All posts filed under: Books

Book Recommendation of the Week: All The Light We Cannot See

What It’s About: A cursed jewel, a locksmith, a blind girl who traces wooden streets in her room to navigate the real ones. A radio program, a boy and his sister who listen in the dark, an army of boys chasing the weakest, a boy who loves bird. Marie Laure is twelve when the Germans occupy Paris, and with her locksmith father who works at the Museum of Natural History, they flee to Saint-Malo to stay with her Great Uncle. With them they might carry a cursed and coveted jewel. Werner is a gifted German teenager who can build radios and attends a prestigious Hitler Youth school where he loses sight of himself. Werner spends the war tracking down illegal radio broadcasts, which leads him to Saint-Malo. Who Will Love It: Everyone? It’s literary historical fiction, but can be loved by those who don’t usually read from either genre. Humanity is captured so beautifully in this novel that it’s bound to hold mass appeal. Comparisons to The Book Thief are inevitable, not just because of a story of war and …

Book Recommendation of the Week: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

What It’s About: Ari has always been a loner, never letting himself get close to anyone. A Mexican American growing up in El Paso in 1987, he was born after his father returned from Vietnam with a part of him broken. While the war still casts a shadow over Ari’s life, the absence of his older brother does the same, ever since he went to jail twelve years ago. Ari’s brother is never mentioned, and Ari has learnt to take after his parents and never discuss things. Ari is a master at distancing himself from those around him. But when he meets Dante at the local pool, he finds someone he can connect with. Dante is nothing like Ari. He loves his parents and art, reads big books and seems to be able to do anything. To Dante, the world is a great place and he can’t understand Ari’s darkness. Dante is a boy who knows so much and still wants to know more, and would risk his well being just to rescue a bird. Ari …

Book Recommendation of the Week: Code Name Verity & Rose Under Fire

What It’s About: Code Name Verity follows the confessional writings of a young, female captured spy during World War II. Slowly, she weaves together the story of how she got to be in France and everything she knows about the British war effort. Her story starts with her best friend Maddie, a talented female pilot that flew them both into France. Rose Under Fire follows Rose Justice, an American pilot serving under the British. Rose is captured while flying from Paris to England and is sent to a female concentration camp called Ravensbrück. Forced to live with little hope and horrific circumstances, Rose relies on her friendships and her poetry to help her get by. Who Will Love It: People who love historical fiction, fans of books like Between Shades of Gray and anyone who enjoys books about female friendship.  What I Loved: Both books are thoroughly researched, well written and extremely poignant. Code Name Verity is one of my favourite books with two of my favourite characters. The ending is heart wrenching and impossible to forget. Rose Under Fire features poetry and lyrics that add a …

Book Recommendation of the Week: Where Things Come Back

What It’s About: The way Cullen Witter sees it, everyone is looking for someone, at least in the small town of Lily, Arkansas, where he lives. That couldn’t be more true than during the summer Cullen is seventeen, when everyone in town is looking for the Lazarus Woodpecker, which was supposed to be extinct and has allegedly been spotted in Lily. Everyone is obsessed with the woodpecker, because in a town no one can seem to escape from, the Lazarus gives them hope. There are people who are always looking for their destiny and there are people who have lost someone and will always be looking for that person in everyone they meet. Cullen is looking for himself, and just wants to know why he does the hings he does. But everything changes when his younger brother Gabriel goes missing. Suddenly nothing makes sense and the bird that was just an annoyance and maybe the savior of his hometown is now distracting everyone from Gabriel’s disappearance. As the town searches for the woodpecker in a frenzy and …

Book Recommendation of the Week: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

What It’s About: Renée appears to be a typical concierge in a Parisian apartment building of aristocrats. She is widowed, overweight, uneducated, and friendless aside from her cat and a cleaning woman. But in reality Renée puts a great effort into keeping this façade, and is really incredibly intelligent and cultured. She spends her days reading Russian literature, philosophy and admiring art. Living in the same building, Paloma is a twelve-year-old daughter of a government official. Like Renée, she is very interested in Japanese culture. Paloma also hides her intelligence from others and is especially perceptive for a pre-teen. Paloma has decided that she will kill herself on her thirteenth birthday, burning down the building before she dies. When a cultured Japanese man moves into the building, both Paloma and Renée find someone who truly sees them, and helps them see each other. Who Will Love It: Lovers of Paris, Philosophy and literary fiction. What I Loved: It’s well written and thought provoking, with beautiful prose and thoughtful characters.

Book Recommendation of the Week: Eleanor & Park

What It’s About: When Park first meets Eleanor, he thinks she’s just asking for trouble by standing out so much. Eleanor has curly hair that is as red as hair can possibly be, and wears weird men’s clothes. When Eleanor first meets Park, she thinks he’s a weird Asian kid who was stupid enough to go against the rules of the bus by sharing his seat with her. At first, neither will speak to the other. But when they begin to read comics together on the bus, it becomes difficult to stop talking. He gives her The Smiths and she gives him The Beatles. First love is always difficult, but Eleanor’s stepfather is abusive and kicked her out of their home for a year just because she annoyed him. It’s 1986 and amidst mixed tapes and long bus rides, Eleanor and Park each find in the other someone they didn’t believe existed. Eleanor and Park don’t just love each other, they need each other. Who Will Love It: A lot of people fell for this book about …

Book Recommendation of the Week: Prisoner of Night and Fog

What It’s About: Seventeen year old Gretchen Müller lives in 1930’s Munich, when the Great Depression and the rise of the National Socialist Party has brought conflict to the city. Gretchen’s father died years ago protecting Adolf Hitler, who is her honorary uncle. Gretchen is his pet and a good National Socialist girl. But when Gretchen meets Daniel Cohen, a young Jewish reporter, she begins to fear that everything she thought she knew was wrong: not just about the death of her father, but also about everything Hitler has taught her about the world. Together, Daniel and Gretchen make an unlikely, and forbidden, pair while they research what really happened to Gretchen’s father. Who Will Love It: Fans of Code Name Verity and Between Shades of Gray and lovers of historical fiction. What I Loved: It looked at a time period I’m familiar with but from a different point of view. It was well written and suspenseful, while also being incredibly well researched.