book recommendations




The Invisible Wall, by Harry Bernstein, published 2007

This is a memoir written by Mr. Bernstein when he was in his mid-90’s.  From the back of the book, “On the eve of WW1, in a small English mill town, Harry Bernstein’s family struggles to make ends meet.   Harry’s father earns little money at the Jewish tailoring shop and brings home even less, preferring to spend his wages drinking and gambling.  Harry’s mother, devoted to her children and fiercely resilient, survives on her dreams……  Then Harry’s older sister does the unthinkable:  She falls in love with a Christian boy.  But they are separated by an ‘invisible wall’ that divides Jewish families on one side of the street from Christian families on the other.”


The Rules of Inheritance, by Claire Bidwell Smith, published 2012

From the cover:  Claire Bidwell Smith-an only child-was just fourteen years old when both of her parents were diagnosed with cancer within months of each other….Defying a conventional framework, this memoir is told in nonlinear fashion, using the five stages of grief as a window into Claire’s experience, at once heart-breaking and uplifting.


I’ve been an avid reader since I was a child, racing through books as soon as I learned how (beginning with the “Little House” books).  I know a lot of you are also book lovers, so I thought I would start sharing my books, hoping to gain some feedback from friends with the same interest in reading. 

I read both of these books this weekend.  I read The Rules of Inheritance in one day, staying up way past my normal bedtime to finish it.  Next, I read The Invisible Wall.  What a great book, so well written with a lot to think about and learn from. 

I love all kinds of books, but lately I have been reading memoirs.  There is something about the knowledge that these memoirs are true (or, mainly true) that make them gripping, and wonderful sources of knowledge and inspiration.  Often, I come away empowered to face my own life with renewed energy and gratitude.


If you have recently enjoyed a good book, please let us know about it in the comments. 


0 thoughts on “book recommendations

  1. Shanda, are you aware of the website ?? You can make reading lists and follow what friends are reading. 🙂 It’s pretty cool because you can read “real people” reviews. I am looking up “The Invisible Wall” right now to see if my library has it. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Thanks Shanda. I enjoy your book reviews. These two are new to me. I was inspired by you to go to the Library book store a week ago. I found two Christian novels, a cookbook, and a Marjolein Bastin bird book for me, a woodworking book for Bob on making children’s toys, 2 pristine Calvin and Hobbes books for David, a bunch a board books and a few children’s books for my grandbabies…all for $17. Such a great place to shop and it helps the Library!

  3. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp was a great book I read a while back (and will need to reread).One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer was another great book.I am nearly finished my second summer class for grad. school. I can.not.wait to read a “non-academic” book (on the front porch rocking chair with a cup of coffee by my side!)

  4. I read, ‘The Invisible Wall,’ last summer and I found it hard to put down when it was time for bed :). It had me in tears on more than one occassion… isn’t there so much to learn from other’s stories and experiences??

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