Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Review: The Summer of Fall by Laura Lippman

Publisher: Scribd Originals
Pages: 62
Format: eARC

Goodreads:  “Lucky! I’M LUCKY, GODDAMMIT!” So Laura Lippman keeps telling herself throughout the course of a year when she seems everything but. Her marriage crumbles; a beloved friend dies suddenly; her sister’s health fails. Everything and everyone is falling apart. The calamities reach a symbolic climax in the summer of 2022, when she and her mother both suffer bad falls. (Her mom is ninety-one; Lippman herself is merely “exceptionally clumsy.”) Still, she insists, she is lucky.

And in many ways, she is. She has a great kid and a career she loves, and she’s healthy and more or less happy. Yet even a resilient optimist like her can’t deny that life’s catastrophes are indiscriminate and seem always to hit at once.

In this wry and honest memoir of a truly lousy time, she gives an intimate look at her private life — perhaps less hair-raising than her award-winning crime thrillers, but no less engaging. And it’s relatable. Even the most fortunate experience heartache, loss, and physical breakdown of some kind. Lippman’s account of her own hard knocks reminds us that, eventually, adversity comes for everyone.

But she has a more important message: While misfortune might not be a choice, how we respond to it is. Lippman chooses to be a happy warrior. When her friend Terry Teachout, the renowned theater critic for The Wall Street Journal, dies without warning in January 2022, she finds solace in the fact that he’d recently found joy in a new romance. When two friends make the spontaneous decision to marry during a writer’s workshop in Italy, she throws herself into the role of officiant, despite the flatlining of her own marriage. When she ruins her shoulder in a fall, she refuses to swap her fun shoes for something more sensible. She won’t let sorrow and pain get the best of her. Blessings abound, godammit, and there’s still so much to celebrate.

Kritters Thoughts:  I am a Laura Lippman fan, I have nowhere near read all of her books, but when I saw this book come across Netgalley I was excited to read some non fiction that Laura Lippman wrote and even more so wrote about her own life.  She was an avid writer but also journaled her own life and this little book came from her writing as she recounted a summer that was possibly one to not remember!  

With a separation/divorce, physical injury, family drama and more, after reading this book I wanted to go have a beverage with Laura Lippman and just gab about the ups and downs of life.  I loved that yes I read about a horrible summer, but also got a glimpse behind the curtain of the humanity of an author as they try to keep writing and working while life knocks them around.  

I would love to read more of these by other authors that I love and see both their personal life and professional life as they collide.  


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Review: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a T├Ątowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

Kritters Thoughts:  A book I read solely because I saw that a mini series was created and I am a stickler for reading the book before watching the movie, the show or the whatever! So I picked up this book recently and read it and what a story.  I was glad that I could see someone's interpretation of it on screen and see how even the hardest of moments would be portrayed on a screen.  

Based on a true story, Lale Sokolov was a Jew who went to Auschwitz and eventually became the man who tattooed the incoming Jews; he aligned himself with the SS soldiers and was able to help his fellow men and women through various ways to survive the horrors that took place in Auschwitz.  Because of the way he took care of others, it saved his life so many times.  

It is hard to say I loved this book because most of it took place in a concentration camp, but to see humanity still trying to take care of each other in any way possible and to see a love story emerge, it was something else.  


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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