• Erin Zaranec

2018 Reads: Books 91-95


Clay Johnson gets a job at a bookstore when he soon realizes how many secrets are hidden in the stacks.


The customers are few and far between, but all of them share a common theme that Clay is determined to figure out.


The book goes a bit into the sci-fi / fantasy realm, but I did like it. It felt like trying to solve a puzzle throughout the pages.




So... I picked up this book without knowing all of the drama and controversy behind Greg Mortenson's story. There are a lot of articles with pretty strong opinions on the book and Greg, so I found myself torn about reading it.


I did hate the writing... it felt like there were a lot of missed opportunities to make the chapters rich and exciting. But, I did like learning about another culture and its customs.



I miss the Obama-era so much and this book only made me miss them even more.


I loved learning more about pre-White House Michelle and the powerhouse that she truly is. She's so graceful, elegant, honest, funny, and BRILLIANT.


This book doesn't solely focus on the White House - I actually love that Michelle said she was never even big on politics. It's a book about falling in love, making career changes, parenting, moving, sacrificing, and more.

Her writing is great, her story is even better, and her era as First Lady was outstanding.

Stella Lane lives under her parent's thumb and lives a pretty routine life. She actually reminded me a bit of Eleanor Oliphant from my previous read this year.


Stella believes that math is the only thing that unites the universe and doesn't spend much time thinking about anything else - until she hires Michael Phan to teach her how to break her ways.


The story is a bit predictable - girl hires male escort to break from her mold but falls in love with him - but the characters are a new breed that make the story feel fresh.

Lale Sokolov was a Slovakian Jew who was forced to the concentration camps in April of 1942.


He speaks several languages and is looking for the silver lining by finding a job in the camps that at least makes him feel useful - when he is handed the assignment of the camp's Tatowierer.


Day in and day out, he sees all of the new faces being transported into the camp while coming to terms with his own survival.

It's at Austchwitz-Birkenau that he meets prisoner 34902 - Gita. It's a tough love story like no other I've read. The story of Gita and Lale is one that simply had to be told.