Thursday, August 20, 2009

Good Books

I'm starting to wonder if some of the stay-up-at-night books I've been looking for have been hiding in the young adults section. Sometimes I think that I've read so many novels that I am just cynical and burned-out from them. I've read so many awful books this year, all the while wondering how the heck they got published in the first place! But finally, I read one that I did indeed want to stay up after bedtime and not put down and it is classified as a young adult book. It is called "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I seem to enjoy good writing more than anything these days and this one was creative, quirky, not sappy, touching and written like one 550 page poem. Loved it! The narrator is Death and it is set in Nazi Germany. Here's a sample of the narrator's poetry:
When their bodies had finished scouring for gaps in the door, their souls rose up. When their fingernails had scratched the wood and in some cases were nailed into it by the sheer force of desperation, their spirits came towards me, into my arms and we climbed out of those shower facilities, onto the roof and up, into eternity's certain breadth.
The book is about a little girl named Liesel (love that name) who wants to learn to read and the priceless gift that books can bring when they are rare and desired. Something we take for granted now.

Another beautifully written book is "Olive Kitteridge" by Elizabeth Strout. It is a collection of linked stories and the writing drew me in and made me want to be a better writer. Novels are often for enjoyment and escape, but they also take hours of our time to read. I like to know that my time is well-spent. These two books were well worth my time. Have you read anything good lately?


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I too have been finding fewer books that draw me into another world.

Poetikat said...

I remember that name "Liesel" from The Sound of Music. I always loved it after seeing that movie as a girl.


Moohaa said...

I'm always looking for a good book, meaning well written, to read. That first one sounds interesting, I'll be looking it up on Amazon here soon.

I have been reading Catcher in the Rye, never did read it in school. No wonder its a classic. ;)

Ms Hen said...

My 13 year old son had to read The Giver. I did read it before when my other children were younger. They loved it; I loved it; he did not.

I do love young adult books... from time to time.

I loved all the Harry Potters.. but not the Twilight one. The girl was too clumsy and always looking for a man to help her it seems.. I mean a vampire. I like the stronger female characters in Harry Potters for kids to read.

Jan said...

I, too, loved "The Book Thief." I'm glad to get the recommendation for the other one; I was looking at it just today at Sam's, wondering if I wanted to read it. Have you read "The Help"? It's excellent.

sevnetus said...

Olive makes my all time best list. I can recommend The Reluctant Fundamentalist. It is less than 200 pages and provocative.

Cheryl said...

I listened to the audio version of The Book Thief and just loved it. I just finished Pat Conroy's new novel, South of Broad. His writing is that of a master.