacha’s obsession is to kill him, in prison or out, even as she nurtures her little brother and sister in the violent projects. A lot happens in this first novel, but more than the fast plot, it is the striking narrative voice that will grab readers. Translated from the German, the present-tense narrative nails the contemporary teen voice—wry, furious, hilarious, heartbreaking, “wired but wrecked at the same time.” Rooted in the immigrant experience (struggling with a new language, forgetting the old one), the coming-of-age story is universal. When a guy threatens to make Sacha’s life a living hell, she says, “Too late; it already is.” Yes, she hates men, and maybe she hates women, too. Her anger makes you laugh and cry."
Hygiene and the Assassin/review from Publisher's Weekly:

"Written nearly two decades ago, this is the first novel of the award-winning Nothomb to be translated into English (beautifully so, by Alison Anderson). The shocking, morbid tale follows Prétextat Tach, a brilliant Nobel Prize–winning author who's also an obese, embittered, reclusive, racist, and sexist old man dying of a rare form of cancer. When the world learns Tach has only months left to live, journalists scramble for an interview. Five are selected, and the first four leave their interviews humiliated by the offensive author. But then the fifth journalist arrives. Unlike the others, Nina has not only read Tach's work but also investigated his life, discovering appalling secrets the author had thought were buried forever. As Nina slowly peels Tach's life apart in front of him, his hatred for her turns to respect. Nina's arrival obliterates the book's languid pacing, bringing much more than a strong-willed persona to the proceedings. Her startling revelations lead to a dramatic and unexpected ending that illuminates why the world, if not always its English-speaking inhabitants, loves Nothomb."

My Goodreads Page (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3917029-stacia)

Michele
01-29-2012, 09:07 PM
I really enjoyed my reading last week. Apparently, I'm only able to read "fluffy" these days. Sigh. At least I'm reading I guess. I read two books. The first was Once Upon a Time There Was You by Elizabeth Berg. I also read The Best Part of Me by Nicholas Sparks. I have a pile of books that have been recommended by a friend and my oldest dd. I think that I'm going to read them next. Happy Reading!!!!

Shauna
01-29-2012, 10:24 PM
Finishing Graceling, which I really like. It reminds me of Suzanne Collins' Gregor the Overlander series in some ways.

Next up is Daisy Goodwin's American Heiress, a book I've seen recommended for Downton Abbey fans (which I am).

Kendra AU
01-30-2012, 12:30 AM
Still listening to Crunch Time.. still disliking the language that is thrown in from time to time.

Reading Finding God in Harry Potter. Not a great read thus far. Too theological for my taste. :lol:

Negin
01-30-2012, 02:43 AM
Stacia, that picture just makes me happy. :) :clap:

Broken Glass Park looks really good. Added it to my wish list. :cool:

Yesterday, I finished and loved Fall of Giants (http://www.amazon.com/Fall-Giants-Book-Century-Trilogy/dp/0451232577/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327912879&sr=8-1). I can't wait till the other two books are published. I've enjoyed most of Ken Follett, pretty much all of them, since my teens or early 20s.

I just started (but so far am not that impressed) - One for The Money (http://www.amazon.com/Money-Movie-Tie--Stephanie-Novels/dp/0312600739/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327912907&sr=1-1).

http://cache0.bookdepository.com/assets/images/book/medium/9780/2307/9780230749375.jpg http://cache0.bookdepository.com/assets/images/book/medium/9780/1402/9780140252927.jpg

JuliaT
01-30-2012, 07:11 AM
I finished "Still Life" by Louis Penny (loved it!--a well written mystery) and am now reading "What the Dog Saw" by Malcolm Gladwell. I have never thought of myself as a Malcolm Gladwell reader as I consider him to be a business writer But he really just writes stories about people. I love reading about the story behind the story. Right now I am reading about the Enron affair and I am amazed at how much I am understanding and enjoying the story behind this whole mess.

Rebe
01-30-2012, 08:31 AM
Negin, I have Pillars of the Earth and World Without End waiting for me on my shelf. I've read Pillars and loved it, but will have to reread it before the sequel ... they're both so huge I haven't had the courage to start them yet!

Julia, I haven't heard of that Malcolm Gladwell book. I liked his other ones.

I read Tell No One by Harlan Coben last week. Definitely a page-turner, a thriller you don't want to put down. A bit grisly in places, but a very twisty, turny plot right up until the end.

Stacia
01-30-2012, 09:08 AM
Broken Glass Park looks really good. Added it to my wish list. :cool:

So far, I am really enjoying it. It's made me laugh & cry already. And, you may want to know... both Nutella AND Harry Potter were just mentioned in the story! :lol:


I read Tell No One by Harlan Coben last week. Definitely a page-turner, a thriller you don't want to put down. A bit grisly in places, but a very twisty, turny plot right up until the end.

I've never read that book, but I really enjoyed the French film of that story (from a few years ago...).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0362225/

Cari
01-30-2012, 09:09 AM
Still working on Directed Verdict by Randy Singer, as well as going through the Organized Simplicity book with the decluttering thread! I should finish Directed Verdict tonight or tomorrow with DD7's piano lesson & softball practice to sit through; not sure after that. I do know I'm reading a lot more since I got my Nook :)!

Cari

KathleenM
01-30-2012, 02:11 PM
I'm reading The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway. I guess I should have expected it to be sad! I'm just cringing at the thought that surely all of these characters can't make it through the story alive (that is a guess, not a spoiler).

This brings back a lot of memories, because the war in the former Yugoslavia happened in the early days of 24 hour news channels, in fact, CNN may have been the only one at the time. It was so fascinating and horrifying to witness their war day by day in such detail. So many of the things in the book are based upon true events.

I still have my copy of Zlata's Diary, written by a young teen during the war. I wonder where she is today? I may do that diary as a read aloud with my kids.

Ok, one quick google search later, and Zlata is living in Dublin, and has done a lot of writing. It sounds like she and her family are doing well. :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zlata_Filipovi%C4%87

ETA: She is even on FB! Sign of the times...

Negin
01-30-2012, 02:26 PM
"What the Dog Saw" by Malcolm Gladwell.
Julia, I really like Malcolm Gladwell. Dh's read this one. I haven't read it yet.

For those who liked Outliers, another great book is Mindset (http://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Success-Carol-Dweck/dp/0345472322/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327954981&sr=8-1). I wish they had kids & young adult versions. She's not as good as a writer as Gladwell. Gladwell is a fabulous writer, but her book is more practical and more hopeful, I think.


Negin, I have Pillars of the Earth and World Without End waiting for me on my shelf. I've read Pillars and loved it, but will have to reread it before the sequel ... they're both so huge I haven't had the courage to start them yet!
I read Tell No One by Harlan Coben last week.
Rebe, you might not need to fully re-read Pillars. If I remember correctly, he does review some of it in World Without End. I preferred Pillars, but WWE was still very good.
Tell No One looks interesting. I've never read Harlan Coben.


So far, I am really enjoying it. It's made me laugh & cry already. And, you may want to know... both Nutella AND Harry Potter were just mentioned in the story!
Oh. My. Goodness. :lol: :roflol: :lol:
Stop! :D

Shauna
01-30-2012, 04:42 PM
I still have my copy of Zlata's Diary, written by a young teen during the war. I wonder where she is today? I may do that diary as a read aloud with my kids.

Ok, one quick google search later, and Zlata is living in Dublin, and has done a lot of writing. It sounds like she and her family are doing well. :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zlata_Filipovi%C4%87

ETA: She is even on FB! Sign of the times...

I read that one when I was an ESL tutor for several families of Bosnian refugees in Boulder. The stories they shared with me were very sad.

Stacia
01-31-2012, 09:01 PM
Today I finished Broken Glass Park (http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Glass-Park-Alina-Bronsky/dp/1933372966/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328044062&sr=1-1) by Alina Bronsky.

Alina Bronsky did a superb job with writing in a teen's point of view. Sascha (the main character) is tough, tender, smart, acid, & painfully realistic. Her story is both heartbreaking & funny as it blows by you at a breakneck pace. (However, there is one point where the pacing changed somewhat & it threw me to the point that I flipped back a couple of pages, thinking I had somehow skipped a page or two....) An unflinching look at an immigrant life lived on the fringe, surviving violent circumstances, moving forward (sometimes backward) in spite of it all....

Broken Glass Park/review from Booklist:

"Growing up in a rough city neighborhood in Germany, Sacha, 17, is a brilliant student, the only Russian immigrant in her elite Catholic high school. But everything is on hold when her brutal stepfather murders her mother. Sacha’s obsession is to kill him, in prison or out, even as she nurtures her little brother and sister in the violent projects. A lot happens in this first novel, but more than the fast plot, it is the striking narrative voice that will grab readers. Translated from the German, the present-tense narrative nails the contemporary teen voice—wry, furious, hilarious, heartbreaking, “wired but wrecked at the same time.” Rooted in the immigrant experience (struggling with a new language, forgetting the old one), the coming-of-age story is universal. When a guy threatens to make Sacha’s life a living hell, she says, “Too late; it already is.” Yes, she hates men, and maybe she hates women, too. Her anger makes you laugh and cry."

My Goodreads Page (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3917029-stacia)

JuliaT
02-01-2012, 06:35 AM
I read Tell No One by Harlan Coben last week. Definitely a page-turner, a thriller you don't want to put down. A bit grisly in places, but a very twisty, turny plot right up until the end.

Rebe, I love Harlan Coben. He is extremely graphic (nasty graphic) but you can always expect a page turner with his books. They are always fast reads.

Rebe
02-01-2012, 07:19 AM
Rebe, I love Harlan Coben. He is extremely graphic (nasty graphic) but you can always expect a page turner with his books. They are always fast reads.

I'd never heard of him before a friend recommended this book. I agree -- definitely a page-turner!

I started William Rawls' Summer of the Monkeys yesterday. I loved Where the Red Fern Grows so I thought I'd read his other book. It would be a great read-aloud with the kids, too.

Stacia
02-01-2012, 05:42 PM
I finished Hygiene and the Assassin (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7945052-hygiene-and-the-assassin) by Amélie Nothomb.

Pretentious repartee. I realize that was a main point of it, the irony of it, but it does not necessarily lead to an enjoyable read, imo. Meh.

Laura F
02-01-2012, 11:19 PM
I took a little vacation last weekend & had plenty of time in the airport and up in the sky to read Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers. Here's a review (http://www.shereads.org/2012/01/book-review-the-language-of-flowers-by-vanessa-diffenbaugh/), if you're interested.

KarenF
02-02-2012, 08:11 AM
oops double post

KarenF
02-02-2012, 08:12 AM
I gave up again on Atlas Shrugged. I need to read it when I am wide awake- and I just haven't made time for that. SOOOOO

I checked out Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I am loving it. I haven't read a fiction book that grips my attention in YEARS. In fact, in the last 6 years I have read 1 fiction book. It's very exciting for me to get back in the world of fiction! :)

Michele
02-02-2012, 04:40 PM
I'm reading Kristin Hannah's Home Front. It's hard for me to attend to the details of life (like school and laundry and and and..) because I'd rather be reading.

Stacia
02-02-2012, 11:12 PM
I've started two more books:

The Raw Shark Texts (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9378352) by Steven Hall

and

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner (http://www.npr.org/2008/01/05/17848293/bliss-follows-globetrotting-grumps-search-for-joy) (reading this for my book club)

They're certainly making an interesting contrast to each other.... :lol:

Negin
02-03-2012, 03:29 AM
Stacia, I like the sound of Raw Shark Texts. :)

Elysa Mac
02-03-2012, 09:59 AM
I'm reading two books right now.

A SCHOOL FOR MY VILLAGE is about an African man who after losing two siblings to HIV/AIDS, works to get a school built in his home village for HIV/AIDS orphans.

FAT CHANCE is by Julie Hadden, a former BIGGEST LOSER contestant. This is more than just a "how to lose weight" book. It is an inspirational look at how she achieved the life that God wanted her to be living when she realized how much God valued her and that half-living was not in His plan. For you BL fans, it gives a lot of "behind the scenes" kind of stuff as well as her personal story and what she wants to share with others who are desiring to make positive changes in their life.

debbie in ak
02-03-2012, 10:54 AM
Mockingjay (third book in the Hunger Games)