Penny's Passion: What I Read in October 2023

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

What I Read in October 2023

Happy Thursday!  Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday where I talk about something I'm thinking about and invite you to link up and do the same.  Today I'm thinking about the books I read in October!

Unbroken:  A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Unbroken was our library book club selection this month.  It was an emotional book to read, but one I truly enjoyed.  I haven't seen the movie, so the book held many surprises for me.  An interesting fact we learned during our book club discussion:  the book comes in a young adult adaptation.  Some of the members had picked up that version by mistake.  If you have younger readers, this version would probably be the better choice.  Here's the summary ~
The incredible true story of survival and salvation that is the basis for two major motion pictures: 2014’s Unbroken and the upcoming Unbroken: Path to Redemption.

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Disclosure:  The book is LLLLLOOOOONNNNNGGGGG!  Like 736 pages long!  I had been hearing a lot of chatter about this book and thought it would be a good one to listen to on my way to and from work.  The audio version was 31 hours long.  Honestly, I truly believe I would have enjoyed this book more if it had been divided into 2, or even 3, separate books.  The story was very interesting, but I just got kind of bored with the story in several parts.  With that being said, I thought the last 150 pages were excellent.  Here's the summary ~
The Covenant of Water is the long-awaited new novel by Abraham Verghese, the author of the major word-of-mouth bestseller Cutting for Stone, which has sold over 1.5 million copies in the United States alone and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years.

Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning—and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a twelve-year-old girl from Kerala’s long-existing Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. From this unforgettable new beginning, the young girl—and future matriarch, known as Big Ammachi—will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, her faith and love the only constants.

A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. It is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years.

This was a fun little read that made me laugh out loud at parts.  It would be a great vacation read.  Overall, it was a quick, entertaining read and I would recommend it.  Also, it's included in your Kindle Unlimited subscription so you can read it for free.  Here's the summary ~
Romance writer Penelope Banks can write the perfect love story, but when it comes to family, all she’s got is a rough draft. Penny shelved the idea of fitting in with her high-achieving family years ago, but when her new business venture—a romance bookstore—is at risk of closing before its doors have opened, she’s forced to ask for help from the one place she never expected. Home.

Penny’s prepared for the usual Thanksgiving lineup: her perfect sister, meddling nana, matchmaking mother, and workaholic father. The guest she didn’t anticipate? Her ex-husband, Smith. After an awkward rideshare with Smith leaves Penny questioning why the romance in her life exists only in her novels, Penny adds some fiction to reality and turns her father’s colleague into the perfect fake boyfriend.

With only four days to mend damaged relationships, and her bookstore’s future at stake, all the stars must align for Penny to finally write a happily ever after for herself and her family.

Now it's your turn - what are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and share!

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  1. Penny, thank you for hosting. I will need to look into some of these books to add to my reading list. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Happy Thursday. Thanks so much for hosting.

  3. Hmm...I'd been thinking about reading The Covenant of Water, but that is reaaaaallly long. lol. Thanks for sharing about it; maybe that is good enough for me. :)

  4. Unbroken is such an amazing book. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

  5. We watched Unbroken and really enjoyed it a lot!

  6. Thanks for hosting Penny
    I linked up this week with = 27+28+29. Hope you will join us M-S SeniorSalonPitStop and W-S #WordlessWednesday. You will find both under BLOGGING.