Annette's Picks
9781609458386

This book is simply stunning! It immediately seized me in its grip and did not let go. Blinded by Hitler’s sinister reality, a Jewish family chose to see hope instead of hate—until it was too late. Only one person escaped in this thrilling, mesmerizing, heartrending story made all the more poignant because it was based on true events. Incredible!

9781612198163

What a joy this book was! I loved being invited into Shaun Bythell’s daily life as a bookseller in Scotland. His dry humor and deadpan observations had me smiling and even laughing out loud page after page. Several fellow booksellers read it before I did and highly recommended it. They were so right! Good choice.

9781728229362

Based on the real lives of the aristocratic Mitford sisters, this book provides an utterly engaging glance at the rise of fascism in Britain leading up to WWII and one sister’s infatuation and friendship with Hitler. We gain a thought-provoking sense of how ideologies can escalate to dangerous levels.

9780143109747

Wow! Wow! Wow! Each page of this book exposes one new shocking revelation after another of life in North Korea. And a whole new nightmare begins when mother and daughter escape to China. It’s tough to imagine such relentless horrors. A captivating, astonishing read!

9780063085763

A smart and endearing action adventure! In this delightful take-off on Frankenstein, an 11-year-old girl completes her great-grandpa’s experiment in creating a being. Now she, the talking-head portion of her robot tutor, her chimpanzee, and a new friend hunt to bring back the monster who’s on the loose. Loved it!

9780593321706

This book swept me away from page one. The writing is electric; the visual descriptions are a treat! A story of three siblings growing up in an unconventional British family, follows their bond as children who put on theatre productions, to adulthood facing the turbulent times of WWII. This 545-page book is perfect to cozy up with in the cold winter months.

9780062906427

Great book! Gives an inside look at the massive operations behind the scenes of the White House. Find out what’s hidden under the Press Briefing Room, which president liked to eat squirrel stew, and which president and first lady went by code names Rawhide and Rainbow. Geared for mid-kids readers ages 8-12, but I found it highly intriguing and recommend it for all ages. This book is an absolute treasure!

9780525542308

This book sparkles with humor and is filled with love, as a family copes with tragedy. It hits at the funny bone and the heart! A director has already been selected for the movie version of this book. Woohoo!

9780593183939

An uplifting, feel-good book buzzing with hope! In the small apple orchard region of Hood River, Oregon, three people in need come together: a beekeeper with a tragic loss; an 18-year-old wheelchair-bound boy trapped in a terrible home life; and a well-meaning but bumbling, nervous 24-year-old with a checkered past. All lost in their own way, they find strength in each other with the help of bees.

9781728250748

Wow! This well-written, well-researched book about the German Lebensborn Society was totally captivating! Coburn’s chilling details of the lesser-known program as well as life in WWII Germany had me glued to each page.

9781728249766

Exactly what I look for in historical fiction: learning about the past through a well-told, gripping story such as this one, which encompasses an unforgettable tragedy in Michigan, amazing escape and evasion gadgets constructed to outwit the Germans, and going undercover in occupied Holland. All of it was fascinating!

9781982167226

Excellent! An honest and raw reflection on one woman’s life as she unspun her personal history. She opened up about her childhood in the Jewish section of a unique Turkish, Greek, and later Italian-ruled island in the Aegean Sea, and how 1,650 Jews were sent to Auschwitz in July of 1944. We come to know Stella Levi as an interesting, tough, intelligent, and remarkable woman who was one of the lucky ones from her island to survive the Holocaust.

9780385544573

A fascinating account of a modern-day explorer who idolized Shackleton and trekked to the South Pole twice before attempting a solo land-crossing of the Antarctic continent! Stunning with awe-inspiring photos.

9781250276698

A satisfying read about three ladies in a London bookshop in 1950. Through friendship, acuity, and boldness, they triumphantly break through the restrictive roles of womanhood to take control of their own futures and happiness!

9781984836038

Historical fiction at its best! A jaw-dropping book about a boy in Romania during one of the most oppressive communist regimes, led by dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (Beloved Leader) and is wife Elena (Heroine Mother).

9780593419335

I LOVED , LOVED, LOVED this book about two women corresponding in the 1960s! They begin by sharing their interest in food and then develop a true friendship. One lives in L.A., the other in the Seattle area. Every page either made me smile or pulled on my heartstrings. This is such a SPECIAL, gentle gem of a book that I pre-ordered seven copies as gifts!!

9780525559474

A quirky and uplifting read about second chances. Nora is given the opportunity to relive and correct some of her regrets in life. But with each venture, she is plopped into a past she doesn’t know much about, and yet she’s expected to give that speech, or find her way home in a foreign country, or know what a spotter’s job is. It’s not all she thought it would be and her alterations extend beyond the editing of her original regret. Playfully thought-provoking!

9780063082939

A young seamstress in 1946 North Carolina, discovers the secrets of a tobacco company. She learns the harsh reality of the balance between truth and consequences, health and economy, and the strength of profit and power. This book is sure to spur some great book club discussions not only about smoking, but also women’s roll in the 1940s and fashion!

9780062943514

Kate Quinn has done it again! Another compelling WWII read—this time about the female Russian sharpshooter, Lyudmila Pavlichenko, who had 309 confirmed kills before being sent to the US on a propaganda tour, where she met and became friends with Eleanor Roosevelt.

9780062993595

Fascinating! I was totally immersed in this historical fiction of Mona Lisa’s life and how centuries later her portrait, along with other art from the Louvre, was kept safe during WWII. I learned so much!

9781982167356

Heart-wrenching and LOL funny—a meek, anxious, awkward, sad, overthinker is obsessed with death. She’s an atheist lesbian who is accidentally hired by a Catholic church—a well-meaning, yet tragic figure who makes hilarious, honest observations while unintentionally getting involved in a murder investigation.

9780606351171

This is an introspective book about two teen boys, both loners but so different, who connect and form a friendship. It’s about dealing with the complexities of emotions and sexuality and discovering who you are in this world—so engaging and well-written. Loved both the main characters!

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!