Tag Archives: Peace Breaks Out

Challenge Update, August 2016

1 Sep

Unfortunately, August couldn’t keep the momentum of July going. It was a bit of a slow down for me, but I’m venturing into a long audiobook so that’s to be expected. My class started yesterday so I don’t know how September will be, we’ll have to see. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in August:

Peace Breaks Out // John Knowles
The 5 Love Language // Gary Chapman
In One Person // John Irving

Quite the boy’s club for this month! I’m reading a female author now so I hope next month can balance that out a bit.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

11/12
This is my challenge to read a book from 13 different time periods. You can read about it here. No further update for this month. I’ll see about finding a 1600s audiobook I can listen to, but I know this period is always a challenge. Any suggestions for a good book in this time period?

Goodreads Challenge

33/45
Still ahead of schedule! I was hoping this would be the case so I could feel comfortable with my long audiobook. It’s been a while since I listened to such a long one and I’m hoping to be able to finish it without loosing my progress toward this goal.

Book of the Month

Cover image via Goodreads

Cover image via Goodreads

Yikes, a hard choice this month. I really liked Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles. The book was short and delivered a punch with its theme and characters. It was exactly what I was hoping for with another Knowles book and I enjoyed it.

Added to my TBR

Only one added! Awesome. This means my TBR is down 2 overall (three read, one added). I’ve been making a point of trying to topple this monster at least below 100 in the near future.

How are your challenges going? I hope you’re killing it. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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WWW Wednesday, 17-August-2016

17 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


WithoutEndCurrently reading: Unfortunately, I have no new update on In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. I was out-of-town for the weekend (again) and couldn’t find the time. I hope to make some more progress soon.
I’m really enjoying In One Person by John Irving. It has all of the classic Irving tropes so far and for some reason, they never get old for me. I have two weeks to finish this for my book club and it’s a bit long so I hope I make it!
I started the audiobook for World Without End by Ken Follett and so far I absolutely love it. Follett is an amazing writer and this one is just as enjoyable as the first. It’s 26 files on my phone and I’m on file three. It’s going to be a long run.

5LL-7.09.F.inddRecently finished:I really enjoyed The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman a lot more than I thought I would. His advice makes sound sense to me and I’ve been trying it out a bit with my husband. I’m still trying to figure out his language by speaking them all and seeing what he responds to.

Three reviews for you all this week! It’s crazy, I know. Last Thursday was 10% Happier by Dan Harris. I enjoyed the book for its memoir qualities but I’m not going to start meditating anytime soon. Three out of Five stars.
The second is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne. No surprise here, I loved it. A full Five out of Five stars and a possible reread at any point in the future.
The third is Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles. This was a solid read that reminded me of A Separate Peace but was enjoyable in its own way. Four out of Five stars.

BoySnowReading Next: I’ve got Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi on my bedside table. I don’t know how soon I’ll be able to pick it up, but I’m looking forward to this one. So many people have said wonderful things.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles (4/5)

16 Aug

This was one of the books I would never have known about if it wasn’t for Goodreads. I loved A Separate Peace and I didn’t realize there was a sequel until I added it on Goodreads and saw Knowles’ other books. I’ve been wanting to read it for ages and I’m so glad I finally have.

Cover image via Goodreads

Cover image via Goodreads

Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles

Summary from Goodreads:

In the uneasy peace after World War II, the senior year at Devan School for Boys in New Hampshire changes from a time of friendship into a stunning drama of tragic betrayal.

Knowles has a way of writing a book about schoolboys that is so much more than a book about schoolboys. Instead of dealing with being prepared for war and what war really means, we have boys dealing with an absence of war. They were mentally prepared to become soldiers and deal with fighting and death when they graduated and suddenly, their lives are peaceful again. I’d never considered the impact of an armistice on the boys who were gearing up to fight. I liked that Knowles picked a lesser-discussed group to focus on in this novel.

His characters were amazing. Wexford was a great mix of cunning, smart, and ambitious. I liked watching him play with the minds of the students around him because he was so fun to hate. I liked Tug and Nick a lot as well. Their relationship was fun for Knowles to play with, I’m sure. I liked how Nick idolized Tug but at the same time, I had more respect for Nick because he was an independent thinker whereas Tug followed his friends. Pete was the straight man, but he was no less enjoyable for that. The companion novel (because this isn’t much of a sequel) did a great job of living up to my expectation of great characters.

I liked Wexford best. I didn’t find his motivation completely believable, but he was explained enough to be compelling. He was very smart and as Pete says at the end, he’ll probably end up in a high and influential position which is completely terrifying. He was so fun to hate and at the same time, I almost wanted to root for him. Well, until the end was revealed. Then I hated him again.

One of the more compelling parts of the novel was that the boys seemed so different from me. I couldn’t imagine growing up, priming myself to be a soldier to have it all wiped clean. The title is very fitting. Peace has come over Devon as maliciously as war. I could most relate to Pete because he was the observer. He was powerless to stop the anger seething around him and I think it scared him.

I liked the ski trips. At first, I was afraid someone was going to die in a skiing accident and I thought that would be very unfitting to the theme of the book, but when I realized what Knowles was going to do with the trip, I was impressed. He used the trips as a critical plot point. I thought the circumstances of their skiing were really fun, too. I liked that they stayed in barns and carried all the food themselves, walking up the mountain and sleeping in a shack. It makes skiing seem much more dangerous and rugged than it does today.

I thought Hochschwender got a bad reputation in the book and that bothered me. At one point, I thought he was playing everyone else by writing the editorial for the school newspaper and I wish that had gone somewhere more. I think he was up to something and I would have liked to see him go head-to-head with Wexford a bit more. I think he could have stood a good chance but got cut out too soon.

It’s hard for me to pick out a specific theme for this book. The problem these boys have seems to be an outlet for their aggression. They are lacking someone to direct their anger toward so they are picking on each other. There was no war to fight in so they created one. More than anything, I think this book is speaking about those we didn’t consider in the aftermath of the war. The veterans came home as heroes, but the boys that never left had no reason to be applauded. Pete can’t figure out why they wanted to fight. He knew how dangerous and miserable being a soldier could be, but these boys would hear none of it.

Writer’s Takeaway: The two things that I loved most about this book were the complex and well-developed characters and the subject. Having a unique subject, like those boys who missed the war, makes for a very interesting book. I’ve never read anything else about these boys. Having unique and defined characters like Knowles wrote makes the story so much richer. There was a lot to enjoy in this book by such an iconic writer.

I really enjoyed the book and I’d recommend it to those who were fans of A Separate Peace. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Post:
Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles | Pages Unbound Reviews

WWW Wednesday, 10-August-2016

10 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


OnePersonCurrently reading: I got some solid reading of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson this week. I had to go to the doctor and you all know how much waiting there is involved in that! I’m over 50% now and I can feel the tension building.
I’m really enjoying The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The advice Chapman gives is very practical and it’s something I can implement in my marriage. Though my husband is getting a little sick of me saying how my actions hit on one or more of the love languages, haha.
I started reading In One Person by John Irving on Saturday. I’m having to write this early because of my vacation so I can’t say too much about it besides I’m excited to read it because I’m a huge fan of Irving. I’m  hoping to power through it while I’m on the beach.

PeaceBreaksRecently finished: I finished Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles on Friday. I enjoyed this book a lot which I was really hoping I would. I loved A Separate Peace when I read it in high school and I thought this book was equally enjoyable. I’ll have a review going up next week or so. I’ve got another lined up before it before I’ll get it posted.

Because of my vacation time, no reviews up this past week but I do have one ready for tomorrow so look out for that!

BoySnowReading Next: I’m still waiting on the audiobook for World Without End by Ken Follett. I might start another one before it comes in because I’ll finish Love Lanaguages soon and need something to listen to. Not sure what that would be.
My next physical book is going to be Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. This is a book club pick for my club that will meet in September. A librarian friend of mine recommended this about a year ago and I’ve been looking for a reason to read it ever since. I’m excited!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 3-August-2016

3 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


5LL-7.09.F.inddCurrently reading: I read about a chapter of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. My husband is out of town for a few days which might give me some time to read while I’m eating dinner alone. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I make a little progress here.
Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles is a short book and I’m hoping to finish it before this weekend when I head out of town. Then I can take just my ‘next’ book with me and not worry about running out of reading material. Maybe I’ll send another book ahead just in case…
The audiobook I want to listen to next has a hold on it, so in the meantime, I’m going to listen to The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I had a roommate in college who read this and talked to me about how it helped her relationship with her boyfriend and ever since, I’ve been interested in listening to it myself. It’s a shorter audiobook so I hope I can power through it before the other hold comes in.

626F6F78747265616D=7474747474727576707<7473Recently finished: I finished off two! The first was 10% Happier by Dan Harris. This was a cross between a memoir and a self-help book. I liked it, but I wasn’t convinced to start meditating, not just yet. I understand how mindfulness might help a person and I understand there are proven health benefits, but I’m still a skeptic. I struggle to fit in my five minutes a day of prayer! We’ll see how that goes. Review will be up soon.
I don’t know how I could have blanked on this, but another WWW reminded me that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling would be released before this week’s WWW. I’ll post soon about the release party I went to and I’ll add that I finished it about 14 hours after starting it. The book reads really fast because of the formatting and it was one I want to reread soon because speeding through it, I’m sure I missed something.

WithoutEndReading Next: I’ll be taking In One Person by John Irving with me on vacation this weekend. I’m not sure if it’s much of a beach read, but I’m really looking forward to diving into Irving. I love his crazy-twisted books.
The next audiobook I plan to undertake is World Without End by Ken Follett. This will be a long trek and I’m ready to make it because I enjoyed the first book so much. I’ll likely lose the hold and have to come back to it a few times, but I hope it will be worth it in the end.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 27-July-2016

27 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


PeaceBreaksCurrently reading: I don’t think I read a page of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. This is being a lot slower than I wanted it to be because I am enjoying this book. I like that it’s there when I need it, so I’m actually okay with this.
I’m enjoying 10% Happier by Dan Harris so far. I’m not familiar with Harris as a TV personality so it’s teaching me about him as well as his philosophy. This is reading more like a memoir than a self-help book so far and I like that a bit better. I’m a sucker for a good memoir and I’m open to what Harris is going to say. I think we could all do with being 10% happier.
I’ve only just started Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles. I watched the movie for A Separate Peace last week but I’m not sure the plots will overrun at all. The summary makes me think it will be only the setting so I’m excited to see if any characters reappear.

WingsRecently finished: I rushed through The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd to have it finished by the time my book club met and it was a good read. I liked the historical context and setting a lot and give Kidd a lot of credit for the research she was able to do for the book. I posted my review yesterday so please go check it out!

I also posted a review for The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart last Thursday so please go check that out as well! Please know my rating is for the audiobook and if I’d read it as a coffee table book, I might have rated it differently.

OnePersonReading Next: My next physical book will be In One Person by John Irving. It’s a book club selection and Irving is one of my all-time favorite writers so I’m really excited to read this one. I’ve had the book on my shelf for almost three years and I’m pumped to crack the spine.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 20-July-2016

20 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


10%Currently reading: It was a rough week at work and I didn’t get much of a chance to read. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. We were out-of-town for the weekend and I contemplated taking my eReader with me, but decided against it. Oh well, maybe next week?
I’m really loving The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. The writing is good and I love the evolution of Sarah (the main character) as she figures out her place in life. I hope this one has a happy ending because it seems it could go really really sad.
I was able to start a new audiobook and I picked 10% Happier by Dan Harris. I saw this one win the Goodreads award for nonfiction in 2014 and added it to my TBR then. I’ve been waiting for a chance to read it ever since and now seems like as good a time as any.

Stewart_DB_USA_POB_03_28_13.inddRecently finished: Though I liked it, I don’t recommend The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart as an audiobook. It was too easy to tune out and there’s no plot so it’s hard to become engrossed in it at all. For sure better as a coffee table book.

My review of In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches posted on Thursday. Not a surprise to many of you, but it was not a book for me at all. I explain why in my review but suffice it to say, I won’t be reading any more by this author.
I posted a semi-review of the Jim Kay illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. It was so fun to read alongside Kay’s illustrations. Let me know what you thought of it.

PeaceBreaksReading Next: My plan is still for Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles. I might just pick it up from the library so I’m forced to get to it before another book club selection pops up. It might tempt me to read fast so I can start it! I’ll see about the movie of A Separate Peace as well now that I know there is one.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 13-July-2016

13 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


WingsCurrently reading: I started keeping my ereader at the kitchen table to read a bit of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson during breakfast. I got to read a bit during lunch at work a few days, too. I’m making a bit of progress and still enjoying this one.
While The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart is really interesting, it’s not my favorite audiobook. I talked with a friend of mine on Goodreads about it and he’s reading it like a coffee table book, a bit at a time. I think I’d prefer reading it that way because it’s a lot of information all at once and I wish I could go back and reference some of those cocktail recipes!
I was able to pick up The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd recently. Anything is better than my last physical book but I’m still deciding how I feel about this one. Stay tuned!

DanteRecently finished: I crawled my way through In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches and I’m so glad it’s over. I did not like this book much at all. The modern setting was interesting, but the historical settings of Dante were so dense and hard to read that I struggled with it a lot. I don’t plan to read anything by this author again.

I got my review for Truth & Beauty posted on Monday. It was a really pretty book that I enjoyed. However, reading some of the Grealy family’s reactions to the book are giving me second thoughts. Please check out my review and if you have time to read some of the links at the end, let me know how you feel about them!

PeaceBreaksReading Next: For a physical book, I’d like to finally pick up a copy of Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles. I found out about this sequel when I first started with Goodreads and I’ve been wanting to read it ever since. I was a big fan of A Separate Peace in high school and would love to read more from the author.
For an audiobook, I’ll see about snatching up 10% Happier by Dan Harris. This was a Goodreads Award winner in 2014 that intrigued me and I’ve wanted to read Harris’ advice ever since.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!