Quick Lit: December 2015

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

I had a difficult time reading this book in the printed form.  My sister suggested listening to the audiobook and I fell in love with the characters and really enjoyed the story.  (Sisters are the best!).  It’s a sweet, romantic tale, full of bits of dry humor. Very Austen-esque.

Loved the movie, too!

Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill

Interesting look behind the scenes of the Church of Scientology.  I knew very little about the church before reading this book so I have very little to compare the claims with.  Jenna’s story was both fascinating and disturbing at the same time.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Delightfully creepy and twisty.  I debated a couple of times about whether I should continue reading because the book seemed to be taking a ghost story turn, but I’m really glad I continued on. Despite a few hard-to-read moments, (I’m rather sensitive to scary images) I really enjoyed this story.  As any good mystery does, it contains a surprise around every corner and just enough creepiness to make it a perfect Halloween book for sensitive souls like me.

An Elephant in the Garden by MIchael Morpugo

I read this aloud to my 11 year old daughter and we both loved it.  It’s based on the true story of an elephant keeper in the Dresden, Germany Zoo during the raids there in World War II.  I loved that this story was told from the perspective of a run-of-the-mill German family during that brutal time in history.  It provides insight into the trials they faced as well as the disapproval they felt toward their government and the horrors that were being committed around them.  Simply and beautifully written, and a lovely introduction to the difficult topics of war and racism.  Morpugo is also the author of War Horse, which is an excellent and gentle introduction to the first World War.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

I thought I’d read this book already, but as it turns out, I read Devil at my Heels by Louis Zamperini.  Both books relate the same incredible story, but Laura Hillenbrand’s version is definitely a stronger narrative.  Most everyone has heard of the amazing life of Louis Zamperini and his early life of theft and poverty, his Olympic running career and position of gunner in WWII. When his plane was shot down, he and his companions survived in a life raft (surrounded by sharks) longer than any other person in history. He became a POW who was savagely beaten and starved for years.  He was released and returned home, only to fall victim to post-traumatic stress and alcoholism.  A deeply moving and incredible story about the power of faith and the human spirit.  Read it!  And then watch the movie, it’s pretty incredible in its own right!

Charlotte’s Web

I read this children’s classic with my 7 year old this month.  One of my favorite read-alouds of all time.  I just adore this book!  It’s a classic for a reason.
Head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy to find more excellent book recommendations. 
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