Friday, October 21, 2011

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

This book was amazing!  It is a nonfiction about a World War II plane crew that crashes, how the survivors make in on a raft for the longest time ever known in the Pacific Ocean and then as POW's in Japan.  This was hard to read at times and turned my stomach as I read about the treatment of the POW's by their captors, but I had such an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what those brave men did and went through for others, myself, my country, and my freedom.  A friend said, "It was an honor to read this book," and I agree.  Anything that makes us understand and better appreciate our history is well worth our time.  WWII has so many stories from the millions that were involved on both sides, and we can learn and grow so much from those, and it is so important that we do.  This is a wonderful example.  Laura Hillenbrand has a wonderful writing style that takes you right there to help you appreciate it even better.  How these men went through all this, came out alive (which is a miracle) and then were able to overcome and move on and even forgive (which is an even bigger miracle) is so uplifting and amazing and a tribute to God and the human spirit.  Please check this one out.  You will not regret it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Ranger's Apprentice Series update

So, I am loving John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series.  My whole family is.  My 11 year old girl has finished all 10, my 13 year old girl is on #9.  My 9 year old girl is on #6.  My husband is on #7, and I am currently half-way through #5.  My 6 year old boy hasn't started them yet :) 

Just a word of advice when you read this series.  Read them in this order 1,2,3,4,7,5,6,8,9,10.  #7 needs to be read after #4, and then just go from #7 to #5 and continue on.  Flanagan skipped several years in the stories between #4 and #5, and he realized this and went back and filled in those missing years with #7, so read them in that order.  Such a good series!!!!

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

Described as a "philosophical self-help humorous travel memoir" this was an interesting read.  It is non-fiction.  It took me a while to get through it, and he was a little more crass than I normally like--normally don't like anything crass or with language.  This had a little of both, so I can't highly recommend it, but it was interesting.  Eric Weiner is a grump, and he was determined to find the world's happiest place.  Each chapter he goes to a different country and tries to figure out why that place is happy or not.  A positive therapy researcher--or a happiness researcher-- has rated the countries in the world from the happiest to the least happy, so Weiner goes to check them out.  Netherlands, Switzerland, Iceland, Thailand, and Bhutan are some of the happiest.  Weiner goes to each of these to see why.  Moldova is one of the least happy, and he also goes there to find out why.  Britain, India, Qatar, and the US are also visited and discussed.  It was interesting to learn about the different places and what really does make people happy.  Hate to over use the word "interesting," but it was that and informative.