A Review of People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

As I mentioned in this post last summer, my first experience with Geraldine Brooks was her nonfiction The Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women. Brooks used her years of experience reporting from the middle east to write a great book that provides a lot of background on Islamic women to those of us far from familiar with their beliefs and lives.

After reading Year of  Wonders last summer (which I realize I’ve never reviewed), I fell in love with Brooks’ fiction work and couldn’t wait to read another one of her books. People of the Book was next up on my list.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book
By Geraldine Brooks

Review

People of the Book begins with, Hannah, an ancient book restoration expert in 1996, traveling to Sarajevo to inspect the Sarajevo Haggadah, an important Jewish book that hadn’t surfaced since prior to WWII. As  Hannah inspects the book, she discovers clues that eventually transport us back in time, following the book to its creation.

We follow the book back in time and witness the various atrocities Jews have endured over the years. We learn how the book’s owners survived or lost their lives. Throughout the book, Brooks emphasizes humanity among the atrocities from those who saved the book to those who saved the owners of the book.

Rating

Writing 5 out of 5 stars

Brooks’ writing was clear and transported me along the journey of discovering the book’s origin.

Character Development  4 out of 5 stars

As we travel back, we get to know a lot of fairly well developed characters

Plot Structure 5 out of 5 stars

The organization of the book works really well to move the plot forward.

Storytelling 5 out of 5 stars

Using the real life discovery of the Sarajevo Haggadah, Brooks tells a deep and intriguing story.

Total 4.75 out of 5 stars

Have you read People of the Book? What did you think?

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Weekly Reads: 4.21.14

March is supposed to come in like a lion weather wise, but I’ve been so busy this month, that I’ve decided the statement applies to my calendar and to do list for the beginning of April as well.

During my lunch break, which I haven’t officially taken for two weeks, I‘m reading

The B2B Social Media Book: Becoming a Marketing Superstar | Weekly Reads at The 1000th Voice blog

The B2B Social Media Book
By Kipp Bodnar & Jeffrey L. Cohen

This book has a lot of great insights for the BSB social media market that I am.

I finished Steve Martin’s An Object of Beauty over the weekend. I absolutely loved it. It was so weird, but so great. I picked up

People of the Book
By Geraldine Brooks

What are you reading this week?

**Linked up with Book Journey**

Weekly Reads: 12.30.2013 & the Best Reading of 2013

With a little hesitation bred from a lack of familiarity,  last week I started reading:

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami | Weekly Reads at The 1000th Voice

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
By Haruki Murakami

I’m 250+ pages in, and it’s great! Once again, I’m so glad I decided to read this.

Best Reading of 2013

Best Book: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Book I Was Excited About and Thought I Was Going To Love More But Didn’t: Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende – I have not given up on this book for good.

Most Surprising (in a good way!) Book: Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (Good because she learned how to create a life for herself despite losses and the norms of her time.)

Book I Recommended Most: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Best Series Discovered: I read two series in 2013-The Little House series and The Hunger Games-neither was a new discovery.

Favorite New Authors Discovered: New-to-me authors Daphne du Maurier, Leif Enger & Melanie Benjamin

Best Book That was out of My Comfort Zone or Was a New Genre: I didn’t read any new genres this year, but I so infrequently read Spiritual/Religious books that 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker fits the bill.

Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire & Mockingjay

Book I Read That I’m Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year: I generally don’t reread books. With that said, I’m probably most likely to reread 7 by Jen Hatmaker or A Little House Reader sometime in the future.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Favorite Cover of a Book: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Most Memorable Character: It’s a tie between Joe in The Round House by Louise Erdrich and Merikat in We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Most Beautifully Written Book: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Book That Had the Greatest Impact on Me: 7 by Jen Hatmaker

Book I Couldn’t Believe I Waited to Finally Read: In terms of amount of time on my physical bookshelf without reading, it would have to be The Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich.

Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book: “Colin was perennially appalled by the threadbare state of other people’s morals.” and “Colin’s only understanding of love was of limitless loyalty, boundless tolerance: Mary had fallen, irreparably in his estimation.” I liked these two from The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling because of how well they succinctly describe Colin’s character. Also, “At peace? Who but the insane would ever be at peace? What person who has enjoyed life could possibly think one is enough? Who could live even a day and not feel the sweet ache of regret?” from Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters.

Shortest and Longest Books Read:
Shortest – Love Poems by Pablo Neruda (90 pages)
Longest – The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (505 pages)

Book That Had A Scene In It That I Was Dying To Talk About: The Little House series had me constantly pondering my thoughts on Mary, and I wanted to talk to everyone about them.

Favorite Relationship From A Book: Laura and Almanzo from These Happy Golden Years

Favorite Book I Read from An Author I’ve Read Previously: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Best Book I Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation from Somebody Else: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger was recommended to me 10 years ago by my favorite teacher.

Genre I Read Most: It seems to be a toss-up between Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction and Contemporary Fiction. Many books seem to cross over these three genres.

Newest Fictional Crush: None

Best 2013 Debut: We’ll be the Last Ones to Let You Down by Rachael Hanel

Most Vivid World/Imagery in a Book: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Book That Was The Most Fun To Read: Little House in the Big Woods

Book That Made Me Cry Or Nearly Cry: Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Book That I Think Was Overlooked When It Came Out: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

And then looking forward…

One Book I Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be My Number 1 Priority in 2014: It’s not a priority, but I’m really looking forward to Actors Anonymous by James Franco.

Book I Am Most Anticipating for 2014: See above.

One Thing I Hope to Accomplish or Do in My Reading/Blogging in 2014: To thoroughly enjoy the books I read.

*Linked up with the Perpetual Page Turner H/T to Love Laughter Insanity*

Twitterature!

I’m excited to participate in my first Twitterature link up with Modern Mrs. Darcy today! Twitterature is her fun way to share quick, little reviews of books read recently.

The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling
By Annette Simmons

Start to finish an excellent guide on learning to become an impactful storyteller. #CommunicationsRead

Year of Wonders
By Geraldine Brooks

A year of sadness, wonders and hope. Devastating & uplifting. #MustRead

The Last Runaway
By Tracy Chevalier

Honor Bright is a young idealist, who falls in the face of adversity. #LightHistoricalFic

We’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down: Memoir of a Gravedigger’s Daughter
By Rachael Hanel

Saddening, enjoyable with a touch of the macabre. #ReadIt

I’m linking this up with Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Weekly Reads: 7.8.2013

in which I share my planned reading for the week ahead

I‘ve had a sick little one the last five days, so I’ve spent a lot of time snuggling and watching My Little Ponies. All that means I haven’t had much time to read; it’s especially hard to read a book about the plague with a sick kiddo. It just makes me too anxious. BUT, I’m really enjoying the book when I get a few minutes to read it. Based on plans this week, I’ll still be reading

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks | Weekly Reads at The 1000th Voice

Year of Wonders
By Geraldine Brooks 

I’m heading to the Little Town on the Prairie this weekend for a family reunion, so I’ll probably only get time in the car to read. If I finish Year of Wonders, I’ll start on The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling by Annette Simmons.

I‘m also still listening to Let’s Pretend This Never Happened By Jenny LawsonI haven’t been able to listen to it since last Tuesday, so I’m really anxious to finish it this week on my drive to work.

**Linked up with Book Journey**

What are you reading this week?

Weekly Reads: 7.1.2013

in which I share my planned reading for the week ahead

You guys! I’m so excited that today is the first of July because it means that my Laura Ingalls Wilder series starts tomorrow! I have so much fun stuff planned including reviews of her books (of course), discussions about some of the key points in her books, and some great expert interviews! Seriously, it’s going to be great! I really hope you join me starting tomorrow!

I had a really busy weekend full of running around to hardware stores and greenhouses, so we could do some (a lot) of landscaping work. I’m so sore today, and I can’t wait until I can sit on my deck with coffee and a book to watch the sunrise or chill in the hammock on the patio (with a book, of course). (Let’s just enjoy that thought for a moment.) Amid all that running around, I began reading

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks | Weekly Reads at The 1000th Voice blogYear of Wonders
By Geraldine Brooks 

This is my first foray into Brooks’ fiction work. When I was in college I picked up The Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, and I loved it! I got a lot of weird looks reading a book with the word desire in the title because this was pre-50 Shades of Grey in the Midwest. (What people say about prudes in the midwest is partly true, but not all of us are super prudes!) I slowly read the first ten pages of this book. It’s so dense, but I felt something great there, so I continued. I’m so glad I did. I’m only about 40 pages in, and I’m loving it! (I realize that’s a log of ‘greats’ and exclamation points for one small paragraph, but it’s going to be great!)

Later in the week, when I finish Year of Wonders, I’ll start reading The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling by Annette Simmons. It sounds like an interesting book that should help me out at work.

To break up the more dense and serious tone of Year of Wonders, I’m listening to

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson | Weekly Reads at The 1000th Voice blog

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
By Jenny Lawson

Besides reading her story about Beyonce the chicken, I’ve never read Lawson’s blog, but I saw this at the library, so I decided I should listen to it. Lawson narrates it herself in a sweet voice with a slight southern drawl. At first I really didn’t think her particular brand of comedy was for me, but I’ve been laughing so hard as I’ve continued on.

Are you reading anything interesting this week?

Book Chat | 6.5.2013

Book Chat | The 1000th Voice Blog | Book News, Blog Updates & More!

Book Chat is a monthly feature when I chat about anything
book related: publishing news, books I’m excited
about and more.
Read more Book Chat posts here.

Books on my Summer List

I don’t plan a specific to read list for summer. I don’t usually characterize things as a beach read or a non-beach read. My last beach vacation I read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua: the former might show up on a beach read list, but I doubt the latter would. I usually just think about the books I want to read in general. This summer is no different. As I finish reading the Little House series, I’m looking forward to diving into:

We'll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down by Rachael Hanel

We’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down
By Rachael Hanel

Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende

Maya’s Notebook
By Isabel Allende

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

The Last Runaway
By Tracy Chevalier

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Year of Wonders
By Geraldine Brooks

It’s become quite obvious to me lately, that I tend to prefer female authors. Female authors, or more correctly, authors who also happen to be female are just as good if not better than male authors, but I’ve almost unconsciously gravitated toward them. I like their subjects, particularly the strong female characters that draw me in.

Upcoming Books Reviews

How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley
How Did You Get This Number
By Sloane Crosley
June 12th 

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire & Mockingjay
By Suzanne Collins
June 17th

Socialnomics by Erik Qualman

Socialnomics (Delayed Book Discussion)
By Erik Qualman
June 26th

On the Horizon

all about Laura Ingalls Wilder | The 1000th Voice Blog

Besides reading the great books above and writing views on the other ones, I’ll be hard at work preparing for my Laura Ingalls Wilder series during July. I’m very excited about that, so please come back.