Joana, a Lithuanian; Florian, a Prussian; and Emilia, a Pole; are all trying to escape Germany in the midst of World War II. During their escape, they find one another and must avoid the Nazis and the advancing Russian soldiers while traversing across farms, open fields, and war-torn cities with a group of other desperate souls.
After many restless nights and terrifying days, they finally lie their way onto a German cruise liner that is supposed to ferry personnel and refugees to safety from the Red Army. Only, the cruise liner is attacked and all on board have to once again fight for their lives.
Sepetys has a tendency to draw her readers into her stories and Salt to the Sea is no different. I couldn't put this book down.
In Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Dr. Harari takes us back 100,000 years ago when there were six human species instead of one. He talks in detail of the various species, where they were located, and how they evolved into one species, Homo sapiens. In this detailed account, Harari presents scientific research and studies that show how different, yet similar, each species originally was.
Throughout the book, we learn various aspects of human life. How did we forage, fight wars, believe in gods, establish kingdoms, and/or create money? How will our species continue to evolve in these areas, and many more, throughout the next millennia? Dr. Harari spans the whole of human history and presents some intriguing scientific breakthroughs. His in-depth knowledge explores human societies and how current history has been shaped by our past choices.
This book was a wealth of knowledge and I found myself completely absorbed by some of Dr. Harari's presented facts and research. The research that went into this book was astounding and I loved learning about the history of our evolution.
During the roaring twenties, residential hotels were popping up all over New York City, but many were made for men only. The Barbizon, however, was one of the few residential hotels built exclusively for women.
Built in 1927, the Barbizon catered to the modern woman who fled to Manhattan after World War 1, looking to establish herself in the workforce. Many influential women, and women with budding careers, stayed at the Barbizon when in Manhattan. Some famous residents include author Sylvia Plath (who later fictionalized her stay in The Bell Jar), actress Grace Kelly, Titanic survivor Molly Brown, and many more. Women who worked at the Mademoiselle magazine stayed there as well as the Gibbs girls and Powers models.
The women were offered a room for $11/week and a safe haven from men. No men were allowed past the lobby and were withheld from the residential wings until 1981. Women were finally given a chance to live somewhere without the influence and expectations of men.
This book was well researched and gave insight into the lives of women during the roaring twenties and beyond. The Barbizon was a fun and informative read, as I had never heard of it before this book.
After World War II and the Nuremberg Trials, Nina, a female Russian bomber pilot, joins forces with Ian, a British war correspondent. Together, they hunt a vicious predator known as the Huntress; an elusive Nazi murderess who was never held accountable for her crimes. Jordan, who wants to become a photographer, finds herself with a new stepmother. At first, Jordan is excited, only to realize her stepmother isn't who she says she is. The secrets Jordan uncovers prove dangerous and Nina and Ian's investigation is the only thing that may save her.
The Huntress was a gripping story that jumped between the past and the present. I had a hard time putting this book down and I felt for each of the characters Quinn presented. The Huntress was even more enchanting because there were so many strong females.
Charlotte Holmes has always had an inquisitive mind. She makes those around her uncomfortable with her steady gaze, quick wit, and perfectly accurate observations. Despite her intelligence, her family thinks it's best that she marries and starts acting more demure, as a woman in upper class society is expected to be. Charlotte disagrees and decides to make a decision that will ruin her reputation and set her on a path to independence.
Being independent in regent England when one is a woman with little money isn't as easy as Charlotte thought. Then one day, Charlotte meets widowed Mrs. Watson, who encourages Charlotte to use her mind to help others, and offers to foot the bill. Since women are not trusted or respected, they create an identity that all of England will trust - a male investigator with a sharp mind who can solve any mystery he's presented with. Thus, Sherlock Holmes was created. Charlotte and Mrs. Watson find themselves solving a trio of unexpected deaths and they rush to find the answers as suspicion starts to fall on Charlotte's family.
In addition to Mrs. Watson, Charlotte finds help from old friends, a Scotland Yard inspector, her sister, and a man who has always loved her.
A Study in Scarlet Women had many facets that made it a great read; a gripping mystery that wasn't easy to solve, independent and intelligent women, a love interest that wasn't the focal point of the story, and friendships that were loyal and enduring. I recommend this book, and the series, to anyone who likes to read softer mysteries and/or about regent England.
Casiopea Tun acts as a maid in her grandfather’s household because she was born a girl and her father had darker skin. Casiopea dreams of a life away from her small Mexican town and a home she can call her own.
One day, Casiopea frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, Hun-Kame. He requires her help to overthrow his brother and take back his throne.
Casiopea must go on several adventures in the company of the Hun-Kame armed only with his knowledge and her wits. The tasks required of Casiopea take her on an adventure across Mexico and deep into the Mayan underworld. As Casiopea completes each task, Hun-Kame is becoming more alluring and their connection becomes electric. The only issue is, the Mayan god of death cannot feel love; or can he?
Gods of Jade and Shadow holds a marvelous adventure in every page and is inspired by Mexican folklore. Casiopea’s relentless hope and bravery are admirable and I found myself rooting for Hun-Kame throughout the story.
Morrigan Crow is a cursed child since she was born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born. Her family avoids her, she has no friends, and anything that happens in her city is blamed on her. On her 11th birthday, however, Morrigan and her sudden mentor, are chased by smoke and shadows into the land of Nevermoor.
Once Morrigan arrives in Nevermoor, she realizes she may not be the cursed child she thought. Soon after arriving, she competes in various trials to hopefully become part of the Wundrous Society, Nevermoor's elite group of talented people. However, Morrigan doesn't understand how she can participate in the trials; she has no special talent and doesn't understand why her mentor thinks she does. At the last trial, she steps in front of everyone and still doesn't know what her talent could possibly be - will they kick her out of the Wundrous Society trials, and Nevermoor itself, once they realize she's a fraud?
Nevermoor is a fun story that takes the reader on many adventures throughout the fantastical land of Nevermoor. Townsend does an excellent job of captivating the reader's attention and making the reader want more. Readers who loved Harry Potter will find some of the same loved characteristics in Nevermoor - a slightly odd mentor, loyal friends, a previously unknown, magical world, and a child who goes on many adventures (planned and unplanned) along the way.
Rebecca Traister is a journalist who wanted to learn more about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman, so she interviewed hundreds of women and read many social studies for this book. The amount of women who choose to stay single in America is on the rise. Also on the rise, women who choose unconventional family units; co-habitation instead of marriage, same sex marriage, or single parenthood.
In All the Single Ladies, Traister lists many of the statistics that generalize the American woman's relationship in today's society. She summarizes the thoughts and opinions of the many women she interviewed to help her write this book. The American woman has more freedom today than she has ever had in the past, and with this freedom comes the choice to not get married. Instead, the single women in America are focusing on themselves and committing their time to other areas of life; travel, work, volunteering, parents and siblings, friendships, political groups, and more. In fact, today, only 20% of Americans are married by age 29 compared to nearly 60% in 1960. Women who do choose to get married today are choosing to get married at a later age than ever before, too.
This book is full of statistics and studies that dive into the choices that are available to single women today. I found this to be an interesting book and one that I could relate to. Traister does a great job of presenting the data in a way that can keep your attention and surprise you. This is a great book for all women to read, but especially the women who choose to remain single and live life unapologetically.
Winter lasts most of the year in the Russian wilderness. While most of the village people curse the long days and long for a mild winter, Vasilisa Vladimirovich (Vasya) loves the cold, the snow, and the story of Frost, the winter demon. Vasya and her family leave gifts to honor the spirits of their home and forest in rituals that are supposed to protect them from evil.
After her mother dies, Vasya’s father remarries a woman who forbids her family from honoring the household spirits, the domovoi. Shortly after the gifts to the spirits stop, misfortune befalls the village and evil creatures creep nearer. Vasya, however, has been secretly leaving gifts to the domovoi all along and only her gifts are protecting her house from evil. Vasya’s protection and friendliness with the domovoi catch the attention of the winter demon and his brother and she has to figure out who to trust.
The Bear and the Nightingale is a story with Russian folklore weaved throughout the pages and Vasya’s bravery and independence show how young girls can make a big impact in the lives of others.
Hedy lived in Austria and was married to an arms dealer who often invited the Third Reich to dinner parties. At these parties, the Third Reich would often talk of their plans in front of Hedy, dismissing her as a dumb, demure woman. Hedy escaped her husband and traveled to America where she became a Hollywood beauty.
While surrounded by Hollywood glamour, Hedy couldn’t forget the plans she overheard at her husband’s parties. With a friend, Hedy invented a frequency-hopping spread spectrum to help the Allies with jamming issues they were experiencing. The only problem was, she was a woman; no one would listen to her.
Marie Benedict does a phenomenal job telling Hedy’s story and I couldn’t put the book down. I didn’t know who Hedy Lamarr was before reading this book, but Hedy’s invention is the key to many of the wireless communications we have today.