Recent Reads

The Island on Bird Street by Uri Orlev, translated by Hillel Halkin (1981).  Maya read this book for a school unit on the Holocaust, and she said I should read the book, too.  Although Orlev actually survived the Holocaust, the book is a fictional account of a young boy named Alex, who finds himself living alone in the ghetto after his mother disappears and his father is taken during a selection.  For months, Alex survives by living in a bombed-out house, learning who he can trust and scavenging for what he needs.  There are quiet moments, and there are moments of terror in this gem.

Everest 1953:  The Epic Story of the First Ascent by Mick Conefrey (2014).  Account of the British attempt on Mt. Everest in 1953, culminating in the successful ascent and return of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.  Conefrey brings the team's personalities to life while emphasizing the importance of the climb, occurring at the same time as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, to the waning British Empire.

Beyond Repair by Charlotte Stein (2014).  I'm re-reading all of my books and short story collections by Stein.  This is one of my all-time favorite romance novels.  The story revolves around a troubled movie star at his lowest point who meets a very damaged young woman.  The relationship they form is nuanced, charming, and very sweet.


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