2015 Hub Reading Challenge Check-In #8

5 Apr

In a week full of business I actually managed to finish three books for the HUB Challenge!

The first, and by far my favorite read in a long time of any sort of book, was All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This won the Alex Award and was a National Book Award Finalist.

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If you liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  or Code Name Verity you will love this book.

Publisher’s Summary: Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

This is a beautifully written novel with characters I will cherish forever.

That said, I also read  Seconds,  a graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley.

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This is the story of Katie, a head chef who is opening a new restaurant and has made some personal and professional mistakes. A mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night and offers her a redo, a second chance. Who wouldn’t take it? Katie does, then finds a way to keep on having second chances. Maybe there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. This one was good, better than many graphic novels, which I guess is why it was on the Great Graphic Novels list.

Finally, I read a work of non-fiction. The Terrorist’s Son by Zak Ebrahim with Jeff Giles

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is Ebrahim’s memoir of growing up the son of the man who killed a famous rabbi and helped plan the first bombing of the World Trade Center. This is s tiny book and I read the whole thing in about an hour. I really could not put it down,  his story is so compelling and horrifying. What makes it truly great is the way Ebrahim shakes off the hatred he’s been taught and transforms himself.

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