books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents

Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

I'm reading 150 Books

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Books I've read recently

I have gotten into some fantastic books lately and I just have to pass them on. I heard about some of them in a podcast from the BBC book program. The topic was fiction book that recreated history in an accurate way. Using the Internet and the following books, I was able to fill in some gaps in my knowledge of world history in a very entertaining way.

The Catastrophist by Ronan Bennett is set in the Belgian Congo in the early 1960's. The plot centers on two writers who are caught up in the rise and fall of the charismatic leader, Patrice Lamumba. I remember the headlines vaguely, but was never able to set the memories in a clear context. The story focuses on a writer, James, and his Italian correspondent lover, Inez. While the book focuses on the relationship between these two, the awful history of that era unfolds with a nice balance.

Another book recommended was My Enemy's Cradle by Sara Young.

This was set in Holland and Germany during WWII and is about the Lebensborn program conceived by Heinrich Himmler. The purpose of these camps was to birth and rear Aryan babies for the Fuhrer. Cyrla is half Jewish and she takes the place of her Aryan looking pregnant cousin in one of the camps. The book is well written and compelling and deals with a subject that is little known.

Next I found Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which takes place in Nigeria and concerns the break-away state of Biafra. The story is told through the eyes of 13 year old houseboy, Ugwu. I remember seeing the starving children in Biafra and I sent some money, more than I could afford, for their relief, but never really understood the politics of their suffering. This book shows the reader the conflict from various people's viewpoint and I felt gave a good synopsis of the conflict. As with the other two books, this was very well written.

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