Hey guys! Happy Thursday!!
Today, I’m popping in today to share some of my recent good reads. . .
Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train is an unforgettable story of friendship and second chances that highlights a little-known but historically significant movement in America’s past.
Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…
As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.
Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.
–> I didn’t realize it was based on a true event until I was done with the book. According to my sister, there is some family connection with the real orphan train. Super interesting. It’s a sad and heart-breaking story to begin but where their lives take them is inspiring and heart-warming. Grade: B+
If I Stay (Book 1 of 2)
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia’s story will stay with you for a long, long time.
–> I liked this book a lot better than the second book. I thought it was sweet and heart breaking. And even though I knew there was a second book, it kept me guessing the entire time what would really happen in the end. Grade: B+
Where She Went (Book 2 of 2)
Picking up several years after the dramatic conclusion of If I Stay, Where She Went continues the story of Adam and Mia, from Adam’s point of view. Ever since Mia’s decision to stay – but not with him – Adam’s career has been on a wonderful trajectory. His album, borne from the anguish and pain of their breakup, has made him a bona fide star. And Mia herself has become a top-rate cellist, playing in some of the finest venues in the world. When their respective paths put them both in New York City at the same time, the result is a single night in which the two reunite – with wholly satisfying results.
–> Interesting. Sad. Can get a little boring. Grade: C+
A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean
“In the end, I know I rowed across the Atlantic to find my heart, but in the beginning, I wasn’t aware that it was missing.”
In June 1998, Tori McClure began rowing across the Atlantic Ocean solo in a twenty-three-foot plywood boat with no motor or sail. Within days she lost all communication with shore but decided to forge ahead — not knowing that 1998 would turn out to be the worst hurricane season on record in the North Atlantic. When she was nearly killed by a series of violent storms, Tori was forced to signal for help and head home in what felt like disgrace. But then her life changed in unexpected ways. She was hired by Muhammad Ali, who told her she did not want to be known as the woman who “almost” rowed across the Atlantic. And at thirty-five, Tori fell in love.
A Pearl in the Storm is Tori’s thrilling true story of high adventure — and of her personal quest to discover that embracing her own humanity was more important than superhuman feats.
–> Uplifting. Inspiring. Awe-inducing. Grade: A
Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differences, they see in each other the hidden scars that others can’t.
Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shameful secret and asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well. With the integrity of the closest friend she’s ever had clouded, Sage begins to question the assumptions and expectations she’s made about her life and her family. In this searingly honest novel, Jodi Picoult gracefully explores the lengths to which we will go in order to keep the past from dictating the future.
–> Haunting. Heart wrenching. Graphic. World War II fiction. Some of the parts of the story are so real, I don’t think I will ever forget the imagery painted by the author. Grade A- (I gave it the minus because I am not sure I would have read it, if I would have known how graphic and descriptive scenes from the concentration camps were, however, I think it was a really really good book.)
This won’t hurt a bit
Michelle Au started medical school armed only with a surfeit of idealism, a handful of old ER episodes for reference, and some vague notion about “helping people.”
This Won’t Hurt a Bit is the story of how she grew up and became a real doctor.
It’s a no-holds-barred account of what a modern medical education feels like, from the grim to the ridiculous, from the heartwarming to the obscene. Unlike most medical memoirs, however, this one details the author’s struggles to maintain a life outside of the hospital, in the small amount of free time she had to live it. And, after she and her husband have a baby early in both their medical residencies, Au explores the demands of being a parent with those of a physician, two all-consuming jobs in which the lives of others are very literally in her hands.
Au’s stories range from hilarious to heartbreaking and hit every note in between, proving more than anything that the creation of a new doctor (and a new parent) is far messier, far more uncertain, and far more gratifying than one could ever expect.
–> Anyone who is interested in the medical field or what it’s like to be a medical student/resident/new doctor should read this book. It is 100% #truth about the real life day to day and year to year struggles/triumphs/process of becoming a doctor.
Looking for more? Check out my other reading recommendation posts:
Reading Recommendations 2
Reading Recommendations 3
Reading Recommendations 4
Reading Recommendations 5
Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!
Have you read any good books lately??