Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sarah's Key

The book Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosney will break your heart. Seriously. I will.

It starts off a little slow, but then it will completely captivate every bit of you. It tells the story of a young girl named Sarah, a Jewish girl sent to an internment camp in France, and of the key that locks a special closet in her home. Her story is carefully intertwined with that of an American Journalist who's family moves into the home that Sarah's family once inhabited.

This is a sad and beautiful story, it encompasses so many aspects of the human experience. Love, loss, betrayal, and a certain essence of hope. I highly recommend this novel to any reader, but be prepared for a little anguish.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Okay, so I'll admit it. I, like everyone else, have a guilty pleasure beyond all guilty pleasures. I LOVE Chelsea Handler. To be honest, I've only watched her show a few times, but it's always so hilarious. My boyfriend was talking about how he wanted to read this book, so I bought it...and then read it before he did.

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea is a hilarious book. I mean, it's no literary masterpiece. She's not William Faulkner. But She is a damn good comedian. I enjoyed reading her probably embellished memoir, and I thought that most of it was pretty damn relateable. I think that any not-prissy woman will find something about this story that is relateable. Especially young Chelsea, who...oh wow, I remember those days.

This book was good. As mentioned, it's not Nobel Prize worthy. But it was funny, and it was a nice little afternoon read. I recommend it.

A Concise History of The Middle East

Okay. So TECHNICALLY this is a text book. But it reads like a novel, and it's on a topic that I think is very important for Americans to know at this point in time. A Concise History of the Middle East was assigned to me for my History of The Middle East Class (a fantastic class, btw). This book is readable, and it explains the conflict of the middle east in an understandable and in depth manner. It's also pretty damned unbiased, and written by people who ACTUALLY know what they're talking about. In 500 pages, they go from Muhammed to Saddam Hussein, and cover everything in between. Even issues that I didn't know existed.

This book was well written. As mentioned, it reads like a novel. Like...I actually read the entire textbook. For fun. 

I'd recommend this as summer reading for anyone. It makes me want to go to the middle east. hard.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blue Like Jazz

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality is an amazing piece of literature written by Portland Author Donald Miller. I must admit, this is not a genre of literature I usually delve into too frequently. To be frank, while I DO identify myself as a Christian (a Catholic Christian at that!), a lot of times the things that come out of christian's mouths really really really irritates me. Especially in this modern day of "christian" neoconservative teabaggers....

Anyways, I was nervous about this book. My friend Ashley recommended it to me, and we started reading it together. I was so surprised by it. This book is genuine, it is heartfelt, and it approaches christian spirituality in a very authentic way. It reminded me of my days in youth ministry, sitting and talking with my friends about faith. Pure faith, not religion, not politics, not ethics or morals or whatever, just faith.

Most of the book takes place in Portland. Miller tells of his adventures auditing classes at Reed College, and joining a new and exciting faith community here in Portland. I want to meet him. Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who is open minded about Christianity. It's a christian book, but not a cheesy preachy one. More like an exploration of Christianity. Plus, there's comics.

Time for some serious updating.....

Okay, so I've slacked off on the blog....and on reading. But mainly on the blog. I'm back "on the wagon" though, and I've got some great reads to share.

 The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Before I left Vermont last fall, I had a professor assign me this book. So I bought it, and it sat idly on my bookshelf until recently....when a new professor assigned me to read it. And this time I actually did.

This book CHANGED MY LIFE. I don't say that lightly.

 As some of you know, I am an aspiring outdoor educator, so my passion for the outdoors and sharing it with kids has always been....prominent. But this book opened my eyes to how severe of a separation our youth have with the natural world.

This books provides studies and theories and practices of ways we can learn to share the outdoors with our children, and the children in our lives. EVERY parent, EVERY educator, and EVERYONE who cares about children should read this book.