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A Few Good Books: February 2016

by Emily M | Feb 01, 2016

Looking for a good book recommendation? Look no further!  Here’s a few good books I’ve enjoyed recently:

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

TheFamilyRomanovTsar Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia, was executed in July of 1918, along with his wife, son, four daughters, and a handful of servants.  The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia explores how this execution transpired.  Candace Fleming paints a fairly sympathetic picture of Tsar Nicholas II, depicting him not as a cruel, power-hungry dictator, but a shy, awkward, family-focused young man thrust into the role of tsar, one for which he was ill-prepared and did not particularly want.  Fleming skillfully weaves together descriptions of the Romanov family’s private life, the life of the common Russian peasant at this time, and the political events that ultimately led to Tsar Nicholas’s execution.  Actually a young adult book aimed at high school students, The Family Romanov is very accessible to the average reader.  Never dry or monotonous, The Family Romanov kept me as hooked as a fast-paced novel.   


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

AlltheLightAnthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See tells the parallel stories of two children, a blind French girl and an orphaned German boy, who grow up during the Nazi rise to power and live through the horrors of World War II. The story is told with short, nonlinear chapters that switch back and forth between the two protagonists’ points of view.  Lyrical prose makes All the Light We Cannot See lovely to read, but what really drew me in was the way it illustrated how one young boy, who was both smart and good, became a Nazi soldier who did terrible things – a story in microcosm of what the Nazi leadership did to their citizens as a whole.


Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

LifeTogetherDietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor during the Nazi rise to power in the 1930s.  While the majority of Christian leadership in Germany during this time seemed to turn a blind eye to Nazi atrocities, Bonhoeffer spoke out publicly against them, an action that eventually forced him to go underground.  In 1943 he was arrested and imprisoned.  He was later sent to a concentration camp and then hanged.  He is now considered a martyr of the Christian faith and his writings are highly regarded as Christian classics.  Life Together was written to reflect upon his time living and teaching in an underground seminary and is meant to illustrate how Christians ought to live in community with one another.  This was the first work of Bonhoeffer’s that I had ever read and I was struck by what a wise and humble man he must have been. 

What good books have you read lately?

EmilyLong before becoming a librarian, Emily was an avid library patron. She enjoys reading fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and classic children’s literature. Her favorite book is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.


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