Tag: literature

A New Historical Book I Can’t Wait For: THE FLIGHT PORTFOLIO by Julie Orringer

Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group Genres: Adult, Historical

I’ve been waiting for this for so long. For a new book by one of my favorite authors to be released into the world. After eight years, I am here to give you some news!

Over a number of years I had been eagerly checking Goodreads to see if Julie Orringer, the author of THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE, had a new book out. This is one of my favorite works of historical fiction for adults. But every time I would check: NOTHING.

For a long while I wasn’t checking author’s website or looking on Goodreads. Though deep down, there was a big part of me ever hoping for a new book from Julie Orringer. I loved THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE so fiercely, and couldn’t stop thinking about that book after I finished it. My best friend read it too. I recall we chatted about it so much at the time and then years afterward we would talk about it!

If you haven’t read THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE, then I urge you to consider diving into this sweeping historical novel set during WWII. Taking place in France and Hungary, it is a family story, a love story, and a story of the Holocaust, with particular attention to Hungary. It’s amazing and I can’t recommend it enough!

“For years now, he understood at last, he’d had to cultivate the habit of blind hope. It had become as natural to him as breathing.”

-The Invisible Bridge

Fast forward to a few days ago, EIGHT YEARS after I read The Invisible Bridge. What do I discover? THAT JULIE ORRINGER HAS A NEW BOOK COMING OUT MAY 7TH!! And it’s called THE FLIGHT PORTFOLIO!

This is another WWII book, with a focus on the central character’s involvement in rescuing Jews from the Holocaust, and that’s my current favorite category of books so you can imagine I’m fairly excited. Historical Fiction all the way, friends!!

I immediately went online and Pre-Ordered the book. WHO WOULDN’T?!? Then I looked up its entry on Goodreads, but am not doing a lot of extra searching as I don’t want anything in the story spoiled.

When this book comes out on May 7th, you can bet I will be retreating with the tome in hand and a bracing cup of tea. And I won’t be available to tweet.


“Brilliantly conceived, impeccably crafted, and showcasing Julie Orringer’s extraordinary gifts, this is destined to become a classic…” 


What Katie Read

Review: The Tragedy Paper (2013) by Elizabeth Laban

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban (2013)

Suggested age range: 13 and up

(Borzoi, 312 pages)

Rating: 5/5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Realism, School Story

Source: Library


“I had no clue at that moment, of course, what I had set in motion.”

The Book: Tim Macbeth transfers to Irving High School as a seventeen year old senior, and he is different than the other students. He is an albino. Before he arrives at school, he meets Vanessa, who happens to be dating one of the most popular boys at school, Patrick. Vanessa and Tim hit it off, however, and they maintain a significant connection even in the midst of their attempting to keep their relationship hidden from general knowledge. Tim is frequently teased by Patrick, Vanessa’s chauvinistic boyfriend, who recruits Tim to help him with the senior’s “secret outing.”

The story alternates between Tim’s viewpoint and that of Duncan’s, a senior who arrives at the school the year after Tim. Duncan listens to CDs made by Tim about what happened the previous year. The reader knows Duncan was involved somehow, but we aren’t sure exactly what happened. Duncan is told by Tim at the beginning of the recording, that he is giving him the content for his senior project, his “tragedy paper.”

What is the tragedy that took place at Irving High School and what role did Tim Macbeth play in that?  As Tim’s story unfolds, readers may have a difficult time putting the book down.

Spirituality in The Tragedy Paper: Tim’s character offers a spiritual dimension to this contemporary school story. How should we treat and interact with those whom look different from us or represent a vastly different background? In other words, should we treat our brother as ourselves? Thinking about Vanessa’s issues in the book: how important is social status and how do we avoid valuing superficial appearances over valuing authentic relationships and being kind to others? There are many discussion worthy passages from the book that highlight the challenges and struggles related to relationships in high school.

Who Should Read This Book: Readers who enjoy a good school story, but want something profound and thought-provoking should pick up Laban’s novel. Tim’s character reflects many of the insecurities and concerns that adolescents may face today, and his identity as an albino adds a significant dimension to the book. Readers may walk away from this book having a little bit more understanding of what it is like to be someone who stands out to everyone else, and can’t do anything about it.

The Final Word: Giving this book my highest rating, I could not put it down and loved it. It was my second book for Bout of Books 9.0 and I raced through it. The school culture at Irving fascinated me, and the relationships between the students and the teachers/administration is another discussion-worthy aspect of the story. The design of the book is beautiful—the endpapers represent a map of the school and provide readers with something to examine. I was drawn to discover the tragedy of what happened when Tim Macbeth arrived at Irving High School. Expect to be drawn into Laban’s novel once you read the first chapter.

What Katie Read

Bout of Books 9.0 (updated with Goals & Progress)

bout of booksIt’s my last week of break (sort of) before teaching really gets going, so what does that mean? That means I’m participating in the Bout of Books 9.0 and you can too! Here is the info about it, hosted by the Bout of Books blog. Anyone can sign up–you don’t have to be a blogger to do this.

“The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team”

I have a huge stack of books acquired during the Christmas break, so this is the perfect opportunity to grab a cup of tea and read. This is also a fantastic way to build community with other bloggers and readers by talking about what we are reading, and sharing titles.

Do these titles that I chose reflect spiritual dimensions? We will see! All of these titles are YA reads, though I do have a substantial number of adult books I intend to tackle next week.

My goal is to read Four (4) books this week. That’s right–four! I will update my progress (below) throughout the week as I post reviews.

The books are:

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

I have had some of these titles for awhile, and am excited about spending the rest of break reading and joining other Bout of Book-ers!


Number of pages I’ve read today: 290 (The Madman’s Daughter)
Challenges Completed: 1
Books completed: 0

Total Number of Pages Read: 290

Number of pages I’ve read today: 226
Challenges Completed: 1
Books completed: 1 (The Madman’s Daughter)

Total Number of Pages Read: 516

Number of pages I’ve read today: 242
Challenges Completed: 0
Books completed: 0

Total Number of Pages Read: 758

Number of pages I’ve read today: 97
Challenges Completed: 1
Books completed: 1 (Not a Drop to Drink)

Total Number of Pages Read: 855

Number of pages I’ve read today: 98
Challenges Completed: 1
Books completed: 0

I read about 16 more pages in Fangirl–which I had started before the challenge and may just finish this one today.

Total Number of Pages Read: 953

Number of pages I’ve read today: 177
Challenges Completed: 1
Books completed: 1 (The Tragedy Paper)

Total Number of Pages Read: 1,130

Number of pages I’ve read today:
Challenges Completed:
Books completed:

Total Number of Pages Read:

Total number of books I’ve read:

What Katie Read
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