What Norma’s Reading

The One ManThe One Man by Andrew Gross
From Goodreads:  1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.

Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

The One Man, a historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross, is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely compelling.

What Brenda is Reading

The Twelve (The Passage, #2)The Twelve by Justin Cronin

From Goodreads:  In his internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed novel The Passage, Justin Cronin constructed an unforgettable world transformed by a government experiment gone horribly wrong. Now the scope widens and the intensity deepens as the epic story surges forward with The Twelve.

In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as “Last Stand in Denver,” has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin. These three will learn that they have not been fully abandoned—and that in connection lies hope, even on the darkest of nights.

One hundred years in the future, Amy and the others fight on for humankind’s salvation…unaware that the rules have changed. The enemy has evolved, and a dark new order has arisen with a vision of the future infinitely more horrifying than man’s extinction. If the Twelve are to fall, one of those united to vanquish them will have to pay the ultimate price.

 

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Sister Review: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

A Gentleman in MoscowA Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read January 13 to 18, 2017

Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda

Brenda and I definitely have different opinions of this book but do share similar thoughts on what we both got out of it.  For the purpose of this review it gets a combined rating of 3.5 stars. Brenda gives it 4 stars and I give it 3 stars.

For Brenda: A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW reminded me to be gracious, kind and to appreciate the small things again. To look at life with some humor and laugh more. That we can find pleasure in an environment we might not expect.

For me this was a very frustrating and hard book to stay focused and interested in until I was approximately 48% into the novel then it was a little bit easier to read. What I really enjoyed was Count Rostov’s interactions he had with the people he encountered and lived with as well as his surroundings.  You need peace and quiet to really appreciate this book.

A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by AMOR TOWLES is a charming story that was filled with so much personal wisdom from a Gentleman that was under house arrest in a luxury hotel named the Metropol Hotel that was ran with a standard of excellence. It demands your attention requires discipline to quiet your mind, and also has you appreciating your surroundings.  This story was very well written with lots of personal wisdom for us to ponder.

The title was perfect for this novel as we were showed what it means to be a gentleman. Where a gentleman is defined as courteous, honorable, respectful and a man of purpose.  Count Alexander Rostov was cultured, kind-hearted, canny, charming, dignified, respectful, and an old-fashioned gentleman who was also a great conversationalist.

As the story progresses we see how Count Alexander Rostov comes to realize and understand what it means to be a man of purpose as he ultimately finds his purpose and recognizes that he is that gentleman, a man of purpose.

We both agree that we absolutely loved the Count and the interactions he had with the people he met from the hotel and guests especially Nina, Sophia and Anna.

Memorable quote: “Who would have imagined,” he said, “when you were sentenced to life in the Metropol all those years ago, that you had just become the luckiest man in all of Russia.”

To sum it all up it was well written, interesting, slow-paced, with a satisfying ending that had it’s purpose.  Would recommend!!

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