Best books this year

12:41 PM

If you  come look at my 2014 New Year's Resolutions you will see amongst them that I planned to read at least 4 if not 6 books this year. I tried not to put to much pressure on myself (a-hem) so I thought I would go with four. Well, technically I have read four, but two were a bit trashy and easy to read and don't really count to make it on the list. I am hard on myself that way. Trashy is just fr fun, there is no enlightenment in it. But I did get through two very good books which DID enlighten me a bit.

The first was Rena's Promise. A bit heavy, but I couldn't put it down. Not that it was so eloquently written but because it was so well laid out and the memories were so clear. I could see myself there, which was both awesome and scary. Why? Because it was abut two sisters in Auschwitz, some of the few who arrived and ...THEY ACTUALLY SURVIVED FOUR YEARS THERE! I have to admit that I am a bit of a Holocaust addict and have read many stories and memoirs on the subject. I'm not even Jewish. But I used to pretend to be when I was a kid....I know, I'm a dork. But this book was one of the best I'd ever written just because the woman remembered so much about the small details: realizing what the ovens were for, having to jump the trench in order to survive the next two weeks, hauling bricks there just to haul them back again the next day, being told the Germans were winning the war and that the Jews were going to be sold into slavery for the rest of their lives. She talked about her own despair and not trying to show it, how hungry they were, how they still tried to liven up and flirt when they could, how sme were nice to them (as nice as they could be), how they watched a line of children march by them and not being allowed to run to them and hold them. How people became mean and vengeful due to hunger and fear.....I think it was the first time I read about the death camps and actually felt and understood the gravity of the situation because I could feel along with her that she had no idea how long the war would last and if the Germans would win or lose. Years. Four long years. It's cray, cray. I recommend the book. An easy read to really see that side of the war.

                                        

On a lighter note I read Nothing Daunted which was about two New York debutants who took jobs o teach for a year in rural Colorado during 1916. I had no idea that Colorado was that rough just 100 years ago. During the book I kept thinking: my grandparents were born just 6 years later and this is how Colorado still was? New York was a booming town then, Chicago was booming, and Colorado was still the wild west! It was hard to envision things at times, but the author placed quite a few photos in the book, which helped tremendously. I loved wondering about the kids they were teaching, shuttering about the life many of the women had to live and sighing with relief that I wasn't born back then in Colorado. I'm not sure I would do very well. I liked how the author remained unbiased when she wrote about the coal mines, still managing to cast a good light on one of the managers even thought knowing history I wouldn't agree with that man's decisions. But that is the advantage of knowing what will happen in the history to come...
I would recommend the book. It isn't as revitating as a novel, but it is crazy to think about the middle of America being that harsh and rough less than 100 years ago. That's really only four generations ago! I don't know, it really impacted me!

                                        

What have you read this year?

                                                                Mama's Losin' It

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