What I’m Reading: City of Women


I just finished up listing to the audio book City of Women: A Novel by David R. Gillham.

I had this book in my queue at my on line library…then it was my turn and something happened that it wouldn’t let me download it.  I ended up missing it.  I was a little frustrated but it’s the only time I’ve had any trouble with the online library.  I put myself back on the waiting list and finally it was my turn and it downloaded perfectly.

The book is really good.  It takes place in Berlin during WWII.  Just by telling you that much, you can probably guess that I liked it, and you’d be right.  I did.  The story is really more of a compilation story.  The book has a main character but the stories of many others are intertwined in her story.  I liked that….

Here’s what Amazon had to say about it, “It is 1943—the height of the Second World War. With the men away at the front, Berlin has become a city of women.

On the surface, Sigrid Schröder is the model German soldier’s wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime.

But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman of passion who dreams of her former Jewish lover, now lost in the chaos of the war. But Sigrid is not the only one with secrets—she soon finds herself caught between what is right and what is wrong, and what falls somewhere in the shadows between the two . . .”

Amazon readers give it 4.2 stars.  I think I’d have to give it the same.  The reason that I didn’t give it a higher rating..it does start out a little slow and at first I found some of the characters to see a little clinical….that all changed once I got into the book.

What I’m Reading: Fever 1793


I just finished up listening to the audio book Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson.  I have known about this book for some time.  I almost bought it out of the kids’ book orders for myself when they were in school (that’s how you know you’re a real historical/juvenile fiction nut-buying books for yourself from the book order).  I never did by the book but when I saw it was available as and audio book via the online library, I snapped it up.

The book was pretty good…easy for kids to understand.  I can see if I was a upper elementary teacher that this might be a good choice to have my classroom of kids read.  The book was fast moving and had lots of scenes where kids could pick up pieces of history.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out. 
Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie’s world upside down. At her feverish mother’s insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.”

Amazon readers give it 4.5 stars….I guess reading it as an adult, I’d say 4.2 stars.  I could see a few flaws.  The author would occasionally sound like a modern day teen, then she’d fall back to the formality of the times.  It was nothing serious, but as an I am an adult reader, it’s something I noticed.  All in all, it’s a quick read and a fine book.

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