31 Days Of Great Nonfiction: 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. Day 4 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader84, Charing Cross Road84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff . Day 4 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Helene Hanff

A slim volume (a break from some of the lengthy books also included in this series) of a selection of the correspondence between a New York writer, and the staff of a London bookseller. Their mutual love for books shines through the brief letters, and you can see how the friendship grows throughout the twenty-years they exchanged letters.

The book is charming and heartwarming (and a little bit heartbreaking too), and Hanff’s wit and exuberance sparkles.

There is a book based on the movie as well, starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins, although I’ve never seen it and am slightly afraid to; I don’t want to risk it tarnishing my joy and delight in the book if it doesn’t live up to my dreams.

Publisher’s Description:
It all began with a letter inquiring about secondhand books, written by Helene Hanff in New York, and posted to a bookshop at 84, Charing Cross Road in London. As Helene’s sarcastic and witty letters are responded to by the staid and proper Frank Doel of Marks & Company, a relationship blossoms.

31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books

If you enjoyed this book (and if you didn’t, please don’t tell me; I’m not sure I could bear hearing it), you’re in for another treat. I actually had a hard time deciding which one of Hanff’s to feature in the series, so don’t miss Apple of My EyeApple of My Eye. which is basically a love letter to her home of Manhattan.

To see all the books featured in 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads, go to the series page.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

31 Days of Great Nonfiction: I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson

I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson. Day 3 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderI Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The HolocaustI Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson. Day 3 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Livia Bitton-Jackson

I’ve read a lot of Holocaust memoirs, and this one is a standout. Bitton-Jackson does a stellar job of describing her experiences trying to make it through the war. As a young Jewish girl in Hungary, she was insulated from many of the effects of the war until 1944.

The final year of the war brought incredible suffering: at 13 she was rounded up with her family and moved into a Jewish ghetto, where she was separated from her father and brother. After transportation to Auschwitz and surviving the selection process, inside the camp she endured torture and forced labor.

Her detailed story of survival in horrific circumstances is moving, and despite the circumstances, the book has an underlying message of hope that helps to prevent it from becoming a bleak recitation of events.

Publisher’s Description:
Livia Bitton-Jackson, born Elli L. Friedmann in Czechoslavakia, was thirteen when she, her mother, and her brother were taken to Auschwitz. They were liberated in 1945 and came to the United States on a refugee boat in 1951. This is her story, written for middle school or high school students.

31 Days of Great Nonfiction BooksIf you enjoyed this book, Livia’s story continues in My Bridges of Hope, which is also excellent.

Additional Holocaust memoirs which I highly recommend include:

To see all the books featured in 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads, go to the series page.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

31 Days of Great Nonfiction: It’s Not About the Tapas by Polly Evans

It's Not About the Tapas: A Spanish Adventure on Two Wheels by Polly Evans. Day 2 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderIt’s Not About the Tapas: A Spanish Adventure on Two WheelsIt's Not About the Tapas: A Spanish Adventure on Two Wheels by Polly Evans. Day 2 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Polly Evans

I love biking-across-some-large-area stories so I was anxious to see how I liked this account of a trek across Spain. Happily, it did not disappoint.

Throughout the book Evans mentions that she’s tired. And sore. And biking is hard work. If I ever managed to go on a biking trek, I’m sure that’s what I’d be noting every day too, so I felt like I could relate to her experiences. And like Evans, I’d be thrilled that all the physical work was paying off with smaller pants size.

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31 Days of Great Nonfiction: A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel. Day 1 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, IndianaA Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel. Day 1 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Haven Kimmel

A poignant and hilarious memoir of growing up in small-town Indiana. The vivid descriptions and characterizations bring Kimmel’s childhood to life and read more like a novel than nonfiction.

I didn’t grow up in a small town, and I didn’t grow up in Indiana, so my adoration for this book doesn’t come from a familiarity with her stories. Not much of her childhood reminds me of my own, but her tales almost make me wish that I had grown up nearby to experience life in Mooreland.

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Introducing 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads

31 Days of Great Nonfiction BooksAs part of The Nester‘s annual “31 Days of” linkup, I’m going to be writing about “31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads.”

Some may be familiar already. Some are newer. Some are old favorites. What they all have in common is that they’re nonfiction books that I’ve really enjoyed, and often recommend.

I hope you’ll find some new ideas, or are motivated to push some books higher up your “to be read” list.

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Trust. Hope. Rejoice.

Book Review of Trust Hope Rejoice by Elizabeth JohnsonElizabeth Johnson’s Trust. Hope. Rejoice. is a devotional about dealing with life’s difficulties. While Johnson’s perspective is shaped by her health challenges, her devotionals are not limited in application to those who also are dealing with health issues; her Biblical approach and words of encouragement are relevant to any sort of difficulties you might be facing.

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Library Love

Library Stacks I used to work literally steps away from a branch of the local library (the branch shared our building). I loved it, and made great use of it’s convenient location – I always had piles of books checked out, and I’d reserve books constantly. The ease of finding them in their online catalog and placing a request on it, to then have it arrive at what was basically my door? Glorious.

I don’t work there any more, and I’ve had to retrain myself and my library reserve habits. Now I have to carefully plan when I’ll put books on reserve; with only visiting the library every three weeks it requires precision timing so that reserves don’t expire before I can pick them up (incurring much sadness from me, plus a $2 fine per book.)

What hasn’t changed is the rush I get walking into the library and picking up my holds [Read more…]

Book Review: Enough by Will Davis Jr

EnoughEnough: Finding More by Living with LessEnough: Finding More by Living with Less by Will Davis, Jr. by Will Davis, Jr.

How do we know when we’ve had enough, living in a culture that pushes for more-more-more?

I’d probably be more enthusiastic about the book, except for reading it so soon after 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. Enough seemed like it covered a lot of the same ground as 7, and in a much more impersonal way. Part of what made 7 so powerful for me was how Jen threw herself into the challenge, and made it so easy to imagine myself in her shoes {so to speak}.

Enough challenges you to evaluate you life, and realize that whatever you have, it’s enough. It encourages contentment in what you already have, and compassion for those in need. All good stuff, to be sure. But coming so soon after reading 7, it wasn’t as powerful as it would have otherwise been. However, I think Enough would be easier to recommend to my husband, or other men. 7 is so personal, with such a feminine perspective, that most guys I know wouldn’t appreciate it as much as I did.

So, if you’re in the market for a book about being satisfied with what you already have, about acknowledging how blessed we already are, about sharing with those in need, either 7 or Enough are good choices. But I’d pick one or the other, and not both.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Goodreads

Book Details

Title: Enough: Finding More by Living with LessEnough by Will Davis Jr
Author: Will Davis, Jr.
Category: Nonfiction / Christian Living
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Book Review: Blackout / All Clear by Connie Willis

Book Review Blackout / Book Review All Clear by Connie Willis - The Deliberate ReaderBook Review Blackout / Book Review All Clear by Connie Willis - The Deliberate ReaderBlackoutBook Review Blackout / Book Review All Clear by Connie Willis - The Deliberate Reader and All ClearBook Review Blackout / Book Review All Clear by Connie Willis - The Deliberate Reader by Connie Willis

I like historical fiction and fantasy, so combining the two into time-traveling historians from 2060 going back to study World War II in person? Oh, yeah, I’m all over that.

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How to Find Great Books to Read

5 tips for how to find great books to read  The Deliberate ReaderFinding great books to read doesn’t have to be difficult: here are 5 tips to help you so you can make the most of your reading time.

  1. Use Goodreads
    If you use Goodreads and rate 50 books, it will suggest additional books that you may enjoy thanks to the cumulative ratings of books by their users. I often check and see what it’s recommending for me, and have noticed that it regularly mentions books that I’ve already read and enjoyed, just haven’t entered into my “books read” list yet, so their algorithm for recommendations works fairly well for me.
  2. [Read more…]