Worth Reading…

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Hi Reading Friends– here’s a couple engaging books that I found worth reading.  Both historical fiction from the last century, based on actual people– a look at some fascinating lives.

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Set in WWII, We Were The Lucky Ones, spills out the stories of the the Kurcs, a prosperous Jewish family from the Polish town of Radom.  In the course of the war they are scattered– to a Siberian work camp, the beaches of North Africa, a ghetto in Warsaw, the Italian front, taking refuge in Rio de Janeiro, and hidden away on a farm in the countryside  The author, Georgia Hunter, is the grand daughter of Addy Kurc, escaped Europe on one of the last ships to carry immigrant during the war.  She brought to life the resourceful, determined Kurcs, telling their stories with her well researched details and a great heart for the the people of her family– harrowing escapes, loyal love, imprisonment, torture, amazing bravery and the beloved traditions of a family tied together even as they were torn apart.

Anne Morrow was a college girl, daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, when she met Charles Lindbergh, now a celebrity since his 1927 flight in the Spirit of Saint Louis across the Atlantic.  They wed and Anne becomes famous as the Aviator’s wife, living in the shadow of her famous husband.  She weathers the kidnapping of her 18 month old son, raises a house full of children and eventually comes into her own, as an aviator and author.  Melanie Benjamin gives us a picture of a troubled marriage, reflecting the times and the price of fame– a fascinating look at a complicated woman and her bigger than life husband.

 

P.S. Painting at the top by Carl Vilhelm Holsoe (Danish).

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30 thoughts on “Worth Reading…

      • I am half an I am half way through The Aviators Wife. It’s a great read. It isn’t a book I would have picked out so I am really chuffed you told me about it. Isn’t it lovely how shared recipes and ideas can enrich ones life. Thank you again

        • I totally agree! I’m old enough to remember cooking, reading, decorating without the internet– so now it feels like there are thousands ideas at my finger tips every day! I like your word enriching– it’s true. And glad you are enjoying The Aviator’s Wife. It’s interesting to see what our hero was like in his private life– not so great! What else have you read lately?? I’m always looking for ideas! thanks! xox

          • Now there is a question!!! So much depends on what mood you are in don’t you think?
            If you are in a nostalgic mood the sheer light hearted charm of Miss Garnets Angel by Sally Vickers is hard to beat. I have recently finished The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See which was interesting and thought provoking. Before that I enjoyed Miss Smillas Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg as I had no idea about the practicalities of living in Greenland and Denmark and the Inuit ways and the story was interesting. I like thriller/story telling so anything by Robert Goddard. On a different level I loved the intricacy of Jessie Burtons The Minaturist. I was riveted in a holiday read type of way by I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes a real suspense thriller.
            I like so many books for so many different reasons but I hope something on my list strikes a chord with you and that you enjoy it.

            Ps. I remember life before the internet too!

            • OK, this is the greatest comment!! thanks– am writing down all your reading suggestions to hunt down at the library!! I have read The Girl of Hummingbird Lane- I think it was one of Lisa See’s best. The historical, cultural details were fascinating– and it’s set in a part of China where my sister lived for 3 years and we visited her there, so I could imagine the tea growing up the hills. so much fun to hear from you– And– loved your recipe for quince mincemat. Ae you in Britain?? You recipes sound like things I’ve heard about in novels!! take care… xo

            • Yes I live in a tiny village in Suffolk. Not too far from Bury St Edmunds if you want a reference point. We are deep in the countryside but can get to London in under two hours so it’s a nice mix
              I love the fact that you and your family have lived in different countries. Must make conversations round the table really interesting.
              I agree with you about Hummingbird being evocative Fantastic writing.
              I am nearly at the end of The Aviators Wife I will let you know when I have finished.
              Its turning cold here now I loved your post about things to be thankful for. Even though we don’t celebrate thanksgiving here I have printed the list out and am going to think about one each day in my quiet ten minutes to start the day as I think that would be a perfect way to start off the day. It’s easy isn’t it to get caught up with problems and worries and forget that we are so lucky in so many ways

            • HI there– I’m trying to imagine your little Suffolk village. We lived in Spain for several years when our kids were small and would take the ferry up to Plymouth and travel through England– so green and historic and beautiful. (good memories). And– I think you are so right, I can so get caught up in problems and worries that I ignore the good blessings we live with. Thanksgiving here is a favorite holiday– kids come home and it is a time to give thanks together. I’m already planning dishes for our big meal–can’t wait! Hope all’s well with you there. Blessings. xo

            • I am really looking forward to seeing some of what you cook for thanksgiving. I do think you get a real feel for other customs and cultures through food don’t you? My only real experience of Thanksgiving is from what I’ve seen on tv. I used to love The West Wing and the episode on the turkey pardoning was fantastic watching!

            • That’s funny– when we lived in Spain, all our Spanish friends were curious about Thanksgiving– we’d invite them in to try it– always fun. I really don’t think it’s the most delicious meal– but so traditional and nostalgic that it always feels special to us. hugs from here…

    • Hi Lacey! I ordered the new Amy Tan memoir from the library and brought it with me up to SF to read this week– 40 pages in and it’s so slow! (She wrote another memoir a few years back that was vey good!)– and it’s the only book I brought–(my suitcase was full of grand-kid treats) so I’m slogging through it… What is your book club reading?? Any suggestions?? xox

      • Our book club hasn’t meet since summer maybe. Some of the woman got very busy. I think the rest of us starting to wonder if we should keep meeting and whoever can meet can; we usually try to find a all 6 of us can.

        I just finished The Woman in Cabin 10. It was okay. A decent murder mystery right before Halloween but not my favorite.
        I just barley started The Lilac Girls. So far I am into it. I think you’ve read that one maybe?

        Oh man that stinks about your book. Surely it’ll pick up??

        • Hi Lacey– Oh it’s so hard to plan dates for everyone! We just meet on the 2nd Tuesday each month, but every time there are people missing. Yep, read Lilac girls– not great literature, but an interesting story, don’t you think? take care friend. xo

          • I think we may have to suggest something like that for our club. Otherwise we will be meeting a few times a year!
            I’m like 15% of the way into Lilac Girls, but so far those are my thoughts exactly.

    • Hi Chris– It was so interesting– I guess I’d only heard of it all from Lindbergh’s point of view– But this book gives his wife’s perspective and details their marriage. After I read it, of course, I had to google and read all about them and the books seems pretty true to their lives. What have you read lately?? Always looking for good recommendations! Loved your post on MInocqua– we loved it there!

  1. I remember when I discovered Ann Morrow’s book “Gift from the Sea” when I was a young woman. I gave a copy to almost everyone I knew! I think I’m going to have to put the Aviator’s Wife on the top of my list!

  2. Hi Rhonda – I loved the Aviator’s Wife but he was a real jerk, wasn’t he?? It was eye opening to me as I always thought he was seen as an American hero. I will have to check out We Were the Lucky Ones, that looks great. -Kat

    • You’re so right Kat– Lindbergh publicly may have been a hero (except for his Hitler connection)– but he was not a hero to his family!! And — did really enjoy We Were the Lucky Ones– they went through some harrowing times and were so smart and determined. I was in the epilogue that they were real people! What else have you read lately?? Always looking for ideas!! xox

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