Despite all of our protests last year, A Reader's Respite caved and signed up for too many reading challenges. We can't think why we do this, unless it's to satisfy our unreasonable desire for lists. We're inexplicably drawn to any type of list, especially a list that is vaguely related to books.
So this being November, it is now the inevitable time of year where we start realizing how many reading challenges we are clearly NOT going to finish this year. We then kick ourselves, promise not to join any further reading challenges and then - and you saw this coming - sign up for a half dozen more come January 1st.
It is indeed a vicious cycle.
One of the worthy challenges that we are just not going to complete this year is the fabulous War Through the Generations Challenge, hosted by Anna and Serena. The challenge required participants to read a set number of books with a WWII theme in 2009. A Reader's Respite fell short of our goal of eight books, ultimately ending up with only five books read with this theme.
We're not sure how that happened, unless it was because we got slightly sidetracked this past year by some fabulous Arthurian fiction and became smitten with novels set during WWI. Either way, you might consider our failure a tad shameful, but A Reader's Respite is holding our head high because our five WWII-themed books this year were, on the whole, excellent reads.
Our last one this year was a novel written by Betsy Carter, called The Puzzle King. The novel falls slightly short of being a true family saga, but it does encompass the life of one man from birth to death.
Simon Phelps was sent to America in 1892 at the tender age of nine. Alone and homesick, Simon pulls himself up by his bootstraps, acquires an education, marries Flora and becomes a millionaire businessman in his lifetime. But he never stops searching for the family he left behind.
As Europe is swept up in the tide of Hitler and his Nazis, Simon and Flora are desperate to save their families from the impending war and atrocities.
They say that truth is stranger than fiction and although this is a novel, it is indeed rooted in fact. The lengths to which Simon and Flora went to rescue Jews from Hitler's Germany make for a compelling read and a important history lesson. Add this book to your list of WWII reading material....you won't be disappointed.
Oh....to Anna and Serena....we're hoping you'll run the challenge again in 2010. Despite our "challenge bitching" we'll be back for more!
Sound interesting? Leave us a comment saying so and you'll be entered to win a copy of Carter's The Puzzle King. International entrants are always welcome. Be sure you check back on December 10th to see if you won!