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10 Awesome Detective Novels

A little more than 170 years ago, Edgar Allen Poe’s story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, first appeared in Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine. The story described the analytical power used by one Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin to solve a slew of murders in Paris. Thus, the first detective story was born.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue also inspired the creation of perhaps one of the greatest literary detectives of all time, Sherlock Holmes. He first hit bookshelves 46 years after Poe’s story and set into motion one of the most read literary genres ever.

Often filled with chilling and complex stories, clever and witty humor and strong characters that seem to come to life before your eyes, detective novels are a great go-to solution for a summer beach read, a vacation read, or just a quick and exciting story to help pass the time.

If you’re looking for a great detective novel, here are 10 awesome ones to get you started!

10 Awesome Detective Novels

detective-novels

The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon

And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami

In the Woods, Tana French

Booked to Die, John Dunning

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, P.D. James

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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12 Beautiful Books about the Holocaust

Go to any bookstore today and you’re bound to be overwhelmed with the amount of books there are on the topic of World War II and the Nazi regime. Perhaps just surpassed by the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln, there are more books about World War II than any other war in history. Makes finding literature about the Holocaust pretty daunting…especially for young kids and teens.

While I am by no means an expert in Holocaust literature, I feel some of the best books out there are told from those that survived it…those who saw, first hand, the monstrosities of Germany, Poland, and Austria in the late 1940’s.

Here are 12 of some of the best books that I’ve read about the Holocaust…with Night and The Book Thief probably topping my list. In poetic prose and heart-wrenching detail, these books bring to life a time not that long ago…when the basic rights of food, shelter, and decent clothing were stripped from 11 million men, women and children, all because of one man’s fears and insecurities.

12 Beautiful Books about the Holocaust

books-about-the-holocaust

The Diary of Anne Frank
Anne Frank
The real diary of a girl who tried so hard to see the beauty in a world crumbling around her.

Night
Elie Wiesel
Night is the story of one man’s survival in Auschwitz. This is perhaps one of the most amazing accounts of the true horror of the Holocaust.

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Narrated by Death himself, The Book Thief tells the story of a young girl named Liesel and her stealing talents that help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding in their basement.

Number the Stars
When Ellen moves in with her friend Annemarie to escape the Nazi ragime, Annemarie embarks on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

The Devil’s Arithmetic
Jane Yolen
Hannah thinks her Passover Seder will be just the same as last year…but this year as she opens the door for Elijah, she’s transported into the past. Only she knows the horrors that await.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
John Boyne
When young Bruno arrives at a new place with his family and meets a young boy on the other side of the fence, they develop a friendship that has devastating consequences. (This book has received some negative critism about it’s “historical account”, but keep in mind this is a fictional story.)

Maus
Art Spiegelman
A cartoonist tries to come to terms with his father’s story and history itself through a series of graphic novels depecting Jewish people as mice and the Nazi soilders as cats.

Animal Farm
George Orwell
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Schindler’s List
Thomas Keneally
This is the amazing story of Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland.

The Reader
Bernhard Schlink
The Reader is a profound book concerning the moral guilt that comes with being a second-generation German. Also, I rarely say this but the movie interpretation of this book is phenomenal (and stars Kate Winslet so, I mean…).

The Nazi Officer’s Wife
Edith Hahn Beer
A Jewish woman falls in love and marries a Nazi officer. In vivid, wrenching detail, Edith recalls a life of constant, near paralyzing fear as her husband tries tirelessly to keep her safe during the war.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly
Hana Volavkova (editor)
About 15,000 children under the age of 16 passed through the Terezin Concentration Camp. Of those, fewer than 100 survived. In the poems and pictures collected in I Never Saw Another Butterfly, we see the daily misery, the loss of hope and their never-ending courage and fear that these children suffered during the brink of WWII.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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I Had a Really Great Title (But Now I Can’t Remember It)

In the summer of 2014, my mom was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. While I usually keep my feelings pretty close to the chest, I’m particularly covert about my experience with Alzheimer’s and what it’s like to be a caregiver. I would go so far as to say that even my closest friends, my siblings, my husband, don’t even know this part of me. This part of me is tender and raw. It’s continuously healing, then being ripped open again.

Alzheimer’s is about so much more than forgetting your keys or misplacing your glasses. It’s personal and heartbreaking. It’s a slow decline, a constant test in patience and understanding. It’s dealt with moment to moment, second to second and, as someone wise once put it, “…is the slowest and saddest goodbye.”

A few months ago I was approached by a dear family friend about an opportunity to write some poetry about my experience with Alzheimer’s, both as a daughter and a caregiver. While I was apprehensive at first, once I got started, I found I couldn’t stop. Words started pouring out of me so quickly that by the time I was done, I felt utterly and completely empty.

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Though I’m a writer by trade, I’m very protective of my personal written words and the thought of sharing this poetry with all of you shakes me to my core. These poems bring to life feelings I never thought I could talk about and exposes a part of me I’ve worked very hard to keep private. The reason I decided to share them and have them published in this book is to help bring awareness, help encourage discussion, help shed light on a topic so many of us fear to acknowledge.

The title of this book is I Had a Really Great Title, But Now I Can’t Remember It (Poems for the Older Generation). If you laughed, that’s okay…you should! As we all age and suffer the bumps and bruises along the way, sometimes all we have is our ability to find the humor in it all.

While this is not a book entirely about the Alzheimer’s experience, all proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to help fund Alzheimer’s research and awareness. For the sake of those fighting, supporting, and protecting, I humbly ask you to consider purchasing a copy of this book. The majority of the poems are written by the wonderful Bill McNulty and I encourage you to also check out his blog (“Still a Poet at Heart”) and the rest of his published books for more of his wise and humorous poetry.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for reading this post, for purchasing the book, and for doing your part to help our cause.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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11 Cool and Unique Passover Hagaddahs

A few years ago before my dad passed away, we decided to write a Passover Hagaddah together. My dad, who was raised Catholic, wanted to create a Seder that was welcoming to everyone, not just our Jewish family.

We didn’t get a chance to jump in before he passed, but after he died I took it upon myself to pursue this idea. Over the course of a couple years, I wrote my very own Hagaddah, one that my family has used for the last few Passover Seders and one I hope to share with other family and friends at a large Passover celebration in the near future!

passover-hagaddahs

However this was not done without research! I did a lot of research. I’ve probably read more Hagaddahs over the last few years than I have in my entire life time…but through it all I’ve gathered a collection of amazing texts that do a great job of bringing this traditional holiday to life in new and creative ways.

If your family is looking to switch things up this Passover, here are a few cool and unique Hagaddahs that tell the same story in a fun, festive and updated way.

11 Cool and Unique Passover Hagaddahs

FOR THOSE WHO ARE SHORT ON TIME:41NYDEhDudL._SX333_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NON-JEWS AT THEIR SEDER:51bgYibPAnL

FOR THOSE HOSTING OR ATTENDING PASSOVER FOR THE FIRST TIME:61IIn7A9hUL._SX495_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN KABBALAH:617dQgx6RYL._SX436_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE WITH A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR:619paX8Uf8L._SX380_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE WITH A LOT OF KIDS AT THE SEDER:51srEvocKCL

FOR THOSE WHO LOVE DISCUSSION:51dn7wXG6fL

FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR A LITTLE NERDY FLAIR:41LuXiRn1eL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE LOOKING TO LAUGH AND HAVE FUN WITH THE YOUNGER GENERATION:51Y0ajX8qjL._SX260_

FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR AN INTELLECTUAL SEDER:51yUXXLdtxL._SX409_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE WHO STILL WANT SOMETHING TRADITIONAL:61+Q-239HlL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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10 Quotes from Uncle Tom’s Cabin

It was 166 years ago this past Tuesday that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s groundbreaking anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was published. It sold 300,000 within the first three months and even became a ticket, as it were, for Stowe to meet then President, Abraham Lincoln.

When living in Cincinnati, Stowe would encounter fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad. She later wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin in reaction to recently tightened fugitive slave laws. The book had a major influence on the way the American public viewed slavery and landed Stowe among the most notable female writers ever.

Filled with beautiful language and an important story that resonated with people all over the country, Uncle Tom’s Cabin has become a staple in American literature.

In celebration of this amazing novel, here are 10 of the most beautiful and poignant quotes from Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

10 Quotes from Uncle Tom’s Cabin

like-dogs

light

braver

capable-of-good

past back

summer breeze

deep water

dollars and cents

the-longest-way

heart

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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The Snow Child Book Review

I love books that come to life as I’m reading them…books that paint a visual landscape with simple, yet stunning vocabulary. I love books that make me want to jump within the pages, no matter what the story, to fully immerse myself in the landscape…The Snow Child was one of those books.

the-snow-child-book-review

Broken by the fact they are unable to have a child, Jack and Mabel move to a secluded home in Alaska. The brutal environment makes it difficult for the couple to live, let alone communicate. Drifting apart and breaking under the weight of the work of the farm, they are both struggling, in their own way, with loneliness and despair.

During the season’s first snowfall, Jack and Mabel have a moment of levity and decide to build a child out of snow. This small moment of joy brings the couple closer together and the next morning when they look out to see their creation, the snow-child is gone, replaced by a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

A nymph of the forest with a fox by her side, this child somehow survives alone in the 1920 Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel try to learn more about this girl, they begin to care for her as one of their own…and her presence begins to change their relationship in ways they never could have imagined.

This book was beautiful in all the right ways. Not unlike a fairy tale in its telling and ending, The Snow Child comes to life with amazing imagery and plot. While this book didn’t end like I wanted it to, it ended as it should have – with a bittersweet conclusion reminiscent of most fairy tales…leaving the reader feeling happy, sad and hopeful all at the same time.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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7 Things We Learned from Children’s Books

They say that some children’s books are as much for adults as they are for kids, and these quotes certainly prove that.

Explaining everything from life to love in just a few, simple words, these 7 quotes from children’s literature pretty much sum up life’s biggest lessons.

7 Things We Learned from Children’s Books

Some days just down-right suck.

alexander-quoteAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

We all dance to our own beat.

giraffe-quoteGiraffes Can’t Dance

Love is not a thing, it’s a feeling.

pooh-quoteThe Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

We all have the power to change the world.

the-lorax-quoteThe Lorax

With enough motivation, we can do anything.

where the sidewalk endsWhere the Sidewalk Ends

Nothing is really what it appears to be.

wonka-quoteCharlie and the Chocolate Factory

Aging is beautiful.

velveteen rabbit quoteThe Velveteen Rabbit

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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