February 22, 2013

Recent Reads.

I just love to read. It started before I can even remember really - being read books before bed, going to the library and picking out so many books I could barely carry them all, finding out that books without pictures are actually better stories. I loved reading so much that the librarians on our local bookmobile (you know, a bus made into a travelling library?) knew me by name by the time I was in grade 2 and would put aside books for me that they thought I would like.

Once, when I was seven or eight, I may have even turned my bedroom into a 'library' complete with barcodes and index numbers on each and every book I owned. I made my family, and my stuffed animals, come and see me so they could check out books. Some books at my moms even still carry the evidence from this endeavour of mine!

Needless to say, one of my favourite parts of being down in Phoenix is all the free time I can fill with books. I thought it was time, once again, to share some of my recent favourite reads!



The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.

This book, oh this book, had me hooked from the very first page. I honestly could not put it down. The story itself was incredibly but the beautiful language and the captivating way the author used it was just so amazing. I have not been this drawn to a book in a long time - I hungrily turned pages wanting more and more.

It is a story about a young woman who is given the task of writing an aging author's life story. The real story. It is incredibly to see how these women's lives become entwined throughout the 'interviewing' process. Full of shocking revelations and drama this book is a must read. No, really. You must read it.

My favourite line: "There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.” 

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

It took me a little while to get into this book but once I did - I was all the way, fully captivated, completely into this book. The story itself, the main character Kate recounts her past where her and her siblings were forced into an impossible life changing situation, was great but it was really the characters I was hooked on. I got so attached to these characters that I was actually really sad when the book ended - I wanted to know more about their lives and especially how the rest of their story played out. 

Beautifully written book with amazing character development. A story based on family and community ties and how fates are crossed. By the end, I was in love. 

My favourite line: "There's no end to how far back you can go, of course, when you're trying to figure out where something started."

Night by Elie Wiesel

I've read a lot of books recounting the Holocaust and every single time I am shocked by the horrific ordeals so many people endured. Shocked. Without fail. It is almost impossible to understand how human beings treated other human beings in these horrible ways; but, even more so, how people survived. The enduring power of the human spirit is incredible. 

This book is a real life account of a young jewish boy's suffering during World War II. I held it together until the very end - when I could hold them in no longer - tears were pouring down my face. Beyond heart wrenching. This account of the authors experiences are raw and real and very hard to read at times and he recounts them in a very straightforward way. 

It is so important to know and remember what all of these people went through - to honour their lives and not turn a blind eye and let it fade away into the past. The Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech at the end of this edition was so full of amazing quotes: 

“To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”

"What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone: that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs."

Night is the first in a trilogy and I definitely want to get my hands on them to read more about this man's life. 

Next up on my reading list is The Poisonwood Bible and The Mermaid Chair. What are you reading? 

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