Annette's Picks
9781641291675

What a hoot! Maud might be almost 89 years old, but she’s no shrinking violet. She knows how to take care of herself and situations that need “fixing.” I loved this little treasure of a book!

9781250276896

A chilling account of Auschwitz by Heather Morris based on the real lives of three sisters. I cannot count the number of times my heart felt crushed by the weight of their story. What the sisters were subjected to and witnessed left me speechless, and yet they endured and ultimately prevailed! EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS!

9780593158807

I loved this book about four women in a cooking contest in England during WWII. Each had more at stake than the prize of becoming a BBC radio program presenter. It’s about their separate struggles, the general hardships of war, and the power of friendships. BIG BONUS: it includes over 15 recipes! I’ve made one already, and plan to try a lot more (although I will skip the Sheep’s Head Roll). Cooking some of the recipes is a fun way to connect to the characters and the time period!

9781683691433_cf09b

Whoo-wee—what a wild ride! Are you in a reading slump? This book will give you a jolt! Creepy, funny, gory, disgusting—loved it! At times I found myself cringing while laughing out loud at the same time. Glad our book club stepped outside of our usual reading genre and took a chance on this one!

9780062964588_9a885

This book, about 2 black women stepping outside the restrictive protections of their families into roles of officers in the WAAC, really grabbed me! The ladies confronted segregation in the Army & blatant, even violent discrimination from other Americans outside the Army. At times hopeful, at times heart-wrenching, the book later circles around to their triumphal breakthrough in the “Six Triple Eight”—the only all-black, all-female American battalion deployed overseas during WWII.

9781501170096

I love how AJ Pearce was somehow able to form a WWII story into a feel-good book. She made me care about every one of her warm characters, especially the center of them all, a young journalist who is determined to help working women with daycare issues during wartime. I couldn’t help but root for Emmy’s bright enthusiasm and moxie as she delicately yet doggedly negotiates in a man’s world. Go Emmy!

9780062976000

Wow! This book pivots on roles three women played in the enormous Woman Suffrage Procession in 1913 that was interrupted by a chaotic mob. The ladies' activism is a great reminder of the long and hard-won road to women’s right to vote that we should not take for granted!

9781982158934

I was awestruck by the stunning tale of Jews surviving in the forest as the Nazis hunted them during WWII. Inspired by true events, it’s a monumental story of courage, heroism, and a shining light in the midst of darkness and evil. Remarkable!

9781982142230

This book helped me open my eyes to the little things I can do to change my habits in order to make a positive environmental impact. It offered new suggestions and reinforced old ideas, but mostly it inspired me to be more aware of my own actions and purchases. Every little bit counts and it starts with me. I CAN make a difference!

9781728217710

A beautifully written story of two teenage girls involved in a murder in the back swamps of Mississippi and the unravelling of what brought the two strangers together. This book kept calling for me anytime I reluctantly had to put it down. It is an excellent tale of despair, tragedy, and rays of hope for justice in an unjust world. The end had me biting my nails and holding my breath, as the past comes back to haunt the relationship that was forged out of necessity and survival.

9780778331858

I couldn’t resist returning to Alka Joshi’s rich and vivid India, where once again I was enraptured by the story, the culture, and at the end of the book I immersed myself further by cooking her delicious recipes. A complete delight!

9781496715869

The rapid and overwhelming devastation of the 1918 Spanish Flu, an evil nurse, and callous nuns set the backdrop for a thirteen-year-old girl’s frantic search for her baby brothers. This book at me at the edge of my seat at the end! Gooooood!

9780062943477

Top secret codebreakers during WWII, a royal wedding, friendships, love, betrayals, a madhouse, and even a Mad Hatter literary society—this book has it all! I was drawn to this well-written, mesmerizing, historical fiction like a magnet. So good!

9780062874214

This book paints a painfully vivid and powerful image of Hitler’s reign and the courageous young women in the Polish Resistance who found the strength for defiance. Utterly sobering and chilling, it shook me to the core.

9781984824332

Crazy to imagine that this story of gun-wielding sailors, their ship frozen in ice for a year, with unforgiving polar nights, and a mysterious illness afflicting them, IS TRUE! Soooo good!

9780062991515

This graphic novel is a great way to learn about the true, unsolved story of DB Cooper who hijacked and escaped from a plane with a stash of cash and a parachute in 1971. I liked that the text was comprehensive and engaging, as were the large illustrations.

9780062916365

This book lassoed me in right from the beginning with the premise of a ranch for soon-to-be divorcees in the 1930s outside of Reno. But it was the likeable characters who really won my heart. I also loved the sense of humor, politeness, & innocence of a nostalgic era. It wasn't crude, graphic, or violent. Instead the book offered a lighthearted, well-needed breath of fresh air.

9781525806414

This is more than a story about German occupation in the Channel Islands during WWII—it’s also about the impossible, forbidden love of a German officer and a Jewish woman trapped in a dangerous world where there are no true winners. Based on a true story, they are forced to be enemies and must go to great lengths to hide their love. Was it all for nothing?

9780812996708

I love this story of two women with opposite personalities who go on an adventure where they not only learn more about each other, but also about themselves. A heartwarming female friendship book at its best!

9780062356345

I got completely wrapped up in this story about women sent to an Australian penal colony on Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania)—something I knew almost nothing about. An unforgettably sensational read!

9780142423622

I would give this book a 10+ rating! Easily one of the best books I've read all year. The story about people evacuating East Prussia to escape advancing Russians at the end of WWII left me breathless!

9780062937995

Hitler’s 1936 Olympics saw our “Boys in the Boat” row to victory. Now we get to learn about the “Fast Girls” on the U.S. track team who made history—specifically three women who had their own personal obstacles to hurdle before they reached the world’s stage. Gender discrimination, racism, ostracism, and a horrific accident all played against the financial squeeze of the Great Depression. A completely compelling read!

9780439874021

This is a truly special book—well-written, gripping, a little bit fairy tale, a lot of historical fiction. Three children find a harmonica which is sort of good luck charm that sees them through their predicaments and eventually strings these separate stories together likes notes on sheet music. Fantastic!

9780778309451

I loved this story that made me feel like I just stepped off the train right into the heart of the Pink City of Jaipur, India. I got absorbed in this foreign country set in against a vibrant background of rich colors, foods, traditions, superstitions, the caste system, and of course beautiful henna patterns! I was also excited about the recipes and extra information about India at the end. It’s like a total India immersion kit—makes it all the more satisfying and unforgettable!

9781785780233

I blew right through this book! A highly interesting and entertaining insight into why Denmark is rated the happiest country despite having one of the highest taxes. Had a GREAT book club discussion on this book. Find out what hygge and princess sticks are. Informative and FUNNY!