Currently Reading: 12/23/2014

 Source:  unsplash

Source: unsplash

Like any book lover, I'm surviving the holidays by squeezing in as much reading time as possible. Here's what I'm currently reading. 

Fiction

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Don't worry if you haven't heard of this one--it won't be published until early March. I'm reading it as an ARC (that'd be Advanced Reader's Copy), which is how publications are able to write reviews of books before they're officially out. 

Joseph Kanon's upcoming novel Leaving Berlin is a bit different than your typical WWII era fiction. I've only just started it, but I'm already a fan of how it's set in 1949 as Germany is recovering from WWII and Berlin is still under Allied control. At the time, Germany was incentivizing its great talents, especially writers, who fled during the war to return, which is where readers find the protagonist, Alex Meier, a young half-Jewish writer whose parents were killed in the Holocaust. 

I'll be posting a full review after I've finished the novel. But if the first 25 pages are an indication of the rest of the book, look for a five-star review. 

Nonfiction

Lately I've been on a bit of a kick with business and self-help books, which makes sense because I'm constantly looking for ways to self-improve. But if you're like me, a cheesy sounding title and a hokey-looking cover don't encourage me to pick up books like this (no offense, Dr. Rosenberg). Yet, in this case, I'm really glad I did. 

As a writer and a librarian in progress, I'm fascinated by the ways in which communication works. The slightest words and turn of phrase can drastically change meanings and people who are lacking in communication skills often miss out on things because they're unable to communicate their needs and situations adequately. Without thoughtful communication, arguments ensue and verbal chaos escalates.

Nonviolent Communication unpacks some of these notions and explains what we can do about them. I'm about a third of the way through the book and I'm healthily intrigued. I'd already go on the record saying that this book is great for anyone having relationship issues, whether romantic or otherwise. 

Audio

If you've been reading my blog for some time, you know I love historical fiction. I might not have ever picked up Sharpe's Fury had it not been on super sale at Books-a-Million and had a nice employee not wholeheartedly recommended it. It's the 11th book in a series I previously knew nothing about and the cover doesn't strike me as something I'd normally like. 

Oh, but how wrong I was! As it happens, it's not necessary to know the story from the 10 previous books before diving into this one. It's a gripping narrative following priests, prostitutes, business scandals, and shady Frenchmen all rolled into the War of 1812. It's juicy and scandalous and the battle scenes are so vividly rendered (the reader's sinuous voice helps with that). 

What are you currently reading? Are you surviving the holidays by curling up with a good book? Tell me in the comments below! 

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