Summer 2019

Youth and Teen

Jessica: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, completed in the winter of 1949 & published in 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund & Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe in Prof. Digory Kirke’s house that leads to the magical land of Narnia, which is currently under the spell of a witch. The four children fulfill an ancient, mysterious prophecy while in Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan (the Turkish word for lion) & his army save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who’s reigned over the Narnia in winter for 100 years.

 

Jake: Gathering Blue By Lois Lowry

In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.

As she did in The Giver, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, and what will be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira’s plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.

Why I like It: This is the sequel to “The Giver,” it is an amazing tale of friendship, strength, and determination. Everyone I have discussed this book with says its the best in her series and I agree. Most people do not realize “The Giver,” by Lois Lowry has three other companion books. This is book two of The Giver series, but it is my favorite. 

Adult


Patty: The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Edith Eva Eger

It’s 1944 and sixteen-year-old ballerina and gymnast Edith Eger is sent to Auschwitz. Separated from her parents on arrival, she endures unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive.

The horrors of the Holocaust didn’t break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience. The Choice is her unforgettable story.

Why I like it: The Choice is a powerful, moving story of resilience, hope, and forgiveness. Now in her 90s, Dr Eger’s ability to turn her tragic experience into a life of helping others, including soldiers with PTSD, is remarkable and inspiring.


Jake: Born a Crime:  Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime New York Times bestseller about one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Why I like it: Trevor Noah has you laughing and has you inspired. He discusses his childhood in and in the aftermath of apartheid. This book mixes humor with his personal struggles but yet Mr. Noah does not seem to ever lose his hope or his optimism. 


Jacob: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Why I like it:Frankenstein is widely considered the first science fiction book, a genre which has become one of my favorites. The story explores the emotions of someone considered an outsider, and is a warning of going too far with scientific knowledge. Shelley was only eighteen when she began writing it, making it all the more impressive. On a side note, her husband is one of my favorite poets, and her parents are both renowned authors as well. I highly recommend reading her family’s works as well. 

 


 

Movies


Jessica:  Captain Marvel

The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Set in the 1990s, Captain Marvel is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.