Monday, June 30, 2014

Booking It June

Check out what everyone is reading over at Life as Mom.

Some of my reads this month had an art twist. I had requested both of these books months ago through library.  It figures they both show up within weeks of each other.

I read it at last The Monuments Men.  I enjoyed it immensely.  The book started a little bit on the slow side but picked up considerably.  I have a small personal connection as my husband's grandfather still living was in World War II and landed at Normandy on the second day and met his wife in France.  Also my grandfather was in World War II too with the engineers and made it all the way to Berchesgarten.  I served in the Army in Germany specifically in Darmstadt and my husband served in Berlin.

 I found Rose Valland, French woman who spied on the Nazi's in France at the museum, was probably one of the most understated hero's of all because she was the key essentially in finding where all the art went. I find it fascinating how much art was looted by Nazi's.  The immense amount of art looted boggles the mind. I found my admiration of the Monument Men grew as the story progressed.  They showed incredible grit and courage.

I haven't watched the movie yet but it is on my to do list.

Finally after a long wait list at the library, I got The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.  What an interesting twisted story. It was so not what I expected.  At the 400th or so page, I just wanted the story to wind down.  Somewhere I read, they thought the book was written by two different authors.  The first half was so different from the second half. 

"Isn't everything worthwhile a gamble? Can't good come around sometimes through some back doors." - The Goldfinch

Lastly I read Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day - One Man, Eight Countries, One vintage Travel Guide by Doug Mack.  I really enjoyed this book.  Doug Mack took a 1960's version of Frommer's Europe on $5 a Day and basically followed it and his mother's letter's from her grand tour of Europe in her twenties.  Doug talks a lot of staying on the beaten path and exactly what it means to be a tourist.  He discusses how  many of these well known tourist sights are still awe inspiring.  We modern day tourists are constantly looking for places off the beaten path but might be better served following the beaten path.  I especially like this quote:

....I think, is the most important legacy of Europe on 5 dollars a day: it's not about where you travel- on the beaten path, along a frontage road, or where no tourist has been before - but about what you make of it. Find your own way.

Doug follows Frommer's suggestions for eating and sight seeing.  His observations were interesting.  Pick this one up if you like a travel read.

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