All the Light We Cannot See
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From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).
This book as many people said had a unique point of view telling the story of two children growing up in world war II. We see the story of a blind girl in France and a boy in German who goes to a Nazis school to train boys to be soldiers. Marie Laure, and her father flee Paris after the German occupation to live with her granduncle who is a little crazy (he has PTSD). While Werner the German boy goes to a German school for sceince where is also trained for war. He is brilliant at math and works with the Germans to take out people that have illegal radios by triangulating their location. Eventually the two timelines collide when Werner is sent to the same town that Marie Laure is staying in.
This book is complimented time and time again for it's rich descriptions. I do agree that it had some wonderful descriptions. Doerr's descriptions were very vivid and kept your grounded. But I found it difficult to keep engaged. This was my second attempt at reading this book this year, so at times I was bored because I knew what was going to happen. But at others there just wasn't enough going on. It is ironic that I should feel this way because Doerr chopped up the narrative and inserted it back into the text out of order, so you are always wondering how did the characters get to this point? But for me that wasn't enough to grip me.
Overall I found the accuracy to be correct for aspects of history. Overall did enjoy reading it but it was not my favorite book by far. This book may have been to literary for me at this time, but I did want to get through it, which is why I picked it up again. Which says something about it. If you are a fan of at times dense literary reading, or historical fiction I think that you would enjoy this book. Many other people have really enjoyed this book. So, maybe you will too.
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by Kristin Hannah
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 440 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by St. Martin's Press
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Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.
As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
It is no new fact that I am a history buff. I took every available history class in high school and am still facinated by it today. So it is no surprise that I am drawn to historical fiction. However for some reason I have always strayed away from stories revolving around World War II. I have been in shows set in World War II, met jewish survivors, and studied it extensivily in school. However when it comes to reading it I have always shied away. This book has changed that sort of fear for me.
I think I have been uncomfortable with how painful that time was for people. This book didn't dispell that feeling for me, but it made me understand the pain in a new sense.
This book follows two sisters Vianne and Isabelle, as they do what they think is best for themselves, their family, and for France in a Nazi occupied world. Vianne while quieter, more introverted and with a daughter to look after is a more subtle rebel has the danger of a Nazi Captain living in her home. Isabelle is more open and clearly against the Nazis and decides to leave after a time for she knows her actions endangers the family. These to very different women embodied a showed me a different side of the war, it showed how easily people fell under the thumb of the Nazi's and felt crushed. It showed how people turned on each other and how people supported each other. It showed hate and love to their extreme. This was a war of fear and courage.
At times the attention to detail had me questioning whether or not this was based on a true story or if this was just amazing fiction. After some research I found this interview with the author:
In a note to readers, you said you were inspired to write this book after doing some research on World War II, and you mentioned one story in particular that captivated you: the story of a Belgian woman who created an escape route out of Nazi-occupied France. Can you tell readers a little more about the genesis of this book and about that original story?
Kristin Hannah: The idea for this novel came to me several years ago, when I was researching another of my books, Winter Garden, which was set in Russia during World War II. While reading women’s war stories, I came across the true story of a 19-year-old Belgian woman who created an escape route out of Nazi-occupied France. Her name was Andrée De Jongh and her story — one of heroism and loss and unbridled courage — inspired me to write The Nightingale.
Obviously I couldn’t use this research in my Russian novel, but from that moment on, I was hooked. Her story was magnificent, mesmerizing, and perhaps most importantly, I hadn’t read about it before. As a bona fide World War II buff, I had read countless novels set during the war, and yet I had never read this particular story; I didn’t know that downed airmen had hiked over the frozen peaks of the Pyrenees Mountains in boots that didn’t fit, in coats that were too small, with both German and Spanish patrols searching for them. I didn’t know about the ordinary French and Basque citizens who risked their lives to help the Allied soldiers on this dangerous, arduous journey. As I delved deeper into the research, I discovered a wealth of stories that spoke to me on a profound level. Quite simply, the heroism of the women of the French Resistance captured my imagination. For years, I collected their stories, read their accounts. Then I tossed the magic words into the mix — what if — and I was off and running.
So while it isn't quite true it does have a basis in face, which is a fact I love about historical fiction. I say that if you want an amazing book, that may give you a book hang over, that will make you cry. That will have scenes that will stick with you for a very long time. Pick up The Nightingale. It is an easy 5 stars.
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"I am a mother and mothers don’t have the luxury of falling apart in front of their children, even when they are afraid, even when their children are adults."
Waterfall (River of Time #1)
by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Paperback, 369 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by David C. Cook
Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaelogist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds...until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
Suddenly Gabi's summer in Italy is much, much more interesting.
I first read this when I was in high school. I want to say about 10th grade. I have to admit I liked it more as a 10th grader then I did now. I found the characters to be sort of flat. The main characters main goal is to get home from medieval Tuscany. But she gets caught up in all of the wonders of the time. Those wonders mainly being Marcello. She doesn't really care about anything but him and her sister who is missing for most of the book.
I felt that Gabi's character had to many convenient skills, such as: knowing how to fight IE Fencing, basic herbal medicine and how to speak medieval Italian because she read Dante's Inferno. While if one of those things were to happen I feel like I would be okay with it. But all of them? Not to mention that her sister was an acclaimed archer. To many coincidences for my taste.
Another issue I found with it was the instalove. As soon as Gabi falls into the past, she sees Marcello and instantly fell in love with the gorgeous italian man.
So what did I appreciate? I liked the fact that Bergren did quite a bit of research into the times before writing and kept with the historical contexts throughout the book. I loved the details about the castles and about all of dresses and servants. So for me it gathered 3 stars. It wasn't the worst thing, but it wasn't the best either.
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The Race (Book #4 Issac Bell)
By Clive Cussler
Kindle Edition, 369 pages
Published (first published September 6th 2011)
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It is 1910, the age of flying machines is still in its infancy, and newspaper publisher Preston Whiteway is offering $50,000 for the first daring aviator to cross America in less than fifty days. He is even sponsoring one of the prime candidates-an intrepid woman named Josephine Frost-and that's where Bell, chief investigator for the Van Dorn Detective Agency, comes in.
Frost's violent-tempered husband has just killed her lover and tried to kill her, and he is bound to make another attempt. Bell has tangled with Harry Frost before; he knows that the man has made his millions leading gangs of thieves, murderers, and thugs in every city across the country. He also knows that Frost won't be only after his wife, but after Whiteway as well. And if Bell takes the case . . . Frost will be after him, too.
As with most books written by Clive Cussler, I never really knew I had an interest in planes and how they worked but I found myself very intrigued in the descriptions of the mechanics of the machines.
The plot follows the race set up by Preston Whiteway, who we have seen before, Marion works for him making moving pictures. Whiteway wants to create a central hub for his newspapers so he creates the cross country race for airplanes. He chose to have a plucky tom boy named Josephine Frost as his sponsored underdog.
However Josephine has a past. She is married to Henry Frost, a man who Issac Bell tried to get once before when he was an apprentice for the Van Dorn Detective Agency. But just before the race Frost shoots Marco Celere, Josephine's boyfriend and goes on the run. Because of this, Mr. Preston Whiteway hires almost the entirety of the Van Dorn Agency to protect the members of the race. Specifically Josephine.
This book was fairly interesting, I found the plot line sort of predicable but the details were cool. As I said above Clive Cussler really knows how to pay attention to detail. His individual knowledge was clear but I didn't feel like it was like to much exposition. However as I felt like it was really predictable and kinda just ended. I was not impressed with with the ending at all. It happened really fast and just felt really convenient to me.
I would suggest this book to anyone who really likes the details of the planes or the time period. But again just ignore that plot and that ending.
Thanks for checking in with me. Check back next Monday for A Court of Mist and Fury (Book #2 ACOTAR) By Sarah J. Maas
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The Spy by Clive Cussler
Hardcover, 436 pages
Audiobook 10 Hours
Published June 1st 2010 by G.P.Putnam's Sons
It is 1908, and international tensions are mounting as the world plunges toward war. When a brilliant American battleship gun designer dies in a sensational apparent suicide, the man's grief-stricken daughter turns to the legendary Van Dorn Detective Agency to clear her father's name. Van Dorn puts his chief investigator on the case, and Isaac Bell soon realizes that the clues point not to suicide but to murder. And when more suspicious deaths follow, it becomes clear that someone-an elusive spy-is orchestrating the destruction of America's brightest technological minds... and the murders all connect to a top- secret project called Hull 44.
But that is just the beginning. As the intrigue deepens, Bell will find himself pitted against German, Japanese, and British spies, in a mission that encompasses dreadnought battleships, Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet, Chinatown, Hell's Kitchen, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Isaac Bell has certainly faced perilous situations before, but this time it is more than the future of his country that's at stake- it's the fate of the world.
I loved this book, it was everything that I loved from a detective fiction. I read quite a bit of detective fiction, and a lot of Clive Cussler so at times I could guess where the story would go but I wasn't dissapointed by it. It is kinda a challege for me to figure it out. I'm just weird like that.
This is a book that dabbles in gangs, a new interest for me. I never thought that gangs and mob politics would be interesting to me. Watching the groups working together and against each other, along with Bell was really cool. Any books you would suggest I would love.
I really liked the pacing of this book, it felt fast but was not like I was rushed, I felt swept away by the story into the world of 1908 I loved the build up and the way that we found out who the people we wanted to arrest with Bell was interesting, I found it kinda funny but also terrifying that they kept popping up. I was waiting for them to lash out.
I did feel this book for me was more about the plot than the charecters. I really enjoyed the themes in this one.
I definitly would recomend this book to a friend, but one who likes historical books, because like most of Clive Cusslers books, they can be "bogged down" with the history. I don't mind but I know people that really don't like his books because of it.
What are you reading this week?
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This week has been a very busy week for me writing wise. As you may already know, I have been actively going over my first draft of The Frituals. But I also have another book that I have had done for a while. About two years. I have done some things I regret it, which I won't get into too much right now but if you want to hear more about the publishing (or lack of) that I have done with Silver Manor, I have been thinking of doing a series of post on it.
So I have two books almost 3 in the works right now. Silver Manor has gone out to Beta readers: 2 I found on Goodreads and one is a family friend and former teacher of mine. Thanks, Peggy <3 I am still looking for a few more Beta's so if you would like to help with that there will be a thing at the bottom of this post.
The Frituals is all editing right now. I have been reading it, and fixing grammar, finding out where I need to expand chapters and fill plot holes. Yesterday I posted this photo:
I started writing out the chapter number, and details of that chapter, You can kinda tell that some of the cards are different colors. That is because I have multiple points of view in this book, so this way I can see where I need to focus more.
Jamie: Light Green
Paulo: Dark Green
For example, in part one there are twelve chapters, the characters we see are Shauna, Taytra, and Jamie. Shauna is the main character, so it makes sense that we read from her POV the most. Shauna has 8/12 Taytra has 3/12, and Jamie has 1/12.
I plan on continuing this process this week mapping out the rest of this book before going back in and editing it. If you want to start reading to get a taste of it, the first three chapters have been posted to Wattpad.
I also will need to go back in and start planning for the second half of my second book in this series.
My goal is that this first book will be available for beta reading by May. Keep checking back here for updates and future application for that!
Thanks for reading,
If you have any questions about this outlining style you can tweet me at @scripturienting
or I suggest checking out Vivien Reis's Video
How to Outline your Novel- The Storyboard- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3XmqvUmVn0
Or ShaelinWrites Video
How to Outline Your Novel
Both of these writers/ YouTubers have a ton of writing knowledge, and I have enjoyed watching their videos lately.
The Wrecker (Isaac Bell #2)by Clive Cussler, Justin Scott
Hardcover, 470 pages
Audio: 5 hours
Published November 17th 2009 by Putnam Adult
Good Read Summary:
In The Chase, Clive Cussler introduced an electrifying new hero, the tall, lean, no-nonsense detective Isaac Bell, who, driven by his sense of justice, travels early-twentieth-century America pursuing thieves and killers . . . and sometimes criminals much worse.
It is 1907, a year of financial panic and labor unrest. Train wrecks, fires, and explosions sabotage the Southern Pacific Railroad's Cascades express line and, desperate, the railroad hires the fabled Van Dorn Detective Agency. Van Dorn sends in his best man, and Bell quickly discovers that a mysterious saboteur haunts the hobo jungles of the West, a man known as the Wrecker, who recruits accomplices from the down-and-out to attack the railroad, and then kills them afterward. The Wrecker traverses the vast spaces of the American West as if he had wings, striking wherever he pleases, causing untold damage and loss of human life. Who is he? What does he want? Is he a striker? An anarchist? A revolutionary determined to displace the 'privileged few'? A criminal mastermind engineering some as yet unexplained scheme?
Whoever he is, whatever his motives, the Wrecker knows how to create maximum havoc, and Bell senses that he is far from done; that, in fact, the Wrecker is building up to a grand act unlike anything he has committed before. If Bell doesn't stop him in time, more than a railroad could be at risk; it could be the future of the entire country.
Filled with intricate plotting and dazzling set pieces, The Wrecker is one of the most entertaining thrillers in years.
I didn't like this one as much as the first one. I like the charecters and the development from the first book. However I wasn't as impressed by the plot. I felt it wasn't as complicated and suprising as the first one. So for me it just wasn't as fast paced and interesting.
Having looked into it more I realized that I listened to the abridged audio book which is why I felt it wasn't as complicated (WHY DO ABRIDGED BOOKS EXIST) so at this point I feel I can't give it an adequate review since it was 5 hours shorted than it should have been!
Sorry Clive I love you and your books I have since learned my lesson to check and make sure that they are full.
It is the time of the month where we go over what I have been reading and how those books were rated in my mind.
This month was my first month as a book blogger and I got through quite a few books. I am pretty happy with this number. Seven books is really good for me. Sadly I wasn't able to compleate my goodreads goal. As I write this post on Wednesday I have read 57 of my 75 book goal for the year so I got 76% of my goal. I go through periods of time where I read a lot, or a read very little. A lot of my reading is done by listening to audiobooks. My dad got me hooked when I was young. But anyway the majority of the books on my lists will most likely normally be books I listened to, but hey who doesn't like story time right?
This month my ratings had an average of 4.2 with a small issue you will see with the latest book I read which would have brought that rating down to a 4. But because of said issue, with the audiobook. Any way, how did you do on your goodreads goal? Did you complete it? What is on your to be read list for January? I can't wait to hear from all of you
The Crown- Kiera Cass
The first book I read this month was The Crown by Kiera Cass, as I said in the review. I loved the first three books in the Selection series but I wasn't a fan of the books focusing on Edlyn.
Full Review >
The House of Hades
A lover of words, reading and writing.