It’s been a long time since I’ve done Friday Finds mostly because of the lack of time to read other blogs and browse book sites. But lately I’ve had some free time at work and since a few book sites are not blocked I could spend some time catching up. Unfortunately blogs are still blocked, so can’t do anything about that. Anyway, these are the books that caught my attention-2 are non-fiction and 2 are fiction. The books are linked to the sites where I found them – Book Depository and GoodReads

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs (Fiction)

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here – one of whom was his own grandfather – were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Blood River: A Journey to Africa’s Broken Heart by Tim Butcher (non-fiction)

It has a very nice site too
Description: A journalist for the UK’s Daily Telegraph, Butcher undertook a hazardous African trip in 2004, traveling from Lake Tanganyika to the Atlantic Ocean via the Congo River. And he did not travel via foreigners’ usual conveyance in Africa—aircraft—but overland by motorbike, dugout canoe, and UN patrol boat. This account of his six-week-long journey proves to be an exceptionally gripping example of travel writing, not only because of its roster of obstacles surmounted by the resourceful traveler but also because of its empathy for those who assisted Butcher in passing through the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Encountering ordinary Congolese, staff of the UN and humanitarian agencies, and elderly holdovers from the Belgian colonial era, Butcher catches their life stories as he recounts the historical waypoints (such as Henry Stanley’s 1874–77 exploration, whose route Butcher followed) in Congo’s connection to and postcolonial detachment from the modern world, symbolized in dilapidated sights such as crumbling post offices and hulks of river boats. Depicting the country’s dire physical plight and lawless corruption, Butcher delivers an unblinking firsthand portrait of contemporary Congo. (from booklist)

Goodbye Sarajevo: A True Story of Courage, Love and Survival by Atka Reid, Hana Schofield (non-fiction0

Description: May, 1992. Hana is twelve years old when she is put on one of the last UN evacuation buses fleeing the besieged city of Sarajevo. Her twenty-one-year-old sister, Atka, staying behind to look after their five younger siblings, is there to say goodbye. Thinking that they will be apart for only a few weeks, they make a promise to each other to be brave. But as the Bosnian war escalates and months go by without contact, their promise to each other becomes deeply significant. Hana is forced to cope as a refugee in Croatia, far away from home and family, while Atka battles for survival in a city where snipers, mortar attacks and desperate food shortages are a part of everyday life. Their mother, working for a humanitarian aid organisation, is unable to reach them and their father retreats inside himself, shocked at what is happening to his city. In Sarajevo, death lurks in every corner and shakes the foundation of their existence. One day their beloved uncle is killed while queuing up for bread in the market square, in a massacre similar to the one three months earlier which prompted a cellist to make a lone musical protest in the deserted streets. But when Atka finds work as a translator in an old, smoky radio station, and then with a photojournalist from New Zealand, life takes an unexpected turn, and the remarkable events that follow change her life, and those of her family, forever. Set in the middle of the bloodiest European conflict since the Second World War, “Goodbye Sarajevo” is a moving and compelling true story of courage, hope and extraordinary human kindness.

The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico by Sarah McCoy (fiction)

Description: It is 1961 and Puerto Rico is trapped in a tug-of-war between those who want to stay connected to the United States and those who are fighting for independence. For eleven-year-old Verdita Ortiz-Santiago, the struggle for independence is a battle fought much closer to home. Verdita has always been safe and secure in her sleepy mountain town, far from the excitement of the capital city of San Juan or the glittering shores of the United States, where her older cousin lives. She will be a señorita soon, which, as her mother reminds her, means that she will be expected to cook and clean, go to Mass every day, choose arroz con pollo over hamburguesas, and give up her love for Elvis. And yet, as much as Verdita longs to escape this seemingly inevitable future and become a blond American bombshell, she is still a young girl who is scared by late-night stories of the chupacabra, who wishes her mother would still rub her back and sing her a lullaby, and who is both ashamed and exhilarated by her changing body.