Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran-- this book kick started a small obsession with the french revolution. a lot of articles were read. a lot of wikipedia, too. this is a novel based on real woman madame tussaud, a woman who made wax figurines and displayed them for the people of paris. she was never clarified as a royalist or a revolutionary, and worked closely with both sides until she ended up in prison waiting for her turn with madame la guillotine, only to escape just barely when Robespierre was sentenced to death himself.
The Messenger by Lois Lowry-- apparently this is book 3 in the giver trilogy, even though all three can really be read separately and understood just fine. each book deals with a post-apocalyptic society. this one's society was founded by rejects. the idea is to share and to welcome until people begin to trade their "true selves" for material possessions--nicer furniture, beautiful clothes, etc. then, once their true selves are gone, these people begin to be selfish. they wish to close their borders and behave unkindly. i love this idea of true self. i also love lois lowry. she is one of the best authors in the juvie fiction realm.
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry-- book 2 in the giver trilogy. about a girl who is gifted with sewing and weaving and is brought in to the center of her culture, despite her bad foot, to sew and weave what her city leaders tell her to do. she notices that when she sews and weaves what she wants, her fingers move nimbly and seem to create beautiful fabrics on their own, but when she does what she is told, it is merely pretty. i read this whole thing in a morning at the beach. i did not put it down. i did not pay attention to my children, either.
Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by chip heath and dan heath-- interesting. helpful. said in simple terms that i could use, remember and apply. didn't change my life. recommended anyway.
The Castaways by Elin Hildebrand-- a soap opera. so irritating how everyone in this group of eight best friends--four husbands and four wives, was sneaking around, lying, cheating, have doubts, having feelings, blah, blah, blah. . .fictional junk food that might be a little too much to swallow.
Silas Marner by George Eliot-- my mother used to recommend this book to me when i didn't have anything to read when i was a teenager. she loved this book. i never got around to reading it but found it for free on my kindle and downloaded it. i'm so glad i did.
there is such a distinct difference in fictional junk food and real literature. reading this actually uses my brain. i have to concentrate and think. and the quality of storytelling is so high. reading classics elevates me.
plus, i love books about wonderful children who change the hearts of unkind and grumpy old misers with their sunny dispositions and lovely kindness. like heidi. and anne of green gables. and the scarlett letter. oh wait. . .
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins-- not uplifting but terribly entertaining. i saw the movie and then read the books in three and a half days. it was a relief for everyone when i finally finished the last book. "finally!" i said, putting my kindle down, "i can do something else!"
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins