Sorta Like a Rockstar 

​Sorta Like a Rockstar by Matthew Quick
☆☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: YA Fiction 

And I had been praying for a chance to make a difference in the lives of people who need it the most, because that’s all I really want to do with my life-to help people who need it.

This was read at the start of my trip to Missoula.  

Amber Appleton is the poorest kid in school. She’s homeless and lives with her alcoholic mom on a school bus in the bus yard. (Her mother works as a bus driver). She owns a dog and a garbage bag of belongings. But life doesn’t get her down. She has a group of fantastic special needs friends, teaches Koreans how to speak English through soul music and befriends a Vietnam vet through a letter program. She volunteers her time helping other people because Jesus is her Rockstar. 

Then, her life falls apart when her mother is raped and murdered. 

This book was AMAZING. You can’t help but feel for Amber as life keeps beating her down and how she always tries to come up on top. After her mother passes, she is faced with so many hard decisions and life in general.  It was an uplifting story. (Despite everything.) 

I highly recommend anything written by Matthew Quick.

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The Sleeping Dictionary 

The Sleeping Dictionary by Sujata Massey
☆☆☆☆/5 

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: Fiction 

My trial is hard indeed. Just when I need a helpmate the most, I am thrown back on myself. Nevertheless, I record my vow that even in this trial, I shall win through. Alone, then, shall I tread my thorny path to the end of this life’s journey.

Oh this one was fantastic. 

Set in India/Burma pre-during WWII, thus is the account of a young Indian woman who overcomes all odds and makes a life for herself. At a young age, she loses her entire family to a Tsunami and is saved herself by climbing a tree and fate of having taken a different path home that day. She wanders lost for awhile until she finds employment as a maid in a school for English girls in India. Over the course of a few years, she learns to read and write English on the sly. She befriends a young Indian woman who was from her home village and uses her skills in English to help her write letters to her fiance in England. Sadly, her friend passes away due to malaria and she is forced away due to accusations of theft and she finds herself nameless and unemployed. She makes it her vow to one day find her friends fiance and prove to him that it was she who wrote the letters, and confirm their love. 

Her life journey continues to a whore house, pregnant and alone, and then employed to an English gentleman as his librarian. She faces hardship, loss, betrayal, love, etc along the way and finds out who she is along the way. 

This book was beautiful and captivating and reminded me a little of A Little Princess. She faces down life and comes out triumphant and proves to the world a single woman of no standing can make a name for herself in the world of men. And what we think we want is not always what we need. It’s also a good look at the way Indian women were treated at the start of the century. (And still today, I believe).  The MC goes through so many changes and flourishes. She was strong, she perservered, and she made a life for herself. 

I recommend this to the women of the world who need an uplifting, powerful story.

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I’m still here….

Hello everyone! I’m still here and actively reading. I’ve been going through some personal things (depression, job loss, adjusting to a new job, general anxiety, med adjustments and so on) and I’m hoping to be back on track next week. 🙂

I got hired at JoAnnes Fabric and Crafts and I am LOVING it.

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This is the apron I made for work. And honestly, who WOULDN’T make a Tardis apron?

I also got full time eyeballs as you can see. *pun perhaps intended*

I’ve been spending time with my cats, blowing through summer reading and trying to find my grounding.

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So happy reading, my friends and carry on. ❤

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The Zookeepers Wife

The Zookeepers Wife by Diane Ackerman

☆☆☆☆/5
Genre: History/Non-Fiction
22/Clearly not 40 THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

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One of the most remarkable things about Antonia was her determination to include play, animals, wonder, curiosity, marvel and a wide blaze of innocence in a household where all dodged the ambient dangers, horrors, and uncertainties. That takes a special stripe of bravery rarely valued in wartime.

This was a very intense and interesting read. It takes place in Warsaw, Poland between 1938 and 1946 and tells the tale of Jan and Antonia Zabinski and how they managed their zoo during the war and saved over 300 Jews from persecution. They lost many of their animals at the start and managed to stay undercover from the Gestapo and protect what they could through the worst of it. Using letters, diary entries and conversations from survivors, the author spells out a heart wrenching war story where hope prevails.

I think this book captured the spirit of Poland during some of its darkest times. I cried and cringed through most of it and felt the terror of survivors as they dealt with the brutality of war.

I believe these types of books are important in teaching, and preserving a history of things that could be forgotten. It was beautifully portrayed while at the same time, gut wrenchingly real. The author did a beautiful job of bringing history to life.

I highly recommend this book. Please bear in mind, if you are an animal lover, some of the parts may be hard to read and process, especially at the beginning.

The legend tells that they are ordinary people, not flawless or magical, and that most of them remain unrecognized throughout their lives, while they choose to perpetrate goodness, even in the midst of an inferno.

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