What Am I Reading – Chapter Five

Hello Everybody,

I hope everyone’s having a great MLK Jr. Day! I sure am! I will continue to strive for diversity, equality, and inclusion when I review books from all walks of life.

Since the last chapter, I have read a lot of books and audiobooks, but I do have two books to share with you today.

Let’s get started.

The first book on the reading block is The Book of Love: 50 Poems to Fall in Love by Shah Asad Rizvi. It’s the second poetry collection that I’ve read of his, and it focuses on love in its many manifestations. So far, the book is about longing, becoming one with another, love at first sight, and what it means to be in love. I’m halfway through it, so I look forward to seeing how Rizvi expands on this topic. I plan on reviewing it in time for Valentine’s Day.

The second and last novel on the reading block is Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. This book takes place during World War II – historical fiction’s favorite era. It tells the stories of three women – Caroline Ferriday, Kasia Kuzmerick, and Herta Oberheuser. Caroline is a former Broadway actress who works at the French Consulate in New York City when Hitler invades Poland, and she sets her sight on France. Kasia is a Polish Catholic teenager at the beginning of the war who becomes a courier for the underground resistance movement. Herta is a young German doctor who lands a position at Ravensbruck, yet she finds herself in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power. Their lives begin to collide when Kasia and her mother and sister are sent to that same concentration camp. As a result, their stories intertwine as Caroline and Kasia seek justice to those history has forgotten.

I’ve read plenty of WWII-based historical fiction, and it’s nice to see one that encompasses a broader view of the people’s experiences throughout that war. It’s also good to read one that emphasizes the home front and the work of women on both sides, despite how deadly some of that actually was. The main characters are fleshed out so far, and I look forward to what happens next and how their stories collide. Some sections can be hard to get through, especially the ones that involve Kasia at Ravensbruck.

I’m listening to the audiobook, and it’s good so far. Cassandra Campbell (from everyone’s favorite book Where the Crawdads Sing) is Caroline, and she voices her like a Hollywood starlet. Kathleen Gati (from General Hospital) plays Kasia with a vague Polish accent, and she captures the emotions that Kasia feels, especially during her time at Ravensbruck. Kathrin Kana – a bilingual German/English actress – takes on the role of Herta. Kana plays her part well as her character deals with the implications of working at a concentration camp.

We now come to the end of the fifth chapter of “What Am I Reading?”

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Published by emilymalek

I work at a public library southeast Michigan, and I facilitate two book clubs there. I also hold a Bachelor's degree in History and Theatre from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI; a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI; and a Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration also from Wayne. In my downtime, I love hanging out with friends, play trivia and crossword puzzles, listening to music (like classic rock and K-pop), and watching shows like "Monty Python's Flying Circus"!

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