Thursday, October 30, 2014


Quite an eclectic list of books for the month of October.

The Necklace:  thirteen women and the experiment that transformed their lives by Cheryl Jarvis
Published 2008

One day in Ventura, California, Jonell McLain saw a beautiful diamond necklace in a jewelry store window and wondered: Why are personal luxuries so plentiful yet accessible to so few? What if we shared what we desired? Several weeks, dozens of phone calls, and one great leap of faith later, Jonell and twelve other women bought the necklace together–to be passed along among them all.

This necklace weaves in and out of each woman’s life, reflecting her past, defining her present, making promises for her future. Lending sparkle in surprising and unexpected ways, the necklace comes to mean something dramatically different to each of the thirteen women. With vastly dissimilar histories and lives, they transcend their individual personalities and politics to join together in an uncommon journey.

If you like sociology as I do, this book is for you.  It is a fast read but because I got sick and my eyes hurt, it took a little longer than it would have otherwise.  I found a recommendation for this book on another blog and I am so glad I took the author up on this.

What a Year by Tomie de Paola
Published 2002

What a Year (26 Fairmount Avenue Series #4)

A new school year starts.  Tomie celebrates his 6th birthday in 1st grade with a cake in his classroom and great gifts.  October comes and Tomie goes trick-or-treating with his brother for the first time.  Then comes Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But Tomie is stranded at home with the chicken pox.  Will he still get to play his part in the pageant?  Finally it's New Year's Eve and lucky Tomie gets to stay up to see the new year in.

Once more Tomie dePaola takes his readers into his childhood with more fun and funny memories.

Joe and I love these books.  Now on to the next one!  I have it ordered and am just waiting for it to show up at work.

Hitler Youth:  Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Published 2005


On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany, thanks largely to the efforts of the Hitler Youth, whose organized propaganda marches throughout Germany helped the Nazi Party grow in strength.  By 1939, it is  estimated that more than seven million boys and girls belonged to the Hitler Youth.

This is the riveting and often chilling tale of a generation of young people who devoted their energy and passion to the Hitler Youth organization and left an indelible mark on world history.

Award-winning author Susan Campbell Bartoletti infuses the work with the voices of both former Hitler Youth members and young people who resisted the powerful Nazi movement.  These voices stand alongside those of Jewish youths and others who were senselessly and brutally targeted by the Third Reich.  What emerges is the story of average children and teenagers faced with extraordinary and unenviable choices.

This book is required reading in the high schools here.  It looked so interesting that both Diane and I wanted to read it but it was always out.  Finally there were several copies on the shelf, so I took one out of the library to read.  It is interesting, frightening, engaging.  I am zooming my way through this one.

Mallory McDonald, Baby Expert by Laurie Friedman
Published 2014

#22 Mallory McDonald, Baby Expert

This is number 22 in the Mallory McDonald series.

There's a new baby on Wish Pond Road, and Mallory has had all the baby talk she can take!  Mallory wants to be excited about Mary Ann and Joey's new brother, Charlie.  But she can't help wondering what life will be like now that there's a baby around.  Whether it's painting the nursery, taking family photos, or attending a baby shower, her friends are so caught up in the excitement of having a new baby brother that Mallory feels like they've forgotten about her.  Is there a bright side to the changes that baby Charlie brings?

I love the Mallory books and have read every one of them from #1 on.  Yeah, OK they are kids' books, but who says adults can't enjoy a children's story now and then.  Besides it's a nice change from the dark story of Hitler and the Nazis.  Like most of the Mallory books, I read this in one day.

Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 true stories of survival by Marcel Prins & Peter Henk Steenhuis
Published 2011

Hidden Like Anne Frank

This is a collection of eye-opening first-person accounts that share what it was really like to go into hiding in the Netherlands during World War II.  Each story is different.  Some children were only three or four years old when they were hidden; some were teenagers.  Some hid with neighbors or relatives, while many were with complete strangers.  But all know the pain of losing their homes, their families, even their own names.  They describe the secret network of brave people who kept them safe.  And they share the coincidences and close escapes that made all the difference.

The stories in this book are often heartbreaking, but they remind us of the strength, the kindness of others, and the courage that it took to survive.

Back to World War II.  But these are stories of hope and survival.  More uplifting than the Hitler Youth book.  And another fast read.

I've already started another book, as you can see from the side bar.  What would I do if I couldn't read?


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