Great Historical Fiction…The Aviator’s Wife!

I really enjoy reading historical fiction. I love when an author takes me back to a time or place and gives me a sense of what it must have been like to live as the characters. Most good writers of historical fiction go through months of research before even beginning the task of writing and if they do it right…they come up with a brilliant book. That is exactly what you will find when reading The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. A brilliant book!

Melanie Benjamin took  historical characters, Anne and Charles Lindbergh, and made me feel for them. Like most of us, I knew the basics about these people…he flew across the Atlantic becoming America’s hero and their first born son was kidnapped and killed. That was about it and that came from history class. I didn’t know that Anne Morrow Lindbergh was this amazing woman of great character and major flaws. A woman that tolerated a man that was not as wonderful as the world viewed him. She soon lost herself in her husband, children, family and the press and yet somehow managed to find herself again.

Benjamin’s writing pulls you into this fictional account of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and makes you want to know more about this woman. By the way,  I already have a copy of Gift from the Sea, written by Anne herself,  on hold at my local library. I am so interested in this woman!!

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was so easy to connect to. As all woman age we begin to lose ourselves. We get married, have children, careers, and as time passes we lose the essence of what it means to be us. I know I have. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but it just happens. We forget the young free-spirit with no worries living for adventure and instead become responsible adults. It happens! This is why I think I related to this character so strongly. I could see small traces of myself in Anne. While she loves her husband, she starts to see that he doesn’t love her in the same way. She is “needed” to raise his children and to be a safe place for him to land when he chooses to come home. There is a wonderful part in the book where Anne’s daughter Ansy comes across Anne’s  pilots license. Ansy is amazed that her mother could ever do such a thing. Her words have a huge impact on Anne to the point of Anne realizing she was not what she once was.

“To my children, I was just Mom. That was all. And before that, I had been Charles’s wife, the bereaved mother of the slain child. That was all. But before that I had been a pilot. An adventurer. I had broken records-but I had forgotten about them.” 

-pg 339, The Aviator’s Wife

This self discovery continues for Anne and I LOVED it! Now, I have never flown a plane, but I had my own adventures…many of which I have forgotten. I don’t know about you, but I want to find them again! 🙂

I could go on and on about my thoughts on this book, but I’ll stop right here. I think I have said enough and I think you can see that I truly love this book. It may not be for everyone, but if you want a story to make you feel or one that you can connect to…READ The Aviator’s Wife!Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

 YES, I have a book club! Many actually for kids, but this one is for adults…my CRAZY girls! This is the most wonderful and diverse group of women I have ever met. We love books, laughter, food, and wine…LOTS of wine! Recently I found a refrigerator magnet that reads…” your book club might have scintillating discussions, but my book club can drink your book club under the table.”  Yeah, those are my girls!!!

Anyway, we have been a group for about 4+ years and although the group has gained and lost readers, one thing stays the same…we have a blast together!!! My goal is to get all of us, including myself, to read different genres of books. This forces us to step out of our “reading rut” of reading the same thing all the time. This is often met with grumbles and groans, but they read what I pick…most of the time.:)

 Here’s where I want to start…with one of our favorite books…Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Let me just say, I might slip and spoil something for a reader and I am very sorry. This book will be difficult to talk about without giving something away, but I will try.

Gillian Flynn is a new author for me and can I just say… I LOVE her!!! She is so twisted in her writing and it is AWESOME! I can’t wait to read Dark Places another bestseller by Flynn, but I am getting ahead of myself.

 Gone Girl is this twisted journey through the five-year marriage of Nick and Amy. In the beginning these two characters seem like an average young couple facing the usual stresses of a new marriage, but things are NOT what they seem. I was immediately captured by the way Flynn pushed and pulled these characters for the reader. There was always new information about Nick and Amy and it led to new clues about the relationship. The info usually would blow the story line in a totally new direction! Every single chapter led me to a new revelation about just how disturbed these characters were and I liked it! I can tell you, without spoiling anything, that Amy goes missing and Nick is the main suspect…this is in the summary, so don’t be mad at me. However, the mystery into Amy’s disappearance is so much more than a guilty husband. Can I just tell you…AMY is one psycho chick?!!!

 I need to STOP because I can’t say anymore without totally spoiling it for you! Lips are sealed!! Just know the book does not disappoint! YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!!!

Let me know what you think and until next time…Happy Reading!

Old vs New

So what makes a great book? Is it one that is current to the times or is it one that stands the test of time?

This is a question I struggle with daily when I am in my library with my students. They, being children, want the new shiny cover not the old outdated one. Really who can blame them? I mean, we are a visual society. If given the choice between Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Old Yeller, their choice will be that Wimpy Kid every time unless someone steps in to guide them in a new direction…and that is where I come in.  Over the years I have tried to teach my kiddos that, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”. I wish I could say that  they all listen to my wisdom, but sadly that is not the case…come on! I’m a grown-up! What do I know? So how do I prove my point? I read an older book with an outdated cover, but an awesome story! Here is one of my favorites…

Tracks in the Snow by Lucy Jane Bledsoe was written in 1997 when Walkmans were still the rage and pay phones were on every corner. Funny as that sounds, I have to explain both of those things to my 4th graders while reading this book aloud. The kids really don’t understand that there are no cell phones and computers in the story. It is always fun when I start the book because the kids look at me like I am crazy. They just know it is going to be a boring book, however every year many tell me it was their favorite book of the school year. Yeah, me!!

Here is why this book is so great and stands the test of time…It is about survival, seeing the truth in people, and most of all asking, “How far would you go for a friend?”.

You have two 10 year old girls trying to survive a blizzard in the Sierra mountains all the while looking for another girl. There are Bob Cats, unexpected storms, no shelter, lack of food, falling into freezing water, and missed opportunities for rescue at every turn. The kids LOVE it! The author writes these amazing cliff-hangers at the end of the chapters and the kids moan in pain when we have to stop. I LOVE that emotion!!! See…an older book, but a great story! I could go on and on about this book! It is honestly that good!

I guess if I’m going to talk older books, I have to talk new ones, too. Personally, I think this has been a great year for children’s books. It seems that authors are going away from the “Harry Potter” type book for kids. I like this new trend, and No, I don’t hate Harry. I just want some variety. 🙂

 

The Captain Awesome Series by Stan Kirby quickly became a favorite of mine and of my 2nd graders this past school year. I mean the kid thinks he is a super hero! Who doesn’t LOVE that attitude? The main character Eugene McGillicudy loves comics and superheros and has a supersecret alter ego named CAPTAIN AWESOME! He has an archenemy named…Queen Stinkypants from the Planet Baby (his sister), a villain named…Little Miss Stinky Pinky(mean girl at school) and he even has a side kick…Nacho Cheese Man(his new best friend Charlie). This series is recommended for ages 5-7, but this 45 year old loved it, too!    

So that’s what I think and I seriously hope you will read these two book suggestions. But let me ask you this…What is your favorite children’s book? Is it one that you read as a child or one that you discovered after you had children? I’m curious! Let’s talk books!

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

WHY SHOULD YOU READ MY BLOG?

This is so new to me…a blog! Who would have thought I would have a blog?! Well I do and I’m going to have some fun with it…so here we go!

So why should you read my blog…well, I don’t know! I do know that if you love books or are looking for new books to read…I’m your girl! I LOVE to read! All genres by various authors…its all good to me! Books make me happy, but so do shoes..hmmm that’s another story and I’m sure we will talk about that as well, but not today. 🙂

I run an elementary library. Technically I am a library/media assistant, but let’s be serious…I assist no one but the kids. By definition I am a librarian, I run the book clubs, pick the books to be ordered, teach the Dewey system (yes, that is still around), shelve the books, but let’s be clear I do not have a degree in Library Science. However, I would put my knowledge of books up against almost anyone. My job is to get kids to read and I think I’m pretty good at it. I also push books onto adults as well. If you listen, I will tell you about a book I read. That is why I am so excited about this blog. An unlimited amount of people to talk books with!!!

To me this blog is my bookstore. You see that is my ultimate dream…my own bookstore just like Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail”. I want a Little Shop Around the Corner! (if you didn’t get that reference, you NEED to watch the movie…AWESOME!) But back to me…Yes, I want a little place where people come and not only buy books but talk books, too. One day it will happen, but for now this blog will have to do!

I make these promises to my blog followers…1. I will always give my opinion on a book. I am VERY opinionated and 2. I will try to never give too much away and will give full notice of any spoilers that I might leak. Trust me when I tell you, I can get you reading!

So, tomorrow I’ll start with my first couple of books…one for kids and one for adults. Until then…Happy Reading!

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