How have you held up this week with the time change? The extra hour is nice, but I still feel like I’m dragging – so hard to get out of bed when it’s dark and cold outside! But the kids have the day off tomorrow, so we’ll get a little bit of a reprieve. Anything to not have my alarm going off at 6AM is a good thing, right? Let’s kick off the weekend with this week’s Friday 5+1! This post contains some affiliate links.
I finished We Were the Lucky Ones this week while working on a kitchen, and it’s an intriguing look at a real-life World War II story of a family’s struggles to survive despite the odds.
Here is the Amazon description:
An extraordinary, propulsive novel based on the true story of a family of Polish Jews who are separated at the start of the Second World War, determined to survive – and to reunite.
It is the spring of 1939, and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable, and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.
As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere.
A novel of breathtaking sweep and scope that spans five continents and six years and transports listeners from the jazz clubs of Paris to Krakow’s most brutal prison to the ports of Northern Africa and the farthest reaches of the Siberian gulag, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the 20th century’s darkest moment, the human spirit could find a way to survive and even triumph.
I’m always in awe of the strength and courage of this generation. A good read.
A Small but Mighty Kitchen
One of my friends in my bunco group was redoing her kitchen, so I helped out with the cabinets (she painted the frames), and with some other changes, they have a whole new kitchen! I love makeovers like this one, don’t you?
I switched genres after reading We Were the Lucky Ones and went with more of a suspense/mystery in Unraveling Oliver. I plowed through this book in the matter of two days. It’s one of those books with multiple characters that come together throughout the course of the story. It gives you insight into the history behind the main character, and how his mind works as you work your way through this book.
“I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”
So begins Liz Nugent’s astonishing debut novel – a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically astute exploration of the nature of evil.
Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease – until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious and subsequently beats her into a coma.
In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.
With its alternating points of view and deft prose, Unraveling Oliver details how an ordinary man can transform into a sociopath.
A Gorgeous Powder Room Makeover
This one was a long time in the making, but take a look at how gorgeous it is now. Here’s where the bathroom started:
And here it is now:
I had a small hand in this project by redoing the vanity in a high gloss finish:
Inspiring Table Settings
I was browsing in a local shop and couldn’t help but stop upon seeing this cute table setting. Do you geek out on stuff like this too? I love it.
My +1 for the week: Self Checkout
It never fails – I’m in a hurry, with just a couple of items, and the checkout lines are busy. Oh look, there’s hardly anyone in the self checkout lines – I’ll just speed my way through and get out of here in no time. Um, yeah, no.
I swear, I can’t get through the self checkout without it either 1) “calling an attendant” or 2) giving me an erroneous price on one of my handful of items.
It’s a scam people. There’s no such thing as a self-checkout that involves anyone but just myself. It’s a team effort.
Have an awesome weekend!