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Tag Archives: World War 2

First Line Fridays – 8 June 2018

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books

I have pretty eclectic reading tastes – unless its horror because no thanks! Typically, my current read is related to one of the various challenges that I am part of it. My pick this week surprisingly enough fits one of those challenges, but it wasn’t on my initial list of potential books – rather, I discovered it, when I signed up for a challenge where readers are paired up and a book off their pile is picked for them. My book this week is the book that I recommended for my partner and we are going to be buddy reading it starting this weekend!

It is nearly dawn, and the semidarkness casts strange shadows along the footpath.

From: White Chrysanthemum – Mary Lynn Bracht

Goodreads Description:
Korea, 1943. Hana has lived her entire life under Japanese occupation. As a haenyeo, a female diver of the sea, she enjoys an independence that few other Koreans can still claim. Until the day Hana saves her younger sister from a Japanese soldier and is herself captured and transported to Manchuria. There she is forced to become a “comfort woman” in a Japanese military brothel. But haenyeo are women of power and strength. She will find her way home.

South Korea, 2011. Emi has spent more than sixty years trying to forget the sacrifice her sister made, but she must confront the past to discover peace. Seeing the healing of her children and her country, can Emi move beyond the legacy of war to find forgiveness?

Thoughts:
I don’t know a lot about the Japanese invasion of parts of Asia – so when I read the description for this book, I knew that I had to add it to my pile. I think it will be interesting to see how the present and past POV’s play out – I find its a method of storytelling that can be highly successful or a huge flop. It was a bonus when my pickee, asked if I wanted to do a buddy read with her on it. I can’t wait to start reading it in the next day or so.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2018 in First Line Fridays

 

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Audiobook Review – Underground in Berlin – Marie Jalowicz Simon

underground-in-berlinUnderground in Berlin
Author: Marie Jalowicz Simon
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Narrator: Ellen Archer
Run Time: 11hrs 47min
Narrator Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Hachette Audio

Description:
In 1941, Marie Jalowicz Simon, a nineteen-year-old Berliner, made an extraordinary decision. All around her, Jews were being rounded up for deportation, forced labor, and extermination. Marie took off her yellow star, turned her back on the Jewish community, and vanished into the city.

In the years that followed, Marie lived under an assumed identity, forced to accept shelter wherever she found it. Always on the run, never certain whom she could trust, Marie moved between almost twenty different safe-houses, living with foreign workers, staunch communists, and even committed Nazis. Only her quick-witted determination and the most hair-raising strokes of luck allowed her to survive.

Review:
I’m a little bit belated in posting this audiobook review (like 6 months late)…but it was a book that made me think about the lengths people go to avoid getting caught. When most of us think about Jewish people who managed to survive the Holocaust, we think of Anne Frank and her family who lived in the Attic until they were turned in; or people like Corrie Ten Boom who helped hide people in a crawl space – but there were others that managed to survive by just staying a step ahead of the Germans – Marie Jalowicz was one of those people.

What made her story remarkable (at least to me) was how unremarkable it really was – it wasn’t sit on the edge of the chair thrilling, but more of a roller coaster ride – sometimes gentle and lulling and other times ricocheting you around the track…mostly wondering if she could actually manage to avoid the Nazi’s for 4(ish) years until the war ended…obviously since she wrote a book about her experiences she did (does that count as a spoiler?) So much of the story seemed just ehhh, she went here and stayed on a couch and had to keep really quiet so she wasn’t discovered during the day and the moved to another location and did the same thing. I think that the story being remarkedly unremarkable is why I only gave it 3.5 stars – I enjoyed portions of the story but the internal me wanted a bit more excitment (isn’t that kind of pathetic?)

Its kind of weird – I could have sworn that i’d listened to something narrated by Ellen Archer before, but looking through my audiobook files – I can’t find anything by her (which means, i’m either going nuts, or simply didn’t log it)…anyways, one of the good things about listening to non-fiction/biographies is that narrators don’t need to deviate too much from a normal reading voice (differentiating characters etc) – so it was a solid listen with no frills – a story that was relatively simple, with a relatively simple narration style – i could easily get used to something like that.

Overall, I gave Underground in Berlin 3.5 stars and the narration 4 stars. Its a solid autobiography that while not exciting is insightful into how people survived persecution during World War 2.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2016 in Audiobook Review, Review

 

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Review – Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the Nation Into War – Steven M. Gillon

Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the Nation Into War
Author: Steven M. Gillon

Narrator: John Pruden
Run Time: 6 hours and 40 minutes

Book Description:
Franklin D. Roosevelt famously called December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy.” History would prove him correct; the events of that day—when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor—ended the Great Depression, changed the course of FDR’s presidency, and swept America into World War II. In Pearl Harbor, acclaimed historian Steven M. Gillon provides a vivid, minute-by-minute account of Roosevelt’s skillful leadership in the wake of the most devastating military assault in American history. FDR proved both decisive and deceptive, inspiring the nation while keeping the real facts of the attack a secret from congressional leaders and the public. Pearl Harbor explores the anxious and emotional events surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor, showing how the president and the American public responded in the pivotal twenty-four hours that followed, a period in which America burst from precarious peace into total war.

Review:
I don’t typically listen to non-fiction audiobooks, but I was looking for something different and this one caught my eye. Having studied history in college, I found that WW2 was definitely a period that interested me – although the European theater was more to my liking than the Pacific theater or the homefront. But any historian knows FDR’s famous words just a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor – so seeing the lead up to how that speech came to be in the hours following the attack was intriguing.

I found Pruden’s narration to be spot on for the topic and the genre. There was really no need for multiple voices in a non-fiction book, although I would be curious to hear him narrator a fiction book to see his range…I know that I will be on the look-out for more books narrated by him in the future. I’ll also be seeking out more books written by Gillon, as he had a way of bringing a well known time period in history to life, with the minor details that likely are never studied by historians. It is those time periods that bring history to life.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Book Review

 

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