Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption: I was nervous about reading this one because it sounded like it might be a little bit boring. It was not. In the prologue, we meet three men in a life raft, who are being strafed by a Japanese plane. One of the men jumps out of the life raft to avoid the bullets and sharks are circling. He has to fight off the sharks, while trying to avoid being captured or shot by the enemy, and while wondering what is happening to his fellow men who are still in the raft. It was an incredible opener, and an incredible book. I started reading it because I knew it was a running book. In fact, the book is about Louis Zamperini, who went to the Olympics in 1936. After the Olympics, he went on to fight in WWII, and his story is truly incredible. I cannot imagine going through the things that he went through. And yes, a true story.
Cutting for Stone: An epic story about twin boys growing up in Ethiopia amid a revolution. The boys were born from a doctor and a nun, and as you can imagine, that created somewhat of a scandal. The story takes place in a hospital and the real gem of the book is the medical procedures and practices that are described throughout the book. It's fascinating to hear about how surgeries were performed and how patients were treated. The author, Abraham Verghese, is a doctor and it shows through his writing.
Moloka'i: Another sort of medical book, I suppose. This is the story of a young Hawaiian woman who shows symptoms of leprosy and is sent to live in the leper colony on the island of Moloka'i. She spends her entire life there, and we learn how the lepers in the colony learn to cope with being totally cut off from their families and the rest of the world. They create basically a whole other world, while being basically ignored by the state and the rest of the world. I really enjoyed this one.
The Handmaid's Tale: I started reading this because it went on sale for $1.99 on Kindle, and I had heard it mentioned here and there. If you haven't read it, it's a dystopian tale of what the world would be like if reproduction, and therefore women, is controlled by the government (or at least society). It's a strange book, and quite a bit disturbing. There have been times lately where I have felt like we are leaning towards this a little bit too much. Very interesting story, and a great read.
What's the Matter with Kansas? I wanted to like this book, but I found it so incredibly boring. I am always interested in politics, and I read this because I wanted to understand why certain voters tend to vote the way that they do. However, I think I would have been better off with just an article rather than a book. It just couldn't keep my interest and I only read it about halfway through. I might go back to it eventually.
Sing You Home: When I went and visited my sister in November, I forgot both of my Kindles and had to quickly pick up a book in the airport. I cannot be without a book on an airplane. This was what I picked up, mostly on Jodi Picoult's good name and since I'd read My Sister's Keeper and enjoyed it. I finished it in a weekend. I honestly don't want to give too much away about the plot because I enjoyed not really knowing what was going to happen. Suffice it to say that it involves some lesbian/gay issues and also child custody. The concept was pretty interesting, and the characters were genuine and real. A good one to pick up if you've read other books by Jodi Picoult.
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