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A Birthday Weekend | Weekly Snapshot

Happy Independence Day to those in the US! 

CelebratingMy birthday was this past Friday, which was a day off at my workplace to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. We didn't do anything big this time. The husband and the girl baked and decorated me a birthday cake, and that was delicious. We also ordered takeout for lunch, beyond that, we didn't do anything major, unlike past birthdays, when we would at least hang outside. July is also when the girl is celebrating her birthday (in another couple of weeks). Earlier this year, I had my eyes set on a bouncy play place to celebrate her birthday with her friends. Sadly, that's scratched off obviously but I'd still like to see if there's something special we can do. She does want a unicorn cake that she once saw at a local bakery so we'll be ordering that. 
Working on It's been a busy weekend so far, working through several projects at the house. The husband added a few shelves to our laundry room closet - it'…

Friday Finds -- July 02, 2010

Friday Finds Hosted by MizB at Should be reading, this meme asks you what great books did you hear about/discover this past week?

I had an amazing week with books and blogs, so there were plenty of books I wanted to share with you.

The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum

I don't exactly remember where I saw this, nor have I read a Jenna Blum book, but somehow I feel that this is an author I will like.
Karena Jorge always looked out for her twin brother Charles, who suffers from bipolar disorder. But as Charles begins to refuse medication and his manic tendencies worsen, Karena finds herself caught between her loyalty to her brother and her fear for his life. Always obsessed with the weather, Charles starts chasing storms, and his behavior grows increasingly erratic, until a terrifying storm chase with Karena ends with deadly consequences, tearing the twins apart.

Two decades later, Karena gets a call from a psychiatric ward in Wichita, Kansas, to come pick up her brother, whom she hasn't seen or spoken to for twenty years. She soon discovers that Charles has lied to the doctors, taken medication that could make him dangerously manic, and disappeared again. Karena soon realizes she has only one last chance of finding him: the storms. Wherever the tornadoes are, that's where he'll be. Karena joins a team of professional stormchasers and embarks on an odyssey to find her brother before he reveals the violent secret from their past and does more damage to himself or to someone else.

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

I don't recollect where I saw this one either. But it is set during WW2, and that's reason enough to read it.
When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants - otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes.

A Partisan's Daughter by Louis de Bernières

I came across this audio book some time recently, and thought I will listen to it next.
Chris is bored, lonely, and trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. He’s a stranger inside the youth culture of London in the late 1970s, a stranger to himself on the night when he invites a hooker into his car. Roza is a Yugoslavian, who has recently moved to London, the daughter of one of Tito’s partisans. She’s in her twenties but has already lived a life filled with danger, misadventure, romance, and tragedy. And although she’s not a hooker, when she’s propositioned by Chris, she gets into his car anyway.

Over the next months Roza tells Chris the stories of her past. She’s a fast-talking, wily Scheherazade, saving her own life by telling it to Chris. And he takes in her tales as if they were oxygen in an otherwise airless world. But is Roza telling the truth? Does Chris hear the stories through the filter of his own need? Does it even matter?

Comments

Looking forward to Stormchasers as well. I did read Zookeeper's Apprentice a while back and like it, but found it very wordy.
bermudaonion said…
I saw a great review of The Zookeeper's Wife too - it sounds good!
The Zookeeper's wife sounds so intriguing! Thanks for alerting me to it
These sound like three terrific finds! I am particularly attracted to The Stormchasers
Jess said…
Wow -- all of these sounds great!
Alayne said…
I adore the cover of The Zookeepers Wife. Great picks! My find is at The Crowded Leaf.
Tales of Whimsy said…
I love the cover on the first one :)
Marce said…
The Stormchasers sounds great, i'm going Amazon to look at closer.
Linna said…
Wow, these are great finds-- I haven't seen any of them before, but they all sound amazing. I haven't read about bi-polar disorder in any books, yet, and The Zookeeper's Wife sounds the most interesting to me. I love books set during WW2. :D
Andrea said…
I read The Zookeepers Wife a while ago and it wasn't my cup of tea but I hope you get the chance to read it and enjoy it!
Lisa said…
I've been wanting to read The Zookeeper's Wife for a long time.