Friday, November 21, 2014

Lost in Shangri-La - Mitchell Zuckoff

Wow, what an amazing story this book tells - and it's all true! This suspenseful story of a plane crash and subsequent rescue effort mounted during World War II on what is now New Guinea is equally horrifying and inspirational, but is above all gripping. The author tracked down a treasure trove of photographs and first-person accounts of the events, including diary entries made by the people involved at the time. What an amazing story. Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Attachments - Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is an author I feel like I see a lot on book blogs, so I decided I should check her out. I'm glad I did, this was an enjoyable, light, fast read. Looking forward to reading her other books.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Krabat - Otfried Preussler

Another book I couldn't resist on NetGalley. This was a really enjoyable fairy tale/fable/fantasy that was originally published in 1971. It's based on a Wendish legend, which explains the Slavic-sounding character names. There was a clarity and a simplicity to the writing that reminded me of books I read when I was a kid - the story is straightforward and told well but there is still a lot of mysteries to discover and solve. Recommended.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Billy Bones: Tales from the Secrets Closet - Christopher Lincoln

This book has a cute skeleton illustration on the cover, so I couldn't resist it on a recent trip to the library (don't ask). I love skeletons, skulls, and bones so the concept - a skeleton family that keep secrets in a mansion - was irresistible. The story was fun and I have to make a special mention of the illustrations by Avi Ofer - they were charming and added a lot to my enjoyment of the book. Apparently there is a sequel that I can look forward to reading; I'll have to add it to my list. This was a creative, enjoyable book for young readers. Recommended.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Child's Past Life - Cai Jun

If I had to describe this book in one word, I would have to use the word "spellbinding." It's part ghost story, part revenge tale, part (non-traditional) love story, part murder mystery, and I was absolutely captivated from the first page. The plot is an intricate puzzle that explores the concept of karma and consequences while weaving a supernatural tale that is melancholy and yet hopeful at the same time. Highly recommended.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Am Sophie Tucker - Susan Ecker, Lloyd Ecker

I love entertainment from the first part of the 20th Century, and am therefore familiar with Sophie Tucker's music, so when this biographical novel popped up on NetGalley I was excited to read it and hoping it would be great.

In fact, it wasn't great - it was fantastic! I couldn't put this book down. I feel like I spent the day with Sophie Tucker. Although this is technically a novel, it's a fictionalized biography and is full of anecdotes about other famous people and great photos. The writing style is breezy and enjoyable and I laughed out loud more than once while reading. Even if you are not familiar with Sophie Tucker or her music, you will love her by the time you finish this book. Highly recommended.

C.O.W.L. Volume I: Principles of Power - Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, Rod Reis

I really enjoyed this stylish graphic novel. There are some seriously breathtaking images in this book. The  story was compelling and raised some interesting points about how a society always seems to need enemies, and will happily invent some if necessary. I liked how the authors showed the down side of being a female celebrity in this era (the book takes place in 1962) - which isn't all that different than being a female celebrity in 2014, sadly. I'm very curious to find out what happens next. Highly recommended.