Sunday, October 20, 2013

Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption is by Laura Hillenbrand. On a May afternoon in 1943, Louis Zamperini and his crew crashed their Air Force bomber into the Pacific Ocean. Zamperini, a former Olympic miler, and another member of his ill-fated crew are captured by the Japanese and taken to POW camps in Japan. This is the story of the torture they endured, their epic struggle for survival, and their fight to return to life after the war. A poignant, stirring, and painful biography of one man's quest to survive. At times painful to read, but the stories of this generation of Americans and what they endured need to be recorded and remembered.

Ratings: 11th grade - 10 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content) - V (violence).

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans is by M.L. Stedman. Set in Australia after WWI, Tom Sherbourne and his wife are lighthouse keepers on a remote island off the coast of Australia. Isabel has had three miscarriages and desperately wants a child. When a dead man and a live infant wash up on the island in a rowboat, Isabel persuades Tom to keep the child and raise it as their own. This one lie sets off a chain of events that will change their lives forever. A heart-wrenching tale of desperation, and what we are willing to do for those we love.

Ratings: 11th grade - 8 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic contents).

An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines is by John Green. Colin only seems to fall in love with girls named Katherine. After Katherine #19 dumps him, he embarks on a road trip with his best friend Hassan. The two boys find themselves in Gutshot, Kentucky working part-time for a factory owner and her daughter named Lindsey. As they settle into their new environment, Colin is determined to prove his "Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability" works. However, he finds himself drawn to Lindsey, is his fascination with Katherines at an end? Will he finally avoid being dumped?

Ratings: 9th grade - 9 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins is by Jess Walters. A book that starts in Italy in 1962 when an American actress in the country to film Cleopatra comes to stay in a remote hotel on the Italian coast. The book travels back and forth through time as we follow the lives of Pasquale, the hotel owner; Dee, the actress; Pat, her son; and Claire, the assistant to a Hollywood producer who tries to reconnect Pasquale and Dee after fifty years. A story of love, loss, regret, and repairing the mistakes of the past. 

Ratings: Adult - 7 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette is by Maria Semple. The hilarious and touching story of Bernadette Fox; Elgie, her Microsoft developer spouse; and Bee their fifteen-year-old brilliant daughter. Told through alternating perspectives the eccentric Bernadette stampedes through her life and the lives of those around her as she tries to deal with her own personal problems and plan the family trip to Antarctica. When Bernadette disappears, Bee digs through emails and other documents to discover the truth about what happened to her mother. 

Ratings: Adult - 8 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).