The Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan 📚 BOOK REVIEW

My review of The Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan.

I read a digital edition of The Trumpets of Jericho that I received for free from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Historical fiction

Publisher: Bookbaby, under the imprimatur Monochrome Books

Originally published: July 22nd, 2015

Pages: 552 (paperback)

Synopsis by the publisher:

Imagine the horror that was Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest and most lethal of the six Nazi annihilation camps.
Imagine it 1944 and a prisoner uprising at this terrible place, the rebels blowing up one crematorium, damaging another, and killing many of their SS masters.
Imagine it Jews leading this revolt, a people those same SS thought incapable of fighting.
Now imagine one of those leaders a 22-year-old girl, arguably the fieriest Jewish heroine to come out of the Holocaust.
Finally, following the revolt, imagine her and three other young female inmates tortured for weeks by the Gestapo without giving up a single fellow conspirator.

Imagine all that and more and you have The Trumpets of Jericho, the only novel to tell this extraordinary, true-life story in its entirety.

My thoughts:

When I was a little girl, my father told me about my family heritage. That we came from Jewish descent and because of the Holocaust that is why a lot of our family now lives in Sweden. He got me to read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, and ever since then I’ve been fascinated by the stories of World War II. 

So, when I saw The Trumpets of Jericho up for review, a story of an Auschwitz revolt that I had never heard of before, I knew I had to read it. 

Little did I know what I getting myself into. 

The Trumpets of Jericho is a chunker of a book, but to tell the story that needs to be told, it has to be. 

It’s a story of people with hope for freedom, an underground community seeking justice, true heroes, pure evil, excruciating pain, death, and love. 

We get to see Auschwitz from the view of those who are seeking justice, those who run the camp, and those who are merely trying to survive. 

The Trumpets of Jericho is a hard book to read, but for all the right reasons, and it’s even harder to put down. It’s hard to read because we know that it’s based on true events. Knowing that the cruelty and evil that is told in this story really did happen makes it into an absolutely heartbreaking story. 

It is not for the faint of heart as it tells a very graphic tale of war, torture, and death. 

There are some truly remarkable characters in this story. People who did everything in their power to get justice for their people and their loved ones, and I’m so grateful for Mr. Dolan to give these heroes a spotlight and a voice that they truly deserve. 

The Trumpets of Jericho is an important book, and the work and research that Mr. Dolan has put into it is remarkable!

Highly recommend, but it comes with a warning; it will break your heart, over and over again. But it will also show you the strength of love, and the power of hope.

It is a must-read for the readers who enjoyed Mila 18, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Diary of a Young Girl.

It is a story that will stay with me for a very, very long time.

Click on the Reedsy Discovery logo below to get to know more, maybe get your own copy, and let me know what you think of it💛

Hard to Read

About some of the books I’ve been reading lately.

As readers there are some books we instantly fall in love with, some we fall out of love with, some are slow at the beginning, some fades into nothing, some we power through, and others we give up on. 

There are also those books that are just hard to read, be that because of the language, the story building, our own interest, or something completely different. 

I’ve read books that are 500+ pages in no time at all, and then there are books that I use weeks on even though they’re just a couple of hundred pages. 

But lately, I’ve been reading some books that really take their toll on me. 

For those of you who’s been around for a while, you know that I love historical fiction and non-fiction based on World War II. I usually get through at least 2-3 every year, but for the last 6 months or so I’ve read a lot more of it. And even though I find the stories super interesting and I still enjoy diving into them, the stories of the Holocaust are so horrific and (often) graphic that it completely drains me. Some days I get completely engulfed in the story and can’t put the book down, other days I just need to read something completely different to have a little break. 

Why I need a break? Because reading about the cruelty and hardship of the Second World War tends to send my mind spiraling into a pretty dark place where I wouldn’t like to be stuck. 

It’s hard to place oneself in the minds of those who suffered, and in the minds of the people who were the cause of the suffering.

I think my interest when it comes to reading historical fiction and non-fiction about the war is the same as why I find True Crime so interesting. It’s something about trying to understand how people can get to a place and a mindset where they are overtaken by evil. A way of trying to understand how a mind like that works. 

Maybe it’s macabre, or just human curiosity, I’m not even sure. But the truth is that I’ve had to take breaks more often lately to read lighter fiction like children’s books or comics, just to get the darkness at a distance for a little while. 

That being said, I think that it’s extremely important that we read the stories that are hard to swallow. We learn from the echos of our history.

And even though some of the stories are extremely hard to read, they are amazing reads and I can’t wait to share some of them with you soon.

Mila 18 by Leon Uris 📚 BOOK REVIEW

My review of Mila 18 by Leon Uris 📚

I listened to an audiobook edition of Mila 18 on Audible.

Genre: Historical fiction, WWII fiction.

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Originally published: 1961 by Doubleday

Pages: 563 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 22 hrs and 58 mins

Narrated by: David deVries

Synopsis by the publisher:

It was a time of crisis, a time of tragedy – and a time of transcendent courage and determination. Leon Uris’s blazing novel is set in the midst of the ghetto uprising that defied Nazi tyranny, as the Jews of Warsaw boldly met Wehrmacht tanks with homemade weapons and bare fists. Here, painted on a canvas as broad as its subject matter, is the compelling story of one of the most heroic struggles of modern times.

My thoughts:

Mila 18 is one of those books that my dad has recommended to me over and over again. I’ve had it on my shelf for what feels like forever, but for some reason, I just never got around to reading it. But on the hunt for some new audiobooks on Audible it came up as a recommended book there as well (not surprising since I have listened and read my share of books about World War 2), so I decided it was time to finally read/listen to it. 

It took me a little while to get all the characters in order, but as soon as I did, I was very invested in their stories. 

Mila 18 is a slow burner, but the flame burns bright through the whole book. The audiobook is almost 22 hours long, but during these hours I never felt bored. 

The story of the Warsaw ghetto tells how war and despair bring out the very best in people, and the absolute worst. 

We follow struggling marriages, young couples in love, a resistance coming to life, German officers and families just trying to survive.

It is a heartbreaking story as much as it is one that makes you want to go utterly mad with anger. One of the things that always made WWII stories so fascinating to me, was trying to get into the minds of the people who drove the war forward and trying to understand how someone could be so cruel and act so cruel. But I have to say that for the most part, the more I read, the less I feel like I understand. I still can’t fathom how the Nazis could justify their acts, and I don’t think I ever will. 

But no matter how difficult it is to try to understand why people sometimes do the things that they do, books like Mila 18, and so many others, are so important. We need to remember. We have to remember. 

This book tells a story of immense bravery, love, and endurance. We get to follow the people in the ghetto as well as outside of it and see how they process the war and how it changes the city that they call home, as well as the people around them. 

The uprising in the Warsaw ghetto is a symbol of freedom. 

It is a powerful story, an important story, but not one for the faint of heart. It had me feeling angry, unwell and moved to tears. 

If you like historical fiction and especially historical fiction set during WWII, then I would definitely recommend Mila 18.

💛If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission 💛

3 Books that Shaped Me as a Reader

Here are three books that have shaped me as a reader through the years 📚

I’m pretty sure that all of us bookworms have certain books that shape us as readers, both as kids and later on in our adult lives as well. We change, our preferences too, and sometimes a book can surprise us into a whole new genre we never even considered being our thing.

I thought I would share some of the books that has shaped me as a reader over the years.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

My dad was the one that introduced me to Anne Frank. I was about 8 years old and I already knew quite a bit about World War II as my fathers side of the family has Jewish heritage, and actually had to get away from the Nazis by moving to Sweden at that time. So the interest in WWII came at a pretty early age for me, and The Diary of a Young Girl definitely shaped my reading a lot. It was where I truly discovered how horrific, but also interesting and fascinating that time of history was, and still is. I’m still a WWII fanatic, just like my dad. I love reading non-fiction and historical fiction, and the well-written ones (especially those who are based on true stories) always breaks my heart and fill my eyes with tears. Reading Anne Frank’s diary was also what made me start journaling back in the days, which is something that I still do.

I think every kid should read this book. It’s so important and captivating. My dad also took me to Anne Frank’s house later on, which was a really interesting but also intense experience. If I remember correctly, I believe my dad has told me that I didn’t speak for a good while after we got out of there, and it is something I will never forget. I also would highly recommend going there if you ever get the chance to.

Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Bag of Bones is not my favorite King novel, but it was my very first. I remember browsing one of my local bookstores as a teenager and coming across this particular book. I can’t remember exactly what it was about Bag of Bones that compelled me to buy it, but buy it I did, and it has been quite the journey ever since.

I remember bringing it with me on a family vacation (but can’t for the life of me remember where we went), and was so captivated by this story that I was unable at times to put it down. It’s one of those stories that just made such a lasting impression on me that I actually remember quite a lot of what happened even though it has been years, and I’m pretty sure I would be surprised to find out how much I’ve probably forgotten if I tried re-reading it today (which is something I’m considering doing).

Let’s call it love at first sight, and King’s writing and I have been in a happy relationship (for the most part) for many years now, and it will continue to be that way for two reasons.

1 – The man has written so many books that I hardly doubt I will get through them all.

2 – It’s first book love, and that lasts a lifetime. Everybody knows that, right?!

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Did you just roll your eyes at the screen?! Well, if you did, I don’t blame you. Twilight is not great. It’s not even really good, but never the less, it is a book that played a pretty big role in my reading life. At the age of about 20, I found myself not having really read much in a few years. I don’t know what started that massive reading slump, but I do know that the easy entertainment that Twilight offered was what got me back into reading, and with a whole new love of fantasy and paranormal fiction. And because of that, I got to discover so many great books! So, even though I fully agree with the eye roll (and I have tried re-reading it some years later and wish that I hadn’t) it still deserves a spot on this list, and it will always hold a special place in this book lover heart of mine.

These three books are not my top three of all time, but they are all very special to me. If I hadn’t crossed paths with them, I probably would’ve had a very different reading journey than I’ve had so far.

Do you have a book that defined you more as a reader than any other? I would love to hear about it💛

He Talked About the War

‘Could you please call the police for me?’

That’s how the conversation between an old man named Rolf and me started this morning as I was at the end of my morning walk with Mork (the dog). I asked him why he wanted me to call the police, but his answer was vague. He kept on walking slowly with his crutches two the nearest door at the apartment complex we were standing next to. A few meters behind him was his wife, or ex-wife, what the correct term is I still do not know as they both had two different stories. She also asked me politely if I could call the police.

‘He is my husband and suffers from dementia. He thinks that everyone is trying to hurt him so he just started walking and doesn’t want to talk to me or to come home.’

I could see the pain and confusion in her eyes and they matched his in a way that made me want to cry.

I called the police while this woman tried to make Rolf stop pushing random doorbells, and Rolf was irritated because he just wanted to get in contact with some politicians wife. After a short conversation with the police I handed the phone over to her and she filled in all the gaps. At the end of the conversation they asked her how they could get in contact with her and she hesitated. She had a home number, but not her cellphone with her.

‘Tell them to contact this number. I will wait with him.’

The words came out of me as the most natural ones there were and I was instantly a little nervous. I’ve never dealt with dementia like this and not someone who is somewhat aggressive as well, but someone had to help them both and even though it was a bit scary, I really wanted to.

She thanked me and told me she was going to go home and wait for more information or for Rolf to come home. They lived just about a hundred meters from where I met them, but with those bad legs of his it must have taken some real determination to get as far as he had. Determination and fear.

The woman left and I was suddenly alone with a very lost man.

‘Do you want me to help you down the stairs? We can sit down on that bench and wait for help if you’d like?’

His expression was blank and I had to ask him the same question three times before he agreed and came with me. We sat down on the nearest bench and I was grateful for the warm weather and clear skies.

I asked him how he was feeling and the answer I got was one I never would have guessed.

‘They’re trying to kill me. She tried to poison my drink yesterday and today someone came to her home to give me an injection but I prevented it. I broke the syringe!’

I’d heard about dementia and paranoia going hand in hand for many but to see it for myself like that was very disturbing and my heart ached for Rolf.

‘I have diabetes you know, but what they tried to give me wasn’t insulin. It was poison! I have a lot of money you see, and they’re trying to get their hands on it.’

We talked about the events but I could sense that he was getting steadily more scared and frustrated so I decided to change the subject.  That’s when he told me about the war.

‘I used to cut men’s hair for a living. And I remember when the nazi’s came. Oslo wasn’t too bad in the beginning, but it got scary after a while. They occupied the schools so their soldiers had somewhere to most of the kids had to be homeschooled.’

His face changed when he talked about the past and especially the war. A clarity in all the memories even if they weren’t all good memories.

We waited together and talked about his life. From time to time his paranoia came back to him and he needed to convince me that he wasn’t crazy, “because that’s what everyone thinks.”

The police sent an ambulance and they arrived after about twenty minutes or so. Twenty minutes where I got to know a young man that cut hair in an Oslo occupied by Germans. An old man who believes with all his heart that all the people he used to trust are now trying to murder him. I got to know Rolf.

Three men came in the ambulance and talked calmly with him before he climbed into the car and was taken away to an emergency home to get the care he needed.

On my way home I met his wife/ex-wife again and I told her everything that had happened as I walked her home.

‘I can’t live like this.’ she told me with tears in her eyes.

‘No. It’s not doing any of you any good. He needs help and you need to feel safe, even if it’s hard to let go.’

She smiled at me and thanked me again for all of my help. I told her to contact me if she ever needed anything and then we went our separate ways.


The hours of my day came and went for me as it did for everyone else, and my thoughts went to Rolf quite often. I went for a walk to the store and stopped by this bench, the one where I got to know him just a little and I stood there filled with thoughts.

I thought about how unfair it is that our own minds can trick us like that. I thought about lost love and forgotten friendships. About the people that lose loved ones not to death, but two diseases that takes away memories and common thoughts.

I stood there and felt grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life. I was grateful for getting to know and help Rolf and his wife. For his stories and for his trust in me as a complete stranger.

I sent him my wishes for wellbeing with the wind and promised to appreciate all of my memories, the good and the bad.

It was an unusual morning, spent with a man and he talked about the war. I hope I’ll never forget it.

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Review)

Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian-Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he promised to deliver. But when he falls into a complicated relationship with the letter’s recipient, he becomes privy to a secret that will alter the course of his—and his family’s—history.


The Invisible Bridge is a captivating story about love, hope, tragedy and war. The story follows Andras Lévi who gets a scholarship in Paris to go study architecture, then falls in love with an older woman with a big secret and then gets the first hand feeling of the hate against Jews as the Second World War comes to a start. He loses his scholarship and then struggle to make ends meet and suddenly finds the future that seemed so bright to darken as Hitler grows stronger and the Nazis are getting more and more aggressive.

The way Julie Orringer writes about her characters made me care for them and made them come to life in a very special way and it had me flipping the pages and finding myself lost in the story that could easily have been a true one. It had me smiling as she writes about falling in love and it had me choking up and almost feeling sick to my stomach when reading about the cruelty Andras and his family has to endure through the times of war.

The Invisible Bridge is an amazing book and I highly recommend it! And if you are somewhat of an WWII geek (as I am) then I can almost guarantee that you will fall in love with this book. Even though this is a fictional story, Julie Orringer has done a lot of research and the story of Mr. Lévi and his friends and family are stories that tells the truth of so many Jews based in Europe during the war.

If you would like to get your own copy of this amazing book, you can cick   HERE  or on the picture below:

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

I would love to hear your thoughts on this book! Or maybe you have another summer read you could recommend? I’m all ears 🙂