Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Friday, December 6, 2019

Read The World - Turkey - 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds In This Strange World

Book: 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds In This Strange World
Author: Elif Shafak
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: YES (but just briefly)

This was my 153rd read for the year.
This was also the last book I completed in November!

This is the story of Leila.  She has just been murdered, and for 10 minutes and 38 seconds, her brain remains active.  In those 10 minutes, she recalls her life and the lives of her friends while she hopes to at least be found and given a proper burial.  We are taken from birth through death and learn where she came from, and how she came to be where she is now.

Half of this book was pretty good.  The other half was just okay.  During the first half of the book, I am intrigued to learn about Leila's life, and that of her friends and family.  As the minutes tick by, each chapter gives us another picture into who she was and how her life was shaped.  But after the 10 minutes are up, the second half of the book isn't as interesting, in my opinion.  It drags on as her friends try to give Leila some peace.  I think the idea was a good one, but it didn't need to be half the book.  I think this would have been a better read - for me - if the reflections during the 10 minutes would have been just about the entire story.

Again - this is just my opinion, and I think the idea of this book is a great one.  I really did enjoy the premise of what might go through one's mine in the minutes after the heart has stopped, but the brain hasn't.  

Stars: 3 1/2- 4

There is a great quote in this book that I wanted to save and share

"Childhood is a big, blue wave that lifts you up, carries you forth and just when you thought it woudllast forever - vanishes from sight.  You can neither run after it nor bring it back.  But the wave, before it disappears, leave a conch shell on the shore.  Inside the seashell is stored all the sounds of childhood."

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Read The World - Puerto Rico - Stories From Puerto Rico

Book: Stories From Puerto Rico
Author: Robert L. Muckley/Adela Martinez-Santiago
Pages: 192
Book Takes Place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO

This is my 152nd book for the year

This is a collection of short stories and legends of Puerto Rico.  There are 18 stories in all - each only a few pages long.  The stories are short, but they are entertaining and easy to understand.  I love legend stories from these different countries.  I have found a few of these books for my Read The World challenge, and I think they make an excellent addition to the shelf.

This book is only half in English and the other half is in Spanish.  If you are learning Spanish, it would be a good side by side book in order to practice.  So it is less than 100 pages of one language of reading - something you can easily tackle in a few hours.   Check this one out.

Stars: 4

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Extra Book - The Babysitters Club Boy Crazy Stacey

Book: The Babysitters Club Boy Crazy Stacey
Author: Ann. M Martin
Pages: 176

This is my 151st book of the year

This is a book that I read with my youngest children.  They love the new graphic novel versions of this classic series.

Stacey and Mary Anne are invited to go along with the large Pike family on a beach vacation.  They will be babysitting and helping with the children to give the Pike's parents a break.  The girls are excited for a chance to spend 2 weeks on the beach and earn summer money at the same time.

The vacation starts off well, but soon Stacey starts to fall for a lifeguard she meets at the beach.  It starts to interfere with her babysitting duties which upsets Mary Anne.  No matter how many warnings Mary Anne gives Stacey, she just can't seem to stay away.  

This is a cute story.  My kids chuckles at Stacey's antics.  The graphic novel style of the novel gives life to the story and allows them to see what was going on - not just imagine it in their minds.  It is a quick read, and fun as well.  We have enjoyed all the books in this series and are hoping there are more to come.

Stars: 4 1/2

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Read The World - Belgium - A Tall Man In A Low Land

Book: A Tall Man In A Low Land
Author: Harry Pearson
Pages: 256
Book takes place in the country: YES
The author is from the country: NO
I have visited: YES

This is my 150th read for the year.


Yes - I have visited Belgium, although it was a brief stay.  We were just passing through on the way to and from The Netherlands.  We had planned a full weekend visit last December, but my daughter decided that she needed to have her appendix out instead, and the trip had to be canceled.  We are hoping to visit again in the near future.

This is the story of the author's own visit to Belgium in the late 1990s.  He and his wife and young daughter spent many months in Belgium - traveling all over the country visiting as many cities as they could.  He gives a recount of Belgium history, and speaks to many of the locals about their customs and cultures.  

This was a pretty good book.  It has a few funny parts, but I think it would have been funnier if I would have been 1) English and 2) up on English pop culture references of the 1990s.  So some of the humor was lost on me.  However - this did not really deter from the book - I enjoyed learning a lot about the different cities in Belgium and the history of Belgium as well.  It was a good find for my Read The World Challenge.  If you are planning on visiting Belgium, I would put this book on your list.

Stars: 4

Monday, December 2, 2019

November In Review

December has arrived!  This is my favorite month of the year.  I love the holidays, and we have been enjoying them even more now that we live in Europe.  The Christmas Markets here are fantastic.  I never tire of walking around the booths and eating the delicious food.  It is magical.

In the month of November I read 19 books - wow!!  I didn't have a chance to review them all yet, so some of those reviews will be coming in December.  It was a good reading month.  I had a few short books in there, so that helped.  Plus with the weather turning colder, and now my youngest daughter not needing me to pick her up from school any more (she can come home alone now), I have more time to read.  It is great!  Independence for her and for me.

I tried to read several nonfiction for the #nonfictionnovember challenge I was doing on Instagram.  I read 11 books for my Read The World Challenge, and 8 were extras.  More extras than I should have read, but some of those are books I read with my kids, so that doesn't really count.  I am going to work hard on my Read The World Challenge this coming month so that I get even closer to having that goal completed by the end of the year.

Here are the books I read.  Click on the title of the book and it will take you to the review (if I did one).

When Life Gives You Pears (Extra Book)

The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out and Drink from the Big Dipper (country - Djibouti)

The Institute (Extra Book)

Mission to Kala (country - Cameroon)

Part Of Your World (Extra Book)

Cadence of the Moon (Costa Rica)

Call The Midwife (Extra Book)

The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw (country - Belize)

Beyond The Sky And Earth (country - Bhutan)

Dora Flor and Her Two Husbands (country - Brazil)

The Girl With The Hazel Eyes (country - Barbados)

Shadows Of The Workhouse (Extra Book)

Just Jaime (Extra Book)

Blood of Montenegro (country - Montenegro)

The Toll (Extra Book)

A Tall Man In A  Low Land (review coming soon) - country - Belgium

The Baby Sitters Club - Boy Crazy Stacey (review coming soon) - Extra Book

Stories From Puerto Rico (review coming soon) country - Puerto Rico

10 Minutes, 38 Seconds In This Strange World (review coming soon) country - Turkey

My top 5 books for this month where:

Call The Midwife
The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw
The Toll
When Life Gives You Pears
Beyond The Sky And Earth

The Bottom of the Pile where

Blood of Montenegro
The Girl With The Hazel Eyes
Cadence of the Moon

How was your reading month?