Search This Blog

2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

2024 Challenge Sign-Up Post

January Reviews Link-Up

February Reviews Link-Up

March Reviews Link-Up

April Reviews Link-Up

May Reviews Link-Up

June Reviews Link-Up

July Reviews Link-Up

August Reviews Link-Up

September Reviews Link-Up

October Reviews Link-Up

November Reviews Link-Up

December Reviews Link-Up

My Progress:

11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (1)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska
- Nevada
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (2)
- North Carolina (3)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (1)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (8)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (2)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

16 / 50 books. 32% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

21 / 50 books. 42% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 50 books. 86% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 52 books. 73% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 40 books. 63% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 25 books. 36% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

22 / 100 books. 22% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

60 / 165 books. 36% done!
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Choice & Accountability

So, once again, I'm playing catch up with my online reading journal. I love the idea of keeping track of what I read, but sometimes it's difficult to stay updated! Oh well, here goes...

I finished The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff a couple of weeks ago. It's the story of Emma Bau, a 19-year-old newlywed whose world is destroyed when the Nazis storm into her native Poland. As her fellow Jews disappear around her, Emma's own husband goes into hiding with other Resistance workers. Left on her own, Emma resigns herself to life inside the filthy Jewish Ghetto. One night, however, she is whisked away to Krakow by the Resistance and given a new identity as Anna Lipowski, an unmarried non-Jew. Emma/Anna thinks herself safe living with a relative under an assumed name, but soon her situation becomes more dangerous than ever. It begins with an innocent dinner party, where Anna is introduced to Kommandant Georg Richwalder, second in command of the city's new Nazi government. Anna is distressed to find that the Kommandant seems to be smitten with her. In fact, he insists that she come to work as his personal assistant. Desperate to keep her identity hidden, Anna accepts the job and all the dangers that come with it. While the Resistance urges her to use her position to gather secret information, Anna must confront her own growing feelings for the Kommandant. When he presses her to become intimate, she must make the ultimate choice, between fidelity to her absent spouse and loyalty to her people, a choice made much more complicated by her confused feelings for her employer.

This book is mesmerizing for so many reasons, but it really all comes down to the choice Anna must make between keeping her marriage vows and using the Kommandant for the information he can provide. It may seem a clear choice, if it wasn't for her traitorious feelings for the Kommandant. The reader can't help but place herself in Anna's shoes and wonder, what would I do? Thankfully, the choice is moot for us, but for Anna it is all too real. Her decision changes her, her young marriage and, indeed, her life.

The Kommandant's Girl is an excellent, fascinating read. If it wasn't for the ambiguous ending, I would give it 5 glowing stars. Still, it's worth picking up for its spare, but rich language and a tightly-woven story that is simply too exciting to put down.

My second pick could not have been more different from my first. Not only does Accountable Kids: Raising Accountable Kids One Step at a Time by Scott W. and Traci S. Heaton not employ rich language, but it's not all that exciting. Yet, I found the ideas and information in the book quite compelling.

The Heatons book is actually an instruction manual explaining the nuts and bolts of their program which teaches kids how to be responsible for handling chores and money. Basically, each child has a board with pegs on it where they hang cards that represent their jobs (from cleaning their rooms to completing homework to brushing their teeth). When they finish a task, they place the job's card on a new peg, representing its completion. Each night, the child receives a sticker if he/she has done all of his/her jobs for the day. The stickers can then be "cashed in" for a date with mom or dad. Kids can also earn Privilege Passes, which are redeemed for time on the computer or tv or any other "privilege," as well as Bonus Bucks, which translate into real money.

Implementing the program will require some work on my part, but I'm excited to see how it works with my kids. It's definitely user-friendly and it promises to deliver important results. The book itself is basic and not really well written, but I think the program itself is genius. If you want more information, check out .

I also just finished Maeve Binchy's newest, Whitethorn Woods. It's a collection of intertwining stories from a wide cast of characters, all with connections to the small town of Rossmore and its infamous woods. People make their way into the woods for one basic reason - to petition St. Anne at her shrine in the trees. Now, the shrine is being threatened by the proposed construction of a new byway, and the residents of Rossmore all have something to say about it. Here, Binchy does what she does best - delves into the lives of ordinary citizens, making them sparkle with personality and charm. On the way, she unearths Rossmore's secrets, praises its quiet heroes and gives comeuppance to those who deserve it. All of this is set against the juxtaposition of old and new which comes to light because of a crumbling shrine and the new road which threatens its survival.

Maeve Binchy has a gift for bringing characters to life and this book is a shining example of her skill. Still, it is sometimes hard to keep track of just whose life is intertwining with whose. Also, because of the many different viewpoints, the book is somewhat disjointed. I liked it, however, and would recommend it to Binchy fans. For those who have never read Binchy, I recommend starting with one of her better books, like Circle of Friends or Light a Penny Candle.


  1. I found your blod from my cousin. I love to read and am excited to have some new choices. Thanks for the tips!

  2. I'm glad you commented - hardly anyone comments on this blog :) Let me know if you have any recommendations - I'm always looking for new books and authors. Happy reading!

  3. You found us! Very good. I didn't know you were such an avid reader. I'm so inspired by people like you. My mom just read a book called Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Check out the goods on Amazon ot something. It was different but she really liked how it exercised her imagination some. Anyway, I don't know why I'm trying to "book talk." I really have no idea what I'm talking about...

  4. I loved Life of Pi as well. It's a really good book. And, yes, I am a confirmed bookworm! I can't help myself - it's an obsession...

  5. J - remind me to give you the address to my family blog. That's where I share all the family news, pics and, of course, all the funny things Heather says!

  6. I read Life of Pi last year. It was fabulous, although it made me queasy at times.

    Thanks for the update on Maeve Binchy's latest. One of my favorite authors!


Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive