Archive for March, 2011

Cover of "A Reliable Wife"

Cover of A Reliable Wife

Title: A Reliable Wife

Author: Robert Goolrick

This book was not what I expected it to be. The characters were boring, one-dimensional and unlikable.You think you may get something fresh and witty when you start with an old man with a fortune waiting at a train station waiting on his bride whom he found in the penny saver. The bride (a middle-aged woman) plans to poison him and take his wealth and find a young lover to live out her days with. The old man used her to reconnect with a child his late wife had with her Italian lover.

This book was such a waste of time. I was so glad when it was over.


Title: Sarah’s Key

Cover of "Sarah's Key"

Cover of Sarah's KeyTitle: Sarah's Key

Author: Tatiana de Rosnay


Sarah’s Key is one of the best historical fiction novels I have read where the story takes place in present day but tells the story of a Jewish girl during the French roundup. This novel would be the perfect addition to any avid reader’s book shelf. Full of secrets, lies and a family’s burden Sarah’s Key is sure to leave the reader turning page after page to find out what happens next. I sure was.  The movie looks like it is true to the novel which makes me very happy. Check out the trailer below and feel free to leave a comment!


But Can the Phoenix Sing?

Cover of "But Can the Phoenix Sing?"

Cover of But Can the Phoenix Sing?

Title: But Can the Phoenix Sing?

Author: Christina Laird

This story is told through letters. The letters are from a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto to his step-son. The letters take the reader through the fighting of the resistance in the forests and the friendships and relationships forged through fighting to free the Jews from death.

Christina Laird gives the characters a complexity and qualities that keep you rooting for them until the end.

“We have to make sure our phoenix can sing. Otherwise, what was is all for?” -Misha to Richard (two of the characters in the book)

Cover of "Playing Botticelli"

Cover of Playing Botticelli

Title: Playing Botticelli

Author: Liza Nelson

This story takes place in Florida and takes the reader on a journey as Dylan runs away from home to find the man in a photo she presumes to be her father. Dylan’s mother, Godiva Blue, struggles with the fact her daughter is growing up. On Dylan’s quest she runs into some interesting people who leave her with some precious cargo.

Now you want to know more, don’t you? 🙂

This was a great book and a steal since I bought it for a dollar years ago.  It’s refreshing to find a book that can make you mad one page and relieved the next. When an author can make you think about the alternate world they have created, it makes the world seem a little bit bigger.

“Playing Botticelli is one of those wonderful novels that treat the mother-daughter relationship for what it is: part mine field, part love nest.”                     – Pat Conroy author of Beach Music



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Title: Night

Author: Elie Wiesel


This autobiography tells the life story of Elie starting at age 15 and continues to the liberation at Buchenwald. It was interesting to read in the preface how it took years for publishers to acknowledge that the stories were a part of history.

In 115 pages, I felt the confusion he felt as his life started changing in 1944. Then his fear of the unknown and bitterness towards God as the life he was comfortable in was tossed upside down. I can only imagine the pain followed by numbness he felt after he lost his father. It is hard to imagine he was completely grateful to God after being liberated. I am sure that took time.

For reading it cover to cover in an hour, I still take every word as a gift. It has to be hard for Mr. Wiesel to tell his story and see so vividly every time the pieces he may want to block out.



The Kommandant’s Girl

Cover of "Kommandant's Girl (MIRA)"

Cover of Kommandant's Girl (MIRA)

Book title: The Kommandant’s Girl

Author: Pam Jenoff

This book was given to me when I participated in a secret sister exchange. It has been one of the best gifts I ever received. I love historical fiction especially when it takes place during WWII.

Even though this particular story is fiction it makes me wonder how many people actually were able to lead a double life in the resistance movements to help end the war faster. Emma, the main character, didn’t seem that smart to me at first but she was also only 19. Throughout the book she grows and makes decisions that only seem to complicate her life more. The odds of getting caught were always high and Emma had to be a smooth talker and show no signs of a guilty conscience to survive.

It raises the question of how far would you be willing to go save your family and yourself?