Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas

The author and her family moved to the US from Iran when she was seven years old. Each chapter tells a funny story about their adjustment. We get to know her family and what it was like for them to move here.

Each of the chapters could stand alone as its own essay, so this is a good book to pick up every once in awhile and read a chapter. I wish that it felt more cohesive, but the stories were funny. I think I would have liked at least a dash of more seriousness though when it came to their transition here because it wasn't all fun.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day by Cornelius Ryan

I have an upcoming trip to France, and one of the places I'll visit is Normandy. In preparation for the D-Day tour I've signed up for, I wanted to learn more about just what happened on June 6, 1944.

On Amazon, this book was the highest ranked book about D-Day, so I picked it up. It covers 24 hours and what was going on for both sides.

Wow, this book had me thinking about D-Day all week. Riveting, informative, fascinating, and sobering. And, very readable.

I learned a ton of new things, and I am even more excited about visiting Normandy than I was when I signed up for the tour. In fact, I am inspired to read some more about D-Day and about WWII in preparation for my trip.

Recommended if you're interested in WWII, or even if you're just up for learning something new.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Same Kind of Different As Me: A modern-day slave, an international art dealer, and the unlikely woman who bound them together by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Ron and his wife, Deborah, were a wealthy couple living in Texas. Deborah wanted to volunteer every Tuesday night at a homeless shelter, and Ron, committed to re-building his relationship with his wife, agreed. There, they meet Denver, a homeless man that everyone stayed away from. Yes, an unlikely friendship ensues and they are all changed for the better.

A true story, one that had me with tears streaming down my face. Luckily, my head was on a towel, so that’s good when tears are dripping down and I want to keep reading.

Recommended, especially if you need some renewed hope in goodness and redemption.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Henrietta Lacks was a black woman who died in the 1950s from cervical cancer. Her doctor took a cell sample from her (without her or her family’s permission) and those cells have been used again and again in tons of scientific research, and are still alive and around today.

This is a non-fiction book that was interesting at times, and boring to me at others (especially the Afterward section about informed consent and ethics). But I don’t think I’m naturally that into scientific reporting/investigation, so it’s good for me to read something different every once in awhile.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

A memoir written by a former New York Times restaurant critic. She uses different disguises so that she won't be recognized when she's out at a restaurant. It's amazing how different the service is depending on her disguise vs. the excellent service and special attention she gets when she is recognized.

Funny and entertaining, but I can't give it a whole-hearted recommendation because I did find myself skimming some of the paragraphs.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

A story of four women in the same family. I love generational stories and in this one, pieces are filled in throughout that complete the puzzle of what happened and why each lady is how she is.

This book might be considered "chic lit" but the writing is excellent. I read some of the dialogue twice because it was perfect.

Recommended for your next vacation/plane trip/day off.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I received a Christmas newsletter from a family and they each listed their favorite book of the year. This was the mom's pick.

It's about a girl, her foster parents, her best friend, Nazi Germany, and the importance of words. A unique thing about this book is that the narrator of the story is Death.

A very original book with great characters I came to love.