Introducing Saturday Nite Reader’s weekly meme: Saturday Spotlight! Each Saturday I will spotlight a book I have read or am currently reading; and, of course what I think is special about it. I invite you to participate as well! Just link back to my weekly post and don’t forget to add your spotlight link in the comment section for all to see.Happy Sharing! XO, Nikki
This Week: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Published: May 22, 2007 by Riverhead
Category: Historical Fiction British Book Award for Best Read of the Year (2008); Book Sense of the Year Award for Adult Fiction (2008); California Book Award for Fiction (Silver) (2007); Exclusive Books Boeke Prize Nominee (2007); Lincoln Award Nominee (2011)
My Future Mother-in-Law would gift me this book during one of my first trips to meet her. Once I started it, I could not put it down. I do remember it was right before dinner and the polite house guest in me (plus someone newly introduced to the family) should have been helping, but I couldn’t step away from this book. My husband (then boyfriend) called me in for dinner, but my future MIL responded along the lines of: leave her alone and let her finish, the book is that good. Thanks Mom 😉
A Thousand Splendid Suns is the first book I recommend to anyone when asked to recommend my favorite book: I don’t even have to think about it, I just spit it out (not literally, don’t worry).Read More »
Published: June 13, 2017 by Atria Books
Category: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT
You know the saying about potato chips “bet you can’t eat just one!”? Well, don’t eat potato chips while reading this book. For starters potato chip grease gets on the pages, which is a pet peeve of mine. But, more importantly you will not be able to stop reading chapter after chapter and your stomach can’t handle all those chips. This can definitely be a one sitting book read.If you are looking for a book to start your summer off right: this here is your jam!
Published: February 27, 2011 by Ballantine Books
Category: Historical Fiction
I struggled rating this one properly. First, it was beautifully written and if I were just rating that it would have gotten at least 4 disco balls. Second, I despised Ernest Hemingway and Pauline Pfeiffer. If Ernest was a fictional character I wouldn’t have wanted to give this story my time. Not that I did even knowing he was in fact ‘real’, I thought I owed it to Hadley to finish.
Enter my Instagram giveaway for your chance to win the newly released paperback of The Heart’s Invisible Furies by Irish novelist John Boyne. My favorite read of 2017!
You got the good book, now all you need is the comfy pj’s (in this case its socks!) and wine (in this case a wine glass for your favorite reading mode beverage). Giveaway winner will be announced on my Instagram stories at noon EST on St. Patrick’s Day (Saturday, March 17th).Read More »
Expected publication: March 6, 2018 by Touchstone
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Category: Historical Fiction
Another great book cover, wouldn’t you agree?
I started reading Bachelor Girl on my trip home from vacation. After reading a little over 2 hours during my flight home I noticed I only got 13% of the way through. 1) Either I am a very slow reader, or 2) this is a long one. I am going to go with #2: the paperback is 416 pages (kindle is listed at 432).
I enjoyed this read and didn’t mind the length, its just not one of those you can plow through in two days. If you could, well then I change my initial answer to #1 – I am a slow reader.
An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo
Published: October 25, 2011 by Feiwel & Friends (first published 2009)
Purchase: Amazon or Barnes & Noble
With Lizzie’s father fighting in World War II, her mother takes on the job of a zoo keeper to provide for her family. Lizzie, her mother, and her eight-year-old brother Karli have become especially attached to an orphaned elephant named Marlene. The bombing of Dresden is imminent and soon, so the zoo director explains that as a precautionary measure all the animals must be destroyed so that they’re not running wild through the city. Lizzie’s mother persuades the director to allow Marlene, the elephant, to come stay in the family’s garden.
As predicted, Dresden is bombed, and the family, including Marlene, is forced from the city. Lizzie and her family aren’t alone. Thousands of Dresden residents are fleeing to find somewhere safe to stay. Lizzie’s mother has to find a different route out of the city to keep the elephant and the children safe from harm. Once they reach the abandoned home of their relatives, they come across Peter, a Canadian navigator who, by putting himself at risk of capture to save the family, gains their trust.
This unlikely grouping of family, elephant, and enemy turned ally come together beautifully to illustrate the importance of love, resolve, and hope.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark T. Sullivan, was inspired by the real life story of WWII hero, Pino Lella. This book was 10 years in the making for author, Mark T. Sullivan, whom met Pino by chance and knew he wanted to tell his story. It is a work of fiction, but has been rumored to be about 90% true.
First things first, this audiobook is a commitment. It is 17 hours long! About 25% way through I upped the speed to 1.25x and it cut a few hours off, phew. I am terribly bad at paying attention to audiobooks, but I do find I am most engaged in listening and not being distracted by everything around me (look a squirrel!) when I am taking a long drive. During a long weekend I went to visit friends in CT (about a 2 hour drive) so it was a perfect time to dive into Pino’s story.Read More »
Expected publication: February 13, 2018 by Ballantine Books
Pre-order: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Category: Historical Fiction, Cultural
In Song of a Captive Bird (a beautiful and perfect title), author Jasmin Darznik is the voice for Iranian poet, Forugh Farrokhzad. Forugh – an influential poet of the 20th century – was notorious for rebelling against cultural norms, especially in her work.
Forugh’s accomplishments come at the expense of her reputation and family life. In her thirty-two years she has been through so much pain; all she wanted was to be loved for who she was. Darznik captures that and uses her own words to bring that love to Forugh. Read More »
Published: June 6, 2017 by Ballantine Books
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Category: Historical Fiction Goodreads Choice Awards 2017, Best Historical Fiction
If you are not sure what you are reading next…make it this. You must. You simply must! I read this book in 2 days, I craved reading it during any free time I had and needed to reach its ending.Read More »
Published: August 11, 2017 by Hogarth Press
Category: Historial Fiction, LGBT
Do not let my next statement stop you from reading the rest of this review. Promise? Ok, good. Now that we have an understanding what I say next will not scare you so I am just going to say it: the hardcover is 582 pages. Please do not make that deter you (you promised, remember). This book is glorious. Really, it is. It is my favorite of the year.Read More »
If you find yourself on a historical fiction reading kick, try these two books:
5 disco balls, each
Both are set in Paris during WWII and alternate between the viewpoints of the two main characters. One tells the story of two children, a blind French girl and a German boy turned solider, who in alternate times would probably not have crossed paths, but their story intersects at an important juncture. Another is the tale of two sisters who after the German invasion in Paris find themselves fighting the resistance in their own ways at the expense of their relationship. Read More »