Tuesday, June 24, 2008


It's my last day at work and I have looked through the shelves to pull a few books to read over the summer. But first I have to finish reading the books I have already started! I am currently reading two books; World Without End by Ken Follett and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. World Without End is a sequel of sorts to The Pillars of the Earth, takes place in 12th century England and is nearly 1,000 pages long. One of the things that makes both of these books so readable is that the characters speak modern English. World Without End takes place 200 years later in the same English town and is just over 1,000 pages long. They both are fascinating novels that take you into the lives of the lowest and highest born and into the political intrigue that takes place between the clergy, the military, the merchants, and royalty. I highly recommend these books to fans of historical fiction and long books.
Love in the Time of Cholera is my first book by this author and is very different from other books I have read. I am presently half way through the book and I feel that I am still waiting for the story to begin, like I am still reading the introduction. One of the reasons, I think, that I have this feeling is because he still calls all of the characters by their whole names.
Now that it is summer, I plan on making my minted ice tea, take a tall glass filled with ice and my book out to the backyard, put my feet up, and read, read, read.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Book Thief (2007)

This is an extraordinary Holocaust story written by Marcus Zusak. Liesel Meminger is eleven years old when she moves to the small town of Molching near Munich to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. The story is told by Death who follows Liesel's life in between his calls to duty delivering souls from people who die (which keeps him very busy as you can well imagine). He considers himself a student of human behavior and Liesel constantly surprises him. When she arrives at the Hubermann house she is unable to read but has a book with her called The Gravedigger's Handbook which had fallen out of the pocket of one of the men who helped bury her little brother. Amidst all the horror and tragedy, this girl can always find a way to show kindness and compassion to others around her. Her overwhelming desire to learn how to read and her love of reading drives her to find books wherever she can. Once she even pulled a book out of a bonfire of books considered not suitable for reading. Considering how many of these types of book end up tragically, I thought I was in for a sob fest. Yes, there were horrors all through the book, but Liesel's outlook on life is truely inspiring.
If you enjoy (?!) reading books about the Holocaust, don't miss this one. If you don't enjoy reading books that take place during the Holocaust, don't miss this one. It's a great story of keeping one's humanity when everyone else is losing theirs.
My rating for this book: +++++