It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 18.0

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you are staying warm wherever you are. I’m wearing two layers of clothing today…but trust me it was necessary! This week I am participating in the “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

My thoughts on books I recently finished:

frozen in time

Synopsis adapted from Goodreads:

On November 5, 1942, a U.S. cargo plane on a routine flight slammed into the Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 on the search-and-rescue mission became lost in a blinding storm and also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on the B-17 survived. The U.S. military launched a second daring rescue operation, but the Grumman Duck amphibious plane sent to find the men flew into a severe storm and vanished.

In this thrilling adventure, Mitchell Zuckoff offers a spellbinding account of these harrowing disasters and the fate of the survivors and their would-be saviors. Frozen in Time places us at the center of a group of valiant airmen fighting to stay alive through 148 days of a brutal Arctic winter by sheltering from subzero temperatures and vicious blizzards in the tail section of the broken B-17 until an expedition headed by famed Arctic explorer Bernt Balchen attempts to bring them to safety.

But that is only part of the story that unfolds in Frozen in Time. In present-day Greenland, Zuckoff joins the U.S. Coast Guard and North South Polar—a company led by the indefatigable dreamer Lou Sapienza, who worked for years to solve the mystery of the Duck’s last flight—on a dangerous expedition to recover the remains of the lost plane’s crew.

Drawing on intensive research and Zuckoff ’s firsthand account of the dramatic 2012 expedition, Frozen in Time is a breathtaking blend of mystery, adventure, heroism, and survival. It is also a poignant reminder of the sacrifices of our military personnel and their families—and a tribute to the important, perilous, and often-overlooked work of the U.S. Coast Guard.

They say bad things come in three’s, and for the U.S. Military’s operations in Greenland in November of 1942 this was definitely the case, as recounted by Michell Zuckoff in Frozen in Time. This non-fiction tome reads like an thriller/adventure novel, and alternates between the original crashes of 1942 and the present day attempt to rescue the Grumman Duck from its ice-encrusted tomb.

I really enjoyed reading this harrowing survival story, and was on the edge of my seat while waiting to figure out if any of the men would ever make it off the ice. It was amazing to me that the men could survive at all under those extreme conditions (let alone without ever having had any cold weather survival training), and that they could do it with such selflessness, integrity, and humanity. I was also touched and moved by the attempts of others to save the men and keep them alive, often at great risk to their own safety. Zuckoff’s re-telling of these events is by far the strongest and best part of the book. Side note: it was also interesting to learn things about Greenland and the arctic. For instance, did you know Greenland was part of the Kingdom of Denmark or that it is (very not densely) inhabited?

The present day sections were interesting but dragged at times (one reviewer noted they “read like a long National Geographic article”). Also, since Zuckoff had a significant financial stake in the operation to retrieve the Grumman Duck, these sections felt a bit more forced somehow. The present day story was definitely worth reading, but just couldn’t quite compare to the survival story on the ice. I found myself hurrying through so I could get back to the 1942 sections of the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. Although at times it was a bit sad, it was inspiring and very moving. 4/5 stars.

Books I recently read:

sisterland

Synopsis adapted from Goodreads:

From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.

Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.

call of the wild

Synopsis adapted from Goodreads:

First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London’s masterpiece. Based on London’s experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike.

Club Dumas

Synopsis adapted from Goodreads:

A well-know bibliophile is found hanged days after selling a rare manuscript of Alexander Dumas’s classic, The Three Musketeers. Across Madrid, Spain’s wealthiest book dealer has finally laid his hands on a 17th-century manual for summoning the devil. Lucas Corso, solitary and obsessive, is the detective hired to authenticate both texts. But the further he follows the trail of devil worship, the more it leads him back to Dumas. He’s the unwitting protagonist in someone’s evil plot, but is he sleuth or hero, Sherlock Holmes or d’Artagnan?

White-Fang

Synopsis adapted from Goodreads:

Jack London’s adventure masterpiece is not only a vivid account of the Klondike gold rush and North American Indian life, but it is also an intriguing study of the effects different environments have on an individual. Celebrate the centennial anniversary of the classic tale of a wolf-dog who endures great cruelty before he comes to know human kindness.

This Week I am reading:

The_Pact

Synopsis adapted from Goodreads:

For eighteen years the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other, sharing everything from Chinese food to chicken pox to carpool duty– they’ve grown so close it seems they have always been a part of each other’s lives. Parents and children alike have been best friends, so it’s no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily’s friendship blossoms into something more. They’ve been soul mates since they were born.

So when midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the appalling truth: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There’s a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris took from his father’s cabinet– a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris has described.

This Week I am listening to:

Maya'sNotebook

Synopsis adapted from Goodreads:

Isabel Allende’s latest novel, set in the present day (a new departure for the author), tells the story of a 19-year-old American girl who finds refuge on a remote island off the coast of Chile after falling into a life of drugs, crime, and prostitution. There, in the company of a torture survivor, a lame dog, and other unforgettable characters, Maya Vidal writes her story, which includes pursuit by a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol. In the process, she unveils a terrible family secret, comes to understand the meaning of love and loyalty, and initiates the greatest adventure of her life: the journey into her own soul.

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What are you reading this week?

It's Monday

Linking up with Book Journey!

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lindsey
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 21:49:06

    The Club Dumas sounds great. I am always a sucker for a good literary mystery. 🙂

    Reply

  2. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 02:50:19

    White Fang is the only book my husband has ever read in its entirety LOL

    Have a great reading week,
    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

    Reply

  3. Jade @ Bits & Bobs
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 09:17:02

    Sisterland looks like it may well be a good read, I might have to look in to that one further.
    How are you finding The Pact? Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors and although its hard to pick favourites, The Pact would be in my top three of the books I’ve read of hers so far.
    Happy Reading!
    🙂

    Reply

    • exlibrisheather
      Jan 29, 2014 @ 16:52:31

      Sisterland was pretty good, but I have some mixed feelings about it (if I’m being honest). I finished The Pact yesterday actually, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. It was very compulsively readable…I had a hard time putting it down!

      Reply

  4. Melinda
    Feb 10, 2014 @ 01:44:40

    How did you find The Club Dumas?

    Reply

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