Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wonderstruck


Wonderstruck
By Brian Selznick

This 600 plus page book only took me about 3 hours to read. It helped that 2/3 of the book was filled with pictures.  I really loved how this story was told. The pictures really did tell a story all their own.

I original picked up this book because I saw a preview for the movie and was so intrigued that I immediately wanted to read the book. It follows the story of two kids, Ben and Rose, whose stories take place 50 years apart. Ben in the 1970s and Rose in the 1920s. Ben who has lost his mother and longs to meet his father who he has never met. Rose who is kept isolated because of her deafness  and is drawn to a famous actress from the silent films of the 1920s. They both run away to New York in search of answers. Ben's story is told through words and Rose's is told through the pictures. It was the perfect combination. I love how their stories are connected even though they grew up 50 years apart. Plus it was so interesting to get a glimpse into deaf culture. I am really excited to see how they turn this into a film.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Thousand Splendid Suns


A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini

This is one of those books that I think everyone should read. It was heartbreaking but I feel like it gives you a glimpse into the lives of the people who live in war torn countries like Afghanistan.

The book follows the lives of two women over the course of about thirty years who live in Kabul, Afghanistan. It shows what it would have been like to live through a time where their country was constantly being fought over for control.

 Starting with the communist coup, to the Soviets, to all the different Warlords fight for power and on to the Taliban. There are so many different groups of people living in the area it seems as though they have always struggled to get along and live in peace. It was hard to read about the terrible things they went through.

The Taliban was by far the worse and it was so upsetting to see the way that women were treated. What was so sad that about that whole situation was just how happy the people were when the Taliban arrived and stopped the Warlord's endless war. Little did they know just how awful their lives would become after they took control. Women couldn't even get proper medical care because the majority of the Hospitals were for men only. The only Women's Hospital had no electricity, water or drugs.

Even though this story was very depressing I did feel like there was hope at the end. After the events of September 11th, The United States came in and drove out the Taliban. Women were able to have some freedoms again and it felt like things were changing for the better.  I can only hope that this has stayed true all these years later. It just breaks my heart that they have had to struggle to survive for so many years.

Even though this is a fictional story,  I thought it was a great lesson in history. I like historical fiction so much because it takes something in the past and brings it to life. Really makes you feel what life would have been like for someone living through that era or event. This book does that an more. It is so well written. I am glad that I took time to read this story.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Troublemaker


Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
by Leah Remini

I don't read much non-fiction, but I saw a couple episodes of her show on the same subject and was fascinated. I decided to pick up the book and read more about her experiences with Scientology. This may have not been the most well written book I have ever read but boy was it fascinating. I only took me about a day to read it because I couldn't put it down. There are a lot of things she brings up in this book about Scientology that I found very sad. I was both surprised and unsurprised that she stuck with the religion for so long. Surprised because even at a young age she was treated terribly by them but Unsurprised because of how much they control their followers. I still don't completely understand everything she was talking about because it was just really strange. Maybe she could have explained the auditing process a little more in depth. Towards the end of the book she kept saying that they kept her for hours reading policies but it didn't really understand what that meant or what the purpose was. It was a little confusing for me. But I can also  understand not wanting to get into the details of religion that for years you were told only certain people were allowed to have all the knowledge; those who went through all the steps and classes to move higher up the bridge. That would be a hard transition. I really liked how honest she was about her life. She admitted her character flaws and embraced who she was with out hesitation. I found this very refreshing. This was definitely an easy Non-fiction book to read, probably because the subject was so interesting to me. I would recommend it, if you are at all curious about what she went through.