Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book #4: Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay

I continued my challenge with a book I bought awhile ago (by recommendation of my mother) that I've been excited to read for months:

It was absolutely SPECTACULAR! I've read a lot of good books in my time, and there have been a lot of them I liked, but very few make it to my list of all-time favorites. This would be one of those rare occasions! I can honestly say that I don't remember the last book I read that was this good and that I literally couldn't put down. Seriously. Read it.

Besides the fact that it has such a compelling story (two stories actually that merge into one so seamlessly), the author does a brilliant job of connecting so passionately the past, present, and future. While we read about a present-day journalist living in France and working on a piece about an underrated aspect of World War II, we are also given powerful pieces of a story about a little girl and her family being taken to camps by the French police. And, well, I won't give it away, but by the end, the two stories are brought together so beautifully.

It's hard to remember parts of human history, especially when it involves horrible suffering, pain, and loss. But this novel profoundly demonstrates the importance of allowing even the most painful times to be a part of us, today and tomorrow.

Magnificent read!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Book #3: The King's Speech: how one man saved the British monarchy - Mark Logue & Peter Conradi

As I've said, I didn't go on to finish the "dragon tattoo" trilogy. Instead, I jumped into a genre that is truly neglected on my bookshelf. My goal is to read five non-fictions this year and I've now checked non-fiction #1 off my list!

First of all, I am one of the few people who have NOT seen the movie. I know, I know... "You're a speech pathology major, why the hell haven't you seen this movie?!" I've gotten that already. A lot. Just haven't gotten around to it. I've been dying to see it forever now. Just never did.

But not having seen the movie, I approached this book in a way that meant I had no knowledge of the details of the story. This was kind of refreshing. Within the non-fiction realm, I tend to gravitate toward books of things I already know, factual stories or information that I'm so interested in that I want to read about every detail. This time I just simply read about a story that I'd never known before.

And what a good story it was. Growing up, I had reservations and insecurities about speaking up in school or in public in general. Not because I had any sort of speech problem really (I had a minor lisp in early childhood, but that never persisted), but because I was just a really shy kid. In high school, by some strange twist of fate, I ended up on my school's speech team. I learned to get past my fears, I ended up being a captain, and I actually started to do quite well. Now I coach that same team. I've learned the power of voice and speech simply through practice. Much like the King. Until the day he died, the anxiety for him never fully went away, and it certainly hasn't for me either, but his story demonstrates the importance of will and confidence.

This book was definitely a change of pace from my usual compelling and heart-wrenching favorites. It was by no means any sort of thriller, but a story worth reading about. I will now be breaking out the King's Speech DVD I bought a while ago!