Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the WestEscape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good book to listen too. I don’t know if I’d have read it but listening to it was good. The story of Shin is absolutely inspiring, and sad at the same time. Him being born into a work camp and never knowing the outside, until one day he meets another prisoner. His escape is truly one of luck. If he is the only one to escape then it was a no less a miracle. The atrocities that the people of the camps face and having three generations pay the price for what 1 person did in my opinion is pure evil. These camps are still here today and the people are still suffering. This book is not that well written, the flow kept being disrupted but the story itself is good.

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Book Summary:
North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did.

In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin’s life unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden’s harrowing narrative of Shin’s life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.

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The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Zookeeper's WifeThe Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a good book to listen too. I enjoyed hearing about how the Zoo Keeper hid others in different parts of the zoo. How each had a code name, and how most survived til the end of the Holocaust. This is not to say the book was light and fluffy, it was full of hardships and issues but hope prevailed. If you’re looking for a book about history go grab this book. I recommend the audiobook.

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Book Summary:
Eine wahre Geschichte aus dem Zweiten Weltkrieg
Während der Zweite Weltkrieg tobt, wird der Warschauer Zoo Schauplatz einer dramatischen Rettungsaktion, die über 300 Juden vor dem sicheren Tod bewahrt. Als Jan und Antonina Żabiński, der Zoodirektor und seine Frau, mitansehen, wie die Nazis in Polen einmarschieren, ist ihr Entsetzen groß. Die jüdische Bevölkerung wird im Warschauer Ghetto zusammengepfercht. Zeitgleich beginnen die Nazis den Zoo für ihre Zwecke zu nutzen, um ausgestorbene Tierarten rückzuzüchten. Als die Nazis den brachliegenden Zoo verlassen, nutzen die Żabińskis die Situation und schmuggeln Juden aus dem Warschauer Ghetto auf das Zoogelände, wo sie die Todgeweihten in den leeren Tierkäfigen verstecken. Sie retten ihnen damit das Leben.

The Glass Castle

The Glass CastleThe Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*sigh* there are books that you just devour and move on, and then there are books that devour you and all you can do is just sit and let all the emotions roll freely. This is one of those books that will devour you. As I sit here and think of the true story she told, I can’t help to think of what a strong soul she is. This is a story of her childhood and into some of her adulthood. Her story is written in such a way you just can’t help but relate to it. On top of that it’s told in a humorous manner even though some of what her and her family faced were far from it! She could have looked at her life as if she was a victim and certainly she was like many poor kids with alcoholic father’s. But she didn’t, it was an adventure with some hard times but with a beautiful ending. So go pick this book up, grab a nice drink, and enjoy this beautiful heartbreaking story of one brave soul.

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Book Summary:

The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.

The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

The Glass Castle is truly astonishing–a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family

If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t)

If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)If You Ask Me by Betty White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVE LOVE this book! It was light and funny! It was a great book to listen to while I was driving. I found myself laughing at parts and I love that Betty herself was the voice on the audio book. If you’re looking for a fun, light hearted book to read or listen to then go pick this up!

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Book Summary:
It-girl Betty White delivers a hilarious, slyly profound take on love, life, celebrity, and everything in between.

Drawing from a lifetime of lessons learned, seven-time Emmy winner Betty White’s wit and wisdom take center stage as she tackles topics like friendship, romantic love, aging, television, fans, love for animals, and the brave new world of celebrity. If You Ask Me mixes her thoughtful observations with humorous stories from a seven- decade career in Hollywood. Longtime fans and new fans alike will relish Betty’s candid take on everything from her rumored crush on Robert Redford (true) to her beauty regimen (“I have no idea what color my hair is and I never intend to find out”) to the Facebook campaign that helped persuade her to host Saturday Night Live despite her having declined the hosting job three times already.

Featuring all-new material, with a focus on the past fifteen years of her life, If You Ask Me is funny, sweet, and to the point-just like Betty White.

Sinner’s Creed

Sinner's CreedSinner’s Creed by Scott Stapp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To say I couldn’t put this book down is an understatement! I was captivated within the first few pages. I found myself saying things out loud, which I shouldn’t. I got strange looks when I said “Oh, I would have beat him”, lets just say this book brought out a lot of emotions in me and I just couldn’t help but express them loudly and openly. His story is one amazing trip. I kept whispering to myself “no wonder his faith is so twisted”, the way he grew up made me want to cry and thank him for surviving at the same time. No wonder the song lyrics touched a part of my soul. I can’t rave enough about his story. Be warned, he is into the Christian God, and the book has a lot of bible versus and references in it. However, if you look past that, the story is untouched and one of being able to survive an abusive childhood, drug and alcohol addiction, and eventually finding his happily ever after.

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Book Summary:
Sinner’s Creed is the uncensored memoir of Scott Stapp, Grammy Award-winning leader of the multiplatinum rock band CREED. Raised by an abusive stepfather, Scott was always aware of God’s presence in his life, but it wasn’t until years later, amid a life punctuated by sex, drugs, and rock ’n roll that Scott began to feel a need for God in his life.

During CREED’s decade of dominance and in the years following the band’s breakup, Scott struggled with drugs and alcohol, which led not only to a divorce, but also to a much-publicized suicide attempt in 2006. Now clean, sober, and in the midst of a highly successful solo career, Scott has finally come full circle-a turnaround he credits to his renewed relationship with Jesus Christ.

In Sinner’s Creed, Scott shares his story for the first time, from his fundamentalist upbringing, the rise and fall of CREED, and his ongoing battle with addiction, to his recommitment to Christ and the launch of his solo career. The result is a gripping memoir that is proof positive that God is always present in our lives, despite the colossal mess we sometimes make of them.

Property: The True Story of a Polygamous Church Wife

Property: The True Story of a Polygamous Church WifeProperty: The True Story of a Polygamous Church Wife by Carol Christie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**ARC Review*
My oh my! Wow! What a heart breaking yet incredibly inspirational book! I was going into this book thinking it will be like so many other books about cults and how they escaped. But this book went into some detail on what occurred during her time in the cult. How she was forced into this religion when she was just a teenager! I cried, held my breath, found myself saying not nice words, and then breathing a sigh of relief at the end of this book. I still can’t form the words that would give this book the credit that it’s due. The only thing I can say is that even if you are not into Non-Fiction especially about religion or cults, this book is a MUST READ!!! Pick it up and you just might find yourself saying that there is always a way out even if you don’t see one! Reading this book made me feel like I was in the same room as the author telling her story. It is very well written and will keep you captivated from page 1. It’s just one of those books that is a must read even if you are not into Non-Fiction!

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From Goodreads.com:

In the early 1970s an innocent teenager who had led a sheltered life was forced to leave her family and enter into a polygamous, abusive, and deviant relationship with a man called the Prophet. In 2008, nearly 40 years later, she fled his religious sect.

Property is not a misnomer. It accurately depicts how the women in the sect were treated. Carol Christie reveals the degradation, abuse, and brainwashing that the Church Wives endured. She exposes the physical abuse, the mental cruelty, the slave labour, and the sexual deviance that took place near Owen Sound, a small community just a few hours north of Toronto, as well as at other locations. She describes the many opportunities that officials had to investigate but walked away from, swayed by the charismatic Prophet.

Carol is building a new life, one of freedom and options. With no money and no job she started again and is now dedicated to helping others who have escaped while raising awareness about the dangers of the cult.