Wreckage (Emily Bleecker)

4 Star

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This book popped up on my Kindle recommendations yesterday and I realized that I had not posted about it, and it definitely deserves a post (Better late than never!). Wreckage tells the story of two plane-wreck survivors who spend their time living off the land of a deserted island while they wait to be rescued. The two survivors have since returned to their normal lives as best they can, and the book switches between past and present to tell their story.

Wreckage is a very cool book and definitely a page turner. Bleecker organized the book phenomenally, letting the reader’s curiosity grow and satisfying it at the perfect moments. It felt like I was dying to get to the next page and find out what was going to happen for the length of the entire book.

While the book has mixed reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, I was a little put off by some of the negative comments. It seems like many people did not like the book because it wasn’t realistic. I mean, did these readers really pick up a book about two people who survive alone for two years on an Pacific Ocean island and expect it to be a realistic survival story? The book is not meant to be some sort of survival guide, it is simply a fictional setting in which to examine the ways people grow and live together, within and apart from society.

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Gone Again (Doug Johnstone)

3 Star

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I wish it was summer, because Gone Again feels like a perfect beach read. The book is quick but enjoyable, highlighting the value of loved ones and keeping your attention with emerging mystery and excitement. As Mark faces the loss of his wife, he rebuilds his relationship with his mother-in-law and leans on his young son for support in a difficult time.

Gone Again leaves you with the sadness of losing a lover and best friend, but also the optimistic idea that close families can get through anything together. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good vacation read.

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Gettysburg, PA

Gettysburg was the perfect destination for a long weekend away. We spent four days in the charming village, filled with fun and rich history. We chose to visit Gettysburg because it was driving distance away from NY and it was highly recommended by my parents who had spent time there in August. Although we missed the summer months, Pennsylvania is absolutely beautiful in the fall.

We arrived in Gettysburg somewhat spontaneously, without hotel reservations or realizing that it was Parents Weekend at the nearby college. Luckily, we were able to book a room (possibly the last one in the entire village) at The Gettysburg Hotel, right in the center of town. We arrived too late to see any of the historical sights our first night, and instead spent the time exploring some of the pubs and restaurants in Gettysburg.

We dedicated one full day to seeing the battlefields and major historical sites. We purchased an auto-tour, which ended up being perfect for us. We had a great time driving around and listening to the tour, getting a sense of the battle at our own speed. We liked being able to choose which sites we were visiting, as opposed to a traditional guided tour, and even skipped a few to return to the next day. We especially loved Little Round Top, where we spent nearly an hour walking around and reading the informational signs. In addition to the battlefields, we spent some time exploring the national cemetery and the site of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

We had a fantastic time pub crawling through Gettysburg and lounging around our room in the true spirit of vacation. Being in the center of the town, we were in walking distance of all  the restaurants and had a great people-watching view out the windows. It was very cool to explore the historical buildings in town, some of which still have bullet-holes in their bricks, and to learn more about the historical battle that was the turning point of the Civil War.

I would definitely recommend visiting Gettysburg, even if you are not as interested in history as we are, as the village itself is very beautiful  and enjoyable. This is a very low-cost, low-maintenance trip if you live in the Northeast, which was exactly what we were looking for this fall.

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Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)

5 Star

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Gone with the Wind was ultimately one of the greatest novels that I have ever read. This has been on my “to-read” list for a number of years, and my long commute has finally given me time to finish the audiobook. Historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine, and this book was so well-researched and written that it immediately jumped to the top of my favorite books list.

I came into Gone with the Wind without much pre-existing knowledge. I have never seen the movie nor read the book, although I had some vague idea of the plotline as it has been frequently referenced in my historical studies over the years. I expected the novel to be about a snarky, unrelenting woman who loses everything to the Civil War. While on some level the novel met my expectations, it was more a coming of age story of a young girl learning to find happiness in a troubled and changing world.

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