The Top 5 Books Of 2016

One of my great pleasures in life is reading. I’ve read many books this year. Some were excellent, some were good and some I wanted to throw at the wall, they were so bad.

The list below are the five best books from 2016.

 

  1. Karolina’s Twins: Lena Woodward is an elderly widow who survived the Nazi Holocaust. She approaches the husband and wife team of private investigator Liam Taggert and lawyer Catherine Lockhart. Her childhood best friend, Karolina died during the war, but not before asking Lena to ensure that her children survived.This book is a heartbreaking and heartwarming tale of faith, friendship and a dying mother’s last wish for the children she will never see grow up.
  2. The Princess Diarist: Hindsight is always 20/20. I finished reading this book just before Christmas. The heartbreaking loss of Carrie Fisher earlier this week adds a new level of poignancy to the experience. In revisiting her experience while making Episode 4 of Star Wars (and having a brief affair with Harrison Ford in process), the reader is taken not just back in time, but into the mind of one of the most brilliant performers and writers of recent memory.
  3. Victoria: Daisy Goodwin’s brilliant fictionalized tale of the first years of Queen Victoria’s reign is remarkable. ¬†What kept me reading was not her status and her title, but that she was a human being and an 18-year-old girl who is starting to grow up and grow into the Queen Victoria we think of today.
  4. Modern Girls: Set in New York City in the 1930’s, it is the tale of a mother daughter duo who find themselves pregnant at the same time. Approaching her 40’s, Rose has had 5 children. She thinks her days bringing children into the world are over. Rose’s daughter, Dottie has it all. A solid career, a bright future and a boyfriend she is ready to marry. Then she gets pregnant and not by her boyfriend. If the sign of a good book is wanting a sequel, then this is a really good book.
  5. The Two Family House: The Berman brothers, Abe not only work together, but live in the same two family house. Their wives, Rose and Helen are as close as sisters. Then they get pregnant at the same time. After the babies are born, the relationship between Rose and Helen is never the same. Soon the rift between the women begins to affect the whole family.

Here’s to the good books from 2016 and the books to be read in 2017.

Modern Girls Book Review

There is no closer bond than the one between mother and daughter. For some mother-daughter duo’s, there is almost a psychic like understanding that only exists between the two of them.

Jennifer S. Brown explores this relationship, along with a number of other factors in her new novel, Modern Girls.

In New York City in 1935, 19-year-old Dottie Krasinsky wakes up to her crowded, noisy Lower East Side tenement that she shares with her parents and four younger brothers. The daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, Dottie’s future appears to be set. She has just been promoted to the head of her department, her social life is full and she expects to marry her long time boyfriend. Then she gets pregnant and not by her boyfriend.

A lifetime ago, Dottie’s mother Rose was part of the Socialist fervor that swept through Eastern Europe. Put on a boat to America by her father, Rose would soon live the life of an ordinary woman: that of a wife and a mother. In her late 30’s, Rose believes that she is done with bringing children into the world. But she too, is pregnant.

As Rose and Dottie grapple with their pregnancies, the external world is changing and becoming more dangerous. Both women must wrestle with the questions of fate, faith and the choices they must make to survive.

This book is nothing short of mesmerizing. Dottie’s dilemma is one faced by women throughout the ages. What I loved most was the strong relationship between mother and daughter and how it shifted, especially when Dottie’s pregnancy could no longer be hid. If the mark of a remarkable book is that I wanted more, then this book is remarkable.

I absolutely recommend it.

 

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