Monday, October 17, 2016

What I'm reading this week (10/17/16)

I am currently on a three-day read-cation. I've got my stack of books, my frozen pizza and snacks, and a list of household chores that I will likely not even glance at. This is the life!

Last week I finished:

The latest in Bill O'Reilly's "Killing" series, Killing the Rising Sun, takes a look at the Pacific theatre of World War II. It deals with the vicious atrocities of the Japanese soldiers and President Truman's decision to drop two atomic bombs in order to bring the brutal war to a close. There generally isn't a great deal here that was new to me having read many books about World War II, but it was a good account of the war, the bomb, and Japan. I'd anticipated more information on how Japan went from a humbled, decimated country to one of the world's more powerful countries. I was interested in how you rebuild a country and an economy after the devastation, but the book did not go that far. While the book deals frankly with the brutality of the Japanese soldiers, it's nothing you haven't already encountered if you've read Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken. I was especially interested in the letters in the back of the book to the author from Presidents Carter, Bush 41, and Bush 43 regarding if Truman's decision to use the bomb was the right one. All in all, this was a good straightforward account. My rating: 4 stars.

I also finished How to Build a House, a children's fiction/nonfiction book that takes you through the process of building from planning to paint. This is the third book of this series that I've read (there are four), and it might have been my favorite, though I wish they would have had illustrations of the finished interior. I learned a bit too. My rating: 3 1/2 stars. 

And finally, I finished Amy Stewart's Girl Waits with Gun on audio. I really enjoyed this one, and I enjoyed the audio, too. The narrator has a distinctive voice that took a bit of getting used to, but it really fit the main character, and her sister Norma especially. These are not dainty women, and the husky voice fit. This is the story of Constance Kopp and her sisters Norma and Fleurette who get tangled up with a no-good silk-dying factory owner thug, Henry Kaufman. He terrorized the women (bricks through windows, letters in the mail, that sort of thing) to make them stop pursuing him for his part in a motorcar/buggy incident, but another of his crimes is solved as well. Set in 1914, when three women living independently was much less common, Constance finds herself doing things she'd never known herself capable of, and much less, being good at it. I plan to read the next in the series soon, I enjoyed this one so much. And I hope there are many more to come. Check this one out. My rating: 5 stars.

I continue with:

I am loving American Cake. I'm even finding myself daydreaming about baking a cake. Gasp! I'm up to the post-WWII era featuring cakes I remember from my childhood (though I was born much later, the place where I grew up was always a generation behind). And yes, author interview to come; I'm still preparing it.

I'm enjoying Firefly Hollow, but I'm just not emotionally invested. It's a sweet story, though.

Last week I began:

I wanted to read one moody book for October, and My Cousin Rachel seemed the logical choice. I loved Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca so much when I read it last year, that Rachel immediately went on my list. I am probably expecting it to be too much like Rebecca to be fair, but I'm enjoying waiting for things to get mysterious and spooky. So far, so good.

My audiobook:

My current audiobook is Monica Wood's The One-in-a-Million Boy about an absent father, a deceased son, and a 104-year-old Lithuanian immigrant. Oh, and world records. I am quite enjoying it so far, although the narrator will take some getting used to. He reads in a rather effected manner that doesn't match the characters. Maybe he'll grow on me, though. He does a good job with the boy's speech mannerisms.

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