Monday, August 20, 2012

Alias Grace

Still working on this one.  I'm having a hard time getting into it.  My hope is that it will be one of those books that if you just keep plugging away you find yourself involved in the story.  Meanwhile, I've read two YA books!  Keep watching, and you'll hear about both of them eventually.

Between Shades of Gray

A Lithuanian family torn from their home and sent to the Russian Steppes during WWII is the basic story.  I enjoyed reading the book but it was eerily similar the The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig.
Both books describe the horrific treatment of Jews and political prisoners by both Germans and Russians.  Both of the main characters are young girls who are from wealthy families and 'almost' understand what is happening.
Soldiers beat on the door and give the family five minutes to pack what they can. Then they are taken and crammed with other 'criminals' onto waiting cattle cars where they wait. And wait.  The conditions are beyond belief with no provision for any privacy for even the most basic bodily functions.  Eventually the train leaves and they travel days upon days without knowing where they are going.
When the train finally stops they are in the Russian steppes.
Based on true stories, Between Shades of Gray was an educational read. Because I had read the autobiographical The Endless Steppe some of it seemed hauntingly familiar even though one family is Polish and the other Lithuanian.  Both are worth reading.  The Endless Steppe is probably hard to come by these days but if you ever see it, pick it up.  Meanwhile, read Between Shades of Gray and appreciate the country and freedoms you have in America.  I hope we don't forget the past and the lessons we learned.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I enjoyed this book tremendously.  Gillham takes the reader into Berlin during WWII.  Bombings, death, loss of sons, husbands, and brothers are all there.  All the men have been conscripted into the army leaving the city to women and old men.
What I enjoyed most is the fact that we don't usually think about the enemy as people.  Sigrid lives with her mother-in-law, has a secretarial job in the city and her husband is away in the army.  She thought she loved him when she married him but now she isn't so sure.
When the Nazis came into power she and many of her friends and neighbors didn't really have a political opinion.  As the situation in Germany escalated and Hitler began to persecute the Jews she and many others didn't agree but also didn't do anything.  They just kept on living their lives.  Sigrid finds herself forced to become involved in the controversy when a young nanny in her building turns to her for help.  She then becomes part of a group that hides political prisoners from the Gestapo.
I found myself wondering about what I would do.  I am not politically active.  I lead a busy life.  If seriously, morally wrong crimes were being committed by those in charge of government, would I stand up and take action?  If I am truly honest I have to doubt that I would.  We are so quick to judge the Germans but would we be any different?  I hope so.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Just Because

Okay, I am not going to post 352 articles today, I promise.  But as I was saving pictures of book covers to post (Alias Grace and Send), I saw this that I had saved and wanted to share it with you.

                                                                  I LOVE SNOOPY!

Hello, how are you?

It's been a long time since I posted anything.  I have a hard time believing anyone would want to read anything I say.  Then I find other blogs and I enjoy them soooooo much.  My niece Sarah has two blogs, Between the Fenceposts is about her life as she and her husband enjoy the USA from the cab of a tractor trailer; and her other blog is Along Those Lines is about the books she reads or listens to.  I love both of them!  She is a talented writer.  My other niece, Meagan, blogs about her life with her husband and two little girls in middle Tennessee.  I love keeping up with what is going on with her.  We haven't even seen her baby girl, Ava Grace but I have watched her grow through the blog.  Then there are the blogs of strangers. I love Pinterest.  One of my favorite parts is the wonderful, gifted people out there who blog their recipes, ideas, and etc.  I may never try a single craft, decorating idea, or recipe, but I love reading the blogs. I have read about weight loss journeys, wedding plans, recipe ideas, and ideas for teaching.

All of that to say that I decided to blog for me!  I read a lot. I love to share what I read but have a very small community to share with.  So I will share with you, cyberspace.  No one may ever read a word that I write and that is okay.  I'm going to write about books that touch me, books I love, and old favorites.  The review may be short.  They may not be eloquent.  But they will be from the heart.