Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly

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Based on the true story of a New York socialite who championed a group of concentration camp survivors known as the Rabbits, this acclaimed debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades.

Lilac Girls follows the three stories of Caroline, Kasia, and Herta as they navigate the perils of WWII era life. The novel weaves together accounts from three perspectives – Polish, German, and American – each girl has a different experience, but all are connected and affected by the atrocities of the war. Continue reading

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Renee Ahdieh, Flame In The Mist

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Despite the rumors, Renée Ahdieh‘s long anticipated Flame In The Mist is more likely inspired by the story of Mulan rather than existing as a retelling of the tale. Many elements seem to echo the popular Disney’s Mulan cartoon (she cuts off her hair, saves the life of an important warrior, and lives a secret double life as a man), including one of the important quotes of the book: “Be as swift as the wind. As silent as the forest. As fierce as the fire. As unshakable as the mountain.” (143) 

 

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I Wrote This For You And Only You

Image result for i wrote this for you and only youAuthor Iain S. Thomas (under the pen name PLEASEFINDTHIS) now has a series of published I Wrote This For You books, including I Wrote This For You, I Wrote This For You: Just The Words and I Wrote This For You And Only You. Find the original blog at http://www.iwrotethisforyou.me/.

They are exactly what you expect: pining love poems, written to an unknown recipient. Readers are granted access into the speaker’s advice to his beloved, and are left wondering what to make of the challenging associations.

The author wrote the first sentence in a spiral-bound notebook by the side of his bed in 2006, and uploaded the first sentence to his blog on the 5th of July, 2007. All subsequent posts encapsulate what has become the I Wrote This For You series, a seemingly never-ended photography-and-poetry project. The digitized and printed series I Wrote This For You was officially released as a book in 2011, but remains accessible at http://www.iwrotethisforyou.me/. Continue reading

Braving It by James Campbell, Blogging For Books

We just signed up for Blogging For Books at the Wanderer, and you can too!

Blogging for Books is run by The Crown Publishing Group. The program sends free books to bloggers in exchange for an honest review. The company sees it as a win-win situation: Bloggers get free books, and The Crown Publishing Group gets bloggers talking about and sharing books.

Blogging for Books helps to get honest reviews and commentary on up-and-coming publications, as well as provides readers with recently published works.

There is no cost or fee associated with Blogging for Books. They even pay shipping costs! All you need to do is provide a valid shipping address and email, choose a book to receive, and write a short review once you read it! It’s that simple! Find out more and sign up at http://www.bloggingforbooks.com/.

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Paulo Coelho, The Spy: A Novel Of Mata Hari

Image result for the spy coelhoPaulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist and The Witch of Portobello, again bewitches readers with The Spy, a novel based on the life of Mata Hari.

Based on real events

Based around the historical facts surrounding her life and 1917 arrest, Coelho weaves together a first-hand account of what really happened during her life – how she felt, and justifies some of the reasons for her actions.

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The Prologue describes Mata’s gruesome execution by firing squad. Imagining her final moments as she gets dressed for a final time and fearlessly faces her own death with open eyes – refusing to be blindfolded.

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Ottessa Moshfegh, Homesick For Another World

Image result for ottessa moshfegh the weirdosHomesick For Another World, Ottessa Moshfegh’s collection of short stories, comprises a selection of her previously published pieces, culminating in a grand anthology that exemplifies Moshfegh’s work precisely. The published book helpfully gathers most of her published short stories together in one accessible volume (excluding only three: “Medicine”, Vice, December 1, 2007; “Disgust”, The Paris Review, No. 202, Fall 2012; and “Brom”, Granta, Issue 139, 2017). A Better Place is the only chapter that was written for the book itself. It stands alone as an ending to the book, but also as a new piece within itself.

The author of the best-seller Eileen has a distinctly identifiable style:

You know, I like weird characters. I don’t know any normal people [laughs]. I do like cliches in my satire: the hipster in the story dancing in the moonlight is a distillation of all the hipsters I knew when younger. I tend to be mean, huh? I’m really hard on men, especially older men.

Moshfegh deliberately chooses to write about the dirtiest and grimiest of our human activities, describing things we all do, the dark things, and finds beauty in the fact that we all indeed have that same darkness within. These stories illuminate the dark truth of human nature, told raw and real, with a morbid sarcasm and dry wit. Continue reading

Cold Pastoral, Rebecca Dunham

Dunham’s poetry comes to us at a desperate time. We currently face the ecological threats of global warming, as exacerbated by our human interactions with the world we inhabit. Pollution, over-population, and deforestation are serious hazards to our environment, and Dunham understands our human contribution to the problem. With her poems, she hopes to educate and inform readers of the very real consequences of forgetting to care for the Earth.

This collection examines the man-made and/or human-influenced natural disasters of our time: the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, Hurricane Katrina and its devastating aftermath, and the Flint water crisis.  Dunham tactfully weaves desolate poems with evidenciary support, creating a powerful report on what really happened with the Oil Spill.  Continue reading

A Crown Of Wishes

Image result for a crown of wishesThe sequel to Roshani Chokshi’s debut novel The Star-Touched Queen remains equally adventurous as the first, transporting the reader to the far-away otherworldly lands of Bharata & Ujijain, Alaka and beyond, this time following Mayavati’s younger sister Gauri on her own journey of self-reflection and self-discovery. Filled with adventure, politics, friendships, sisterhood, romance, illusion, transformation, sacrifices, trials and tribulations, A Crown of Wishes weaves an otherworldly story, carried on the wings of birds with feathers of glittering gold.

In A Crown of Wishes we find Gauri, the legendary warrior princess of Bharata, exiled and imprisoned in Ujijain at her brother Skanda’s command. Scorned by her people for the lies Skanda has spread, Gauri faces execution in Ujijain. But Vikram, the cunning ‘Fox Prince’ of Ujijain, sees her potential and offers Gauri a chance at redemption. Together, they enter the Tournament of Wishes with hopes of winning a wish from The Lord of Treasures that would secure them their greatest desires. Continue reading

Reaper, Jill McDonough

ReaperJill McDonough’s book of poetry Reaper is written at a desperate time for humanity. We currently face the very real threats of overpopulation, pollution and global warming, all of which stir up questions of control and technology. McDonough brings awareness to these issues while at the same time providing hope for the future.

McDonough predicts that the loss of our humanity, of nature, and the loss of human nature – the loss of the self – will all be, in part, due to the rise of technology. We, as a species, are becoming numb to our own desires, “wanting … wanting” (10). People are currently content to be “distracted” (16), brainwashed, in a sense, numb to life. We take for granted the little things, things that don’t require technology, like emotions, feelings, or experiences; the more we allow technology to rule our loves, the more we lose sight of our true selves.

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