Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"It Happened In Italy: Untold Stories of How the People of Italy Defied the Horrors of the Holocaust"

By: Elizabeth Bettina
Non-fiction 384 pp
IBSN-13: 9781595551023

The Holocaust: a monstrous time in the world’s history. Yet, the people of one country stood against the death and destruction, quietly saving Jews from slaughter. It Happened in Italy tells the stories of survivors and those who helped them. Many Italians opened their hearts and homes, putting their lives at risk, for their neighbors and refugees from other countries.

From the moment I opened this book, I was captivated by the stories Elizabeth Bettina uncovered. Her journey began with a photo of a group of people which included a Rabbi. She knew Campagna, Italy, but didn’t realize that the city was such a place of safety during WW II. My favorite story deals with Walter and his glorious return to Italy. The things that fall into place for that visit are amazing!

Ms. Bettina weaves her stories with maps and pictures. The pictures are remarkably clear, and each is labeled with who is in them, many with the place. The reader is also able to experience some of the Italian culture with the language (which is also translated).

Come, journey back to WW II and meet some of the Italian saviors and those they helped save. It is an unforgettable journey!

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Of Bees and Mist"

I had the opportunity to read an advanced reader copy of "Of Bees and Mist" as part of the B&N First Look group. While I wasn't pulled into the story immediately, I became totally engrossed after a few chapters. Erick Setiawan weaves a story filled with fantastical images and supernatural happenings. I found myself hearing the bees, smelling the flowers, feeling the mist, and visiting the places he writes about. (The cover is a "picture" of the story, so be sure to look it over.) This is a story filled with personal and family turmoil and struggle. As a reader, I wanted to know what would happen at the end and what the images and allusions meant.

If you are looking for a book by a new author that will challenge you as a reader, this is definitely the book for you. If you love adventure, escapism, and fantasy in a book, this book is also for you.

Of Bees and Mist: I Got a First Look at Barnes & Noble. Get Your Copy Now

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Who Moved My Cheese" Johnson/Blanchard

This is a short book - under 100 pages - that shows with how people deal with change. As you read, you will discover which of the characters you are like - either of the mice (Sniff or Scurry) or either of the littlepeople (Hem and Haw). The change can be anywhere in your life and the maze is the path you take after the change. It is a quick read that could affect how you look at things.

"Prayers For Sale"

Sandra Dallas has done a wonderful job with this book. Middle Swan, Colorado is a mining town, and as you can imagine, it has a full cast of interesting characters living there. From the miners to the wives to the hookers, you will be pulled into their world.

Hennie Comfort is eighty-six and has lived in Middle Swan for over sixty years. Her stories gave me a glimpse into the people and situations that have made up her life. (I would love to hear more!) Nit Spindle is seventeen when she comes to town with her husband. Hennie and Nit become friends, making the transitions each of them need to make easier.

Come meet Hennie and her friends. Discover the meaning behind the sign on her fence that simply reads, "Prayers For Sale." Uncover the secret that has kept Hennie out of church for many years. Come to Middle Swan, Colorado and get a taste of mining life with its tragedies and its pleasures. It is a place I will definitely revisit in the future.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Fragment" by Warren Fahy

"Fragment" grabbed me from the beginning and the more I read, the more I wanted to read. Warren Fahy blends science with fiction to weave a story that compelled me to continue on. The characters are real and the story one I think many have pondered.

The story begins in 1791, but quickly comes forward to present day as a reality television show. Nell tried out for the show just to get to the island. Little did Nell know, that while the island is a scientist's dream, it is also a scientist's nightmare. The entire novel takes place in 28 days, and sometimes Mr. Fahy tells his story minute by minute, or hour by hour. I felt like I was there - I was on the boat; on the island; I knew the characters. Most of the island creatures terrified me, but there is one....

If you like books that keep you engrossed, books that make you think, you will enjoy "Fragment." Come, take a journey on the Trident. Come meet the scientists and listen to their story.