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The Fountains of Silence

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The Fountains of Silence

By Ruth Sepetys

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray comes a gripping, extraordinary portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship.

     Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother's birth through the lens of his camera. Photography--and fate--introduce him to Ana, whose family's interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War--as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel's photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

     Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history's darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence--inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain.

     Includes vintage media reports, oral history commentary, photos, and more.

Book Details:

Title: The Fountains of Silence

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Publisher: Philomel Books

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 512

ISBN: 978-0399160318

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The Best Kind of Bookish Adventures

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Pages and Co.: The Bookwanderers

by Anna James

“Be brave, be curious, be kind." I adore this quote by Anna James, from 'Pages and Co.: The Bookwanderers'. #partner @penguinkids

Not only is 'Pages and Co.: The Bookwanderers' a book that celebrates the magic of books and the love of bookstores, it's also a book that celebrates the power of imagination. We, the reader, travel with 11-year-old Tilly as she "bookwanders" into any story she chooses. This ability leads to exciting adventures, dangerous peril and uncovered secrets. Tilly jumps into some of my all-time favorite books including 'Anne of Green Gables', 'A Little Princess' and 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. Previously released in the UK, 'Pages and Co: The Book Wanderers' just released in the US yesterday. I hope you enjoy this magical, bookish adventure as much as I did!

Some of My Favorite Quotes:

“Be brave, be curious, be kind.”

“Seb sat back with a dreamy look on his face. ‘You know when you walk into a bookshop and you see all those thousands of books lined up in front of you? That intoxicating feeling of knowing that behind each cover is a different world to explore, like thousands of tiny portals? That adrenalin rush just before you open a new book? The thrill of being surrounded by fellow book lovers? That is what fuels bookwanderering, and it comes to life in bookshops.’”

“‘Speaking of the end of Alice.’ Tilly said, trying to change the subject a little, ‘why does Alice’s story end with the whole thing being a dream?’

‘Well,’ Grandad said, ‘I’ve always thought that it’s because the writer is saying that our dreams and stories matter. I think it’s quite beautiful that you can read the whole book at Alice telling her sister a story. And then Alice’s sister is thinking about passing the story to their future children, because stories last much longer than we do. Our stories are how we will be remembered - so we’ve got to make sure they are worth telling.’”

In addition to fun and meaningful quotes, the chapter titles in this book are also creatively expressed… Here are a few: “Somewhere Adventure Live”, “An Excellent Plot Twist”, “Try to Make a Little More Space for the Impossible to Happen” and “A Bookshop is Like a Map of the World”.

Enjoy! :-)

Book Details:

Title: Pages and Co.: The Bookwanderers

Author: Anna James

Illustrator: Paola Escobar

Publisher: Penguin Kids

Format: Hardcover Book

ISBN: 978-1984837127 (US edition)

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Annotated Jane Austen Novels

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I’m picky about annotated editions because an editor can really make or break my overall reading experience. I want editorial notes that enhance my understanding of the background details of the customs, language and culture of the times. I don’t want unnecessary commentary to tell me what I should think about the meaning of a passage. This collection published by @vintageanchorbooks and edited by David M. Shapard is an excellent compilation of definitions of words that had a different meaning then than they do now, sketches and photos of clothing, furniture, carriages, estates, etc. from Austen’s time, maps of cities and countrysides, cultural customs and norms along with details of Austen’s life and other writings. The actual text of the novel is on the left page with the corresponding details noted on the right page. This format provides an easy reading environment so you can determine what details you want to easily reference as you go. The only change I would make in this collection is providing the books in hardback to better preserve the spine.

Let me know if you have any questions! Happy Reading!

The pages in this photo are from ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and the editorial details include two definitions, background details on winter activities, the conflict between a husband who is dedicated to sport and country life when the wife wants shopping and a social life in the city, the postal service of the day and an artist’s rendition of the Mayfair district where most of the characters in the novel reside. I have found that I have a deeper appreciation and fuller enjoyment of Austen’s writing when reading these editions. Jane’s wit and satire really shines through!

The pages in this photo are from ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and the editorial details include two definitions, background details on winter activities, the conflict between a husband who is dedicated to sport and country life when the wife wants shopping and a social life in the city, the postal service of the day and an artist’s rendition of the Mayfair district where most of the characters in the novel reside. I have found that I have a deeper appreciation and fuller enjoyment of Austen’s writing when reading these editions. Jane’s wit and satire really shines through!

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Great Fun

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Great Dog

Written by Davide Cali

Illustrated by Miguel Tanco

// BOOK REVIEW //

Thank you to Tundra Books for this beautiful review copy!

If you are looking for a fresh, adorable, uplifting children’s book, let me introduce you to ‘Great Dog’! In all fairness, I love dogs so this book was a natural fit for my tastes. My fondness for the subject matter, however, is just the beginning of my enjoyment of this bookish treat. From the front cover to the back page, ‘Great Dog’ makes me smile. The story addresses the often asked question  “What will I be when I grow up?” with charm and creativity. I especially enjoyed the gatefolds that give a peek behind each character’s story. Check out my blog (link in profile) for more photos, book details and the ISBN.

I love a great children’s book that can be enjoyed by both the adult and the child while reading together! Do you have a favorite animal that you enjoy featured as a character in a book?

Book Details:

Title: Great Dog

Author: Davide Cali

Illustrator: Miguel Tanco

Publisher: Tundra Books

Format: Hardcover with Dust Jacket

Age Range: 3-7 years

ISBN: 9781101919170



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A White-Water Rollercoaster

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'The River' by Peter Heller

// Book Review //

I finished 'The River' a few weeks ago and needed a bit of time to really sort my thoughts and feelings before writing this review. A book that keeps you thinking after turning the last page can be a good sign that the author wrote a compelling story. Heller’s writing was so immersive that I felt as though I was a passenger in the canoe with the two main characters and instead of paddling with them, all I could do was to will them to safety. The author's descriptive prose felt like poetry at times while also reminding me of why I would never want to go on a wilderness canoe trip without a satellite phone (let's be real... I wouldn't want to go on a wilderness canoe trip for many reasons including bears, the absence of indoor plumbing, sleeping on the ground, foraging for your own food, fires, crazy people, etc.)

Throughout 'The River', Heller expertly intertwines themes of friendship, brotherhood, adventure, trust, loyalty, fear, protection of the innocent, survival, loss, self-defense, mental fortitude, conflict resolution and perseverance at all cost. I enjoyed the author's development of the two main characters as we experience the highs and lows of both their past and their present challenges. Even though I could guess what was around the bend (literally and figuratively) for most of the book, I had high hopes for a different ending. In summary, while I was happy to get out of the canoe when the story ended, this slim book holds a big adventure...

Have you read ‘The River’? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts on this book!

Book Details:

Title: The River: A Novel

Author: Peter Heller

Publisher: Knopf

Format: Hardcover Book

ISBN: 978-0525521877


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