Books 3/13/05

I haven’t had much time to read in the last week since I was visiting family and playing with gorgeous nephews and niece. Actually, that’s not true- I read quite a number of books about Dora the Explorer, animals, and ABCs. My nephews have always loved to look at books, and they recognize their letters now, so it’s always reading time at their house. Three of the most beautiful words to come out of little mouths: “Auntie, a book?” I love that they love books already, and can’t wait until they’re a little older so they can start into the really fun books. I’m so going to be the book aunt, the one who brings them Treasure Island, and James and the Giant Peach, and Lemony Snicket for birthdays.

I stalled out halfway through the autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt. I don’t know what it is, I guess I’m just not in the mood. In the airport on the way home I picked up The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, a gorgeous book about- well, about books. A boy is charged by his father (a used book seller in Spain in the 1940s) to pick a book from a secret collection and protect it. He falls in love with the book he picks, and in an attempt to find out more about the author, discovers layers and layers of mystery. The copy he has of the book is possibly the last one in existence; a mysterious man who may or may not be the devil has been systematically purchasing all of the copies of the author’s works and burning them. I’m only halfway through and am completely entranced. There are a number of mysteries at play which I suspect will all converge sooner or later, and my mind is darting about trying to connect the threads. And, in what I think is the test of the effectiveness of a villanous character- when the main baddy comes on the scene, I found myself hoping beyond hope that someone would just kill him, that he would just die. He’s so realistically evil that it’s scary, and I just want him to go away and leave these people alone. I’m so nervous about what will happen that it’s hard for me to keep reading, but I have to know what happens. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m also halfway through Alba, by my favorite, Delacorta. I pick up one of his books every month or so, and read around in it, like visiting a friend. I usually pick up one of the earlier books, however- Diva, Nana, or Vida. Lola, Alba, and Luna I just don’t gravitate to as much, although I like them- but I’m glad I’m rereading Alba, I’d forgotten just how much I like it. In this one Gorodish gets framed for littering (of all things) and stuck in jail, and Alba, the 14 year old flirt supreme gets embroiled as only she can in a crazy scheme combining a blind mafia, desert roadtrip, a football team called the Wonderful Pink Airplanes, and platform of pure gold. It’s as convoluted as Delacorta’s stories usually are, and I’m loving it. Delacorta, wherever you are, please write more!

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