Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Is This The Real Life? My Bohemian Summer Reading

Since reading is one of my all time favorite things to do I thought I'd share what I've been reading and what I  want to read this summer.

I love reading Christian fiction and do a lot of that normally.  But this summer I'm totally into history and biography.  There's just something about reading really interesting stories that are from people's real lives.  Although in school we didn't seem to really learn much real history I've always been in love with the past and how people lived.  My mom tells me that as a child I fantasized about living in the "olden days".  Becoming an adult and living happily in the 21st century has me convinced that I would not have survived the "olden days" but it is certainly a romantic period of time.  The manners, etiquette and dress of those days gone by are a beautiful thought.  But I'll keep my shorts and air conditioning and microwave, thank you.

Here are the books that I have on my reading schedule this summer:

The Last Days Of The Romanovs (by Helen Rappaport) was so interesting.  I fell in love with the Tsar's family even though I know they were not perfect and that an imperial government is not really free.  But seeing the Tsar, Tsarina and their four beautiful daughters and tragically sick son and how they truly loved one another was fascinating.  They had their faults but they were very interesting lives to be able to look at through the lens of history.  Of course, we know it is a tragic ending and it was far worse than I even suspected to read about their demise.  Since I have a Russian daughter and have traveled there, it was enlightening to read about familiar places in Russia and to try to learn to say all the Russian words and names.  And since I am a total nerd I have been looking up all that I can about the Romanov family and learning as much as I can about them and Russia's history.

The Nazi Officer's Wife--How One Jewish Woman Survived The Holocaust (by Edith Hahn Beer) kept me completely captivated.  For those of us who wonder how it was possible for the world to go completely bonkers during World War II this was eye opening.  I've always been drawn to stories about the Holocaust and of course love to read about survivors. This book was one that I could not put down because the story was so incredible and it is TRUE.  I personally need to learn about people whose lives were truly tested and this book is a great example.  I told my 17 year old that she will be required to read this just to know how difficult life was for people in the not so distant past.

Marie Antoinette--The Last Queen Of France (by Evelyne Lever)  I'm reading this right now and it is really interesting.  I like to find out the truth, if that is possible, about historical people and there is certainly a lot of fabrication in the re-telling of many famous people's lives in popular culture and media.  This book is challenging me because of all the French words because I am not really that interested in the French culture although I have been to France.  Plus, I am not familiar with many of the characters of that time period. So that is why I am reading-- to learn.

Abigail Adams (by Woody Holton) I haven't started on this one yet but I know I will enjoy it.  I loved the HBO movie on John Adams (which I rented from Netflix) so much that I bought it.  Once again, I'm sure there are discrepancies in the actual truth between the movie and reality but that is why reading is so much fun.

If you have the chance to read any of these books let me know what you think of them.


  1. My daughter has been fascinated with the Holocaust and started reading those types of books when she was in 5th grade. I will have to get her The Nazi Officer's Wife!

  2. I have a stack of books to read, but can't get into them. :) I am having fun reading your blog, though!! And it looks so nice. Love what you've done!!! :)