Thursday, July 29, 2010

Some Mini-Reviews...

The German Woman by Paul Griner
This riveting war story introduces us to beautiful Kate Zweig, the English widow of a German surgeon, and Claus Murphy, an exiled American with German rootstwo lovers with complicated loyalties. In 1918, Kate and her husband,Horst, are taken for spies by Russian soldiers and forced to flee their field hospital on the eastern front, barely escaping with their lives. Years later, in London during the Nazis V-1 reign of terror, Claus spends his days making propaganda films and his nights as a British spy, worn down by the war and his own many secrets. When Claus meets the intriguing Kate Zweig, he finds himself powerfully drawn to hereven after evidence surfaces that she might not be exactly who she seems. As the war hurtles to a violent end, Claus must define where his own loyalties lie, whether he can make a difference in the warand what might be gained by taking a leap of faith with Kate. Echoing Pat Barkers spare power and Sebastian Faulkss sweeping historical sagas, and reminiscent of the haunting romance of Michael Ondaatjes The English Patient, The German Woman takes us inside the two world wars that defined the twentieth century and the hidden histories of two unforgettable characters whose love story will haunt readers hearts and minds.
This book has a great premise, but it fell flat for me. I gave up on it with only like fifty pages left to read. I very rarely do that, but I just couldn't take it anymore! I suppose I should have seen how it ended, but I didn't even care. I am not sure what it was about the book that didn't work for me. The story was interesting, I suppose, but the writing didn't really work for me. There were times when I lost track of the point of the story. It's too bad because it did sound like my sort of book. I don't even know what to talk about. I just am not really interested in this book at all!

A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey

A woman coming of age early in the century had few choices... unless she had independent means. Bess Steed Garner inherits a legacy -- of wealth, determination, and desire. She loves one man with all her heart only to discover the price of such devotion. She struggles with the flaws of marriage and its irresistible rewards. She sets out to conquer high society and forces oil-rich Dallas to its knees. But her own daughter may break her heart... and the man she chooses may rob her of the one thing she prizes the most -- her manipulating, delightful, bossy, and believable independence. For Bess is a woman of independent means.
I am not even sure where I heard about this. I know it was a blog, but I tend to add books and not record where I heard of them. The review must have been good because I read the book without even really knowing what it was about. I really liked it, though. Sometimes when you write a book in letter format there can be a lot lacking from the story, but I found myself getting caught up in the story. I wasn't sure that I liked Bess at first, but she grew on me. She was a bit annoying at times, but I suppose that is what is happens when you only hear one side of every story. I found myself wishing sometimes to hear another side. She is a compelling, if flawed, character that intrigues me. I am glad that a blogger lead me to this book because I probably never would have read it otherwise.

Fallen by Lauren Kate

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.
I have seen this book mentioned on blogs and I have to admit that I was a bit curious about it. There is something about the cover that kept catching my attention. I received it from the library a couple months ago, but it is really popular and I didn't get a chance to read it. Recently I saw it mentioned on another blog and it made me think I should try again. This time I read it right away and I did like it. There are other series I like better, but I probably will get the next book in the series when it comes out later in the year. I wouldn't call it the ultimate love story, and actually the love story gets a bit trying at times, but it deals with a paranormal aspect that I haven't read a lot of books about. It does have more romance than I normally read, but it was still pretty good, I guess.

A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to be a Woman by Lisa Shannon
Lisa Shannon had what some would call a good life—her own business, a successful fiancĂ©, a secure home. The one day in 2005, shortly after her father’s death, an episode of Oprah changed everything. The show about women in the Congo depicted atrocities too horrible to comprehend: millions dead, women gang-raped and tortured, children starving and dying in shocking numbers. That day Lisa woke up to her dissatisfaction with the “good” life and to her role as an activist and a sister.

She created a foundation called Run for Congo Women, with the goal to raise money to sponsor 30 Congolese women. What started as a solo 30-mile run has now grown into a national organization in connection with Women for Women International. Run for Congo Women holds fundraising runs in four countries and ten states, and continues to raise money and awareness. In A Thousand Sisters,Lisa shares firsthand accounts of her experiences visiting the Congo, the women she’s helped, and the relationships she’s formed. With compelling stories of why she remains committed to this cause, Lisa inspires her audience to reach out and help as well, forming a sisterhood that transcends geographic boundaries.

I really liked this book! I think it many ways I liked this book because it is almost inspiring. I always wanted to do something 'big' with my life, and here is a book about a regular person doing a very important thing. I liked learning about it. I enjoy books about anything to do with helping women out, to be honest. Learning about Women in Congo was something I didn't really know a lot about. I know that some people don't like Oprah, but she does do amazing things. In response to a show about the Congo a woman did what she could do for women over there. It will be sad when the show goes off the air next year if it leads to things like that. Anyways, this book is very readable (unlike these reviews) and engaging. I am glad I read it!


  1. Great reviews! I enjoyed Fallen as well, and am really interested to read A Thousand Sisters - it is on my tbr pile.

  2. I reviewed A Woman of Independent Means a few months ago - maybe that's where you heard of it? And Rebecca at I'm Lost in Books did too a few months before me. Anyway, I'm really really glad to hear you enjoyed it :D

  3. Wow, all new-to-me titles! I have some investigating to do, it seems!

  4. I remember my stepmother reading A Woman of Independent Means and really enjoying it, many years ago. I think I flipped through it, and what I remembered most was how she could play the stockmarket- she was very lucky. I'm not sure if this is the right book, though.

    You are reading some very interesting titles and books here.

  5. I've been wanting to read The German Woman, so I'm sad to see that you didn't like it. It must not have been good for you to abandon it so close to finishing. :(

    I hope it's okay to link to your review on War Through the Generations.

  6. I'm still not so sure about Fallen, but I may give it a chance when I go all my "angel" reading later this year.


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