Saturday, April 26, 2014

A - Z Challenge: S, T, U, V, and W (Playing catch up!)

Alright, so life got the better of me this week. Whoops. This is what happens when you start the A - Z Challenge the night before it starts as you've only just come up with a theme and write posts only a couple days in advance. Wow. Since last weekend, it's been super busy. A good busy, but it's kept me away from writing and reading blogs as I try to keep up with life.

So to play catch up for the week, here are my books for S, T, U, V and W!

Sarah's Key by Tatania DeRosnay

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

OMG. One of the best books I've ever read. Must read. Tatania takes a real even in France's history and uses fictional characters to bring it back to life. Your heart aches and breaks throughout this book, because little Sarah continues to try to get back to her brother. Although we readers pretty much know what happens to the little brother, which again, breaks your heart. But Sarah won't give up - she has to get back to him. Julia has to track down anyone who remembers that fateful day of the Vel'd'Hiv and who is willing to speak of it - no one likes to remember that it ever happened. Their tales slowly begin to intertwine and Julia has to know what happened to Sarah and where she ended up as her name never appears on lists. Seriously, read this book. This for me, is Tatania's best work.

Tell Me Where It Hurts by Nick Trout, DVM

It’s 2:47 a.m. when Dr. Nick Trout takes the phone call that starts another hectic day at the Angell Animal Medical Center. Sage, a ten-year old German shepherd, will die without emergency surgery for a serious stomach condition. Over the next twenty-four hours Dr. Trout fights for Sage’s life, battles disease in the operating room, unravels tricky diagnoses, reassures frantic pet parents, and reflects on the humor, heartache, and inspiration in his life as an animal surgeon. And he wants to take you along for the ride.…

Having worked in veterinary offices I really didn't hesitate when buying this book. Each clinic and each doctor are very different, not only in what they specialize in but their personalities and their clientele. This is an interesting read from one veterinarian's perspective.

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy?

Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman's life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. But not even her love of Jane Austen has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, condomless seducers, and marriages of convenience. Enter the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who fills Courtney's borrowed brain with confusing memories that are clearly not her own.

Try as she might to control her mind and find a way home, Courtney cannot deny that she is becoming this other woman and being this other woman is not without its advantages: Especially in a looking-glass Austen world. Especially with a suitor who may not turn out to be a familiar species of philanderer after all.

Okay, so I haven't read anything that started U, so I'm improvising with this one. Another Jane Austen-type spin-off here, but not your continuing story kind. In this book we find Courtney, a woman of the 21st century suddenly and somehow transplanted in 1813 Regency England. And to top that off, she's in some other woman's body, kind of like a Freaky Friday thing. Not only does she not know how she got there (perhaps some elaborate dream?), but she has to suddenly act like a lady of the 19th century. And with that last bit she finally realizes how annoying the constant chaperones are and that body odor is something that hardly exists  mostly because everyone smells and therefore ignores it. She also finds out just how much trouble a bath actually is and how women were forced to deal with their "monthly cycles". She does have a hilarious moment actually meeting the famous authoress, Jane Austen, herself and completely makes a fool of herself. Overall this book was enjoyable and really put you in Courtney's shoes and how awkward it would to be transplanted back two hundred years.

The Vendetta Defense by Lisa Scottoline

When "Pigeon Tony" an elderly pigeon racer is arrested for the murder of his lifelong enemy Angelo Coluzzi, the Coluzzi's family seek revenge on Pigeon Tony and his lawyer Judy Carrier.

 Another Lisa Scottoline book on the list and for good reason. It's good. Poor old Pigeon Tony (and he seriously wants people to call him that) winds up in the hot seat for allegedly murdering his arch enemy, Pigeon Tony winds up in serious trouble. He and his lawyer race against the clock trying to avoid being killed by Coluzzi's family, who is hell-bent on revenge. Judy has to figure out how to defend a client who insists that he "killed" but he did not "murder". The story takes us to a different place and time - Mussolini era Italy and an age-old feud and crossed an ocean. Another great read by Lisa Scottoline!

White Girl Problems by Babe Walker

Babe Walker, center of the universe, is a painstakingly manicured white girl with an expensive smoothie habit, a proclivity for Louboutins, a mysterious mother she's never met, and approximately 50 bajillion Twitter followers. But her "problems" have landed her in shopping rehab--that's what happens when you spend $246,893.50 in one afternoon at Barneys. Now she's decided to write her memoir, revealing the gut-wrenching hurdles she's had to overcome in order to be perfect in every way, every day. Hurdles such as:
- I hate my horse.
- Every job I've ever had is the worst job I've ever had.
- He's not a doctor, a lawyer, or a prince.
- I'll eat anything, as long as it's gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie, sugar-free, and organic.
In an Adderall-induced flash of inspiration, Babe Walker has managed to create one of the most enjoyable, unforgettable memoirs in years.

So I was entertained when I read the back of the book (above). I mean, who spends nearly $250,000 at Barney's?! Or anywhere else for that matter?! While I was entertained, I think my jaw was usually slack from shock and my forehead hurt from hitting it so much. I wouldn't necessarily say that Babe's issues are "white girl" problems and definitely not your average "first world" problems; they are pretty much just the problems a spoiled little rich girl has to deal with after always getting what she wants. While entertaining, this book was also rather annoying, even if it's a complete farce of a story. 



  1. That last one is on the verge of greatness, just needs a picture of a starving African at the bottom of every page and a single tear down the cheek. It'll have to be photoshopped on because obviously they're far too severely dehydrated to produce real ones.

    1. HAHAHAHAHA!! That's what that book was missing!

  2. The only one of these books I have read is Sarah's Key. It was well written and made a good book club discussion. What would we do without our books! I can't imagine my life without them.

    1. It is seriously one of the BEST books I've read. My heart just broke for Sarah, knowing what she either didn't or couldn't bring herself to think.

  3. Ooh! Some lovely suggestions. I haven't read any of these...because I've been reading off a different list, but they all sound wonderful.

    True Heroes from A to Z

    1. There's tons of lists of books out there. lol Thanks for stopping by!


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