I didn’t read a ton again this week.
I reread The Book Thief for bookclub, and it broke my heart all over again. It’s such a beautiful book. It’s set in Germany during World War 2 and narrated by Death. With a set up like that, you’d think it would be horribly devastating, but everything that happens is almost on the edge of the war. Liesel, the main character, lives with foster parents because her father has been taken because of his Communism, her little brother has died on the train to the foster parents, and her mother knows that soon enough she herself will be taken, so Liesel needs a safe place to be. After she has lived there a while, a young man who is Jewish arrives, asking to be hidden, and her foster parents allow him to hide in their basement. As Liesel keeps this secret, and the secret of the books that she keeps stealing, she learns about the importance of words and books. Along the way, many people feel incredibly guilty for living while others are dying, and some find the courage to keep living, while others choose to seek out Death. There are hilarious moments, and devastating moments, and I think it’s an incredibly important book. I think it’s important to see how Germans followed Hitler, how they weren’t evil monsters, but people who made really unfortunate choices in what they believed and did.
The girls asked at one point what I was reading, and I told them that it was a really sad book, (I was at an especially sad moment in it), and they asked why I wanted to read it if it was so sad. There are so many important ideas about the power of words- for good and for evil- that even though it is sad, I think everyone should read it. This is a book with a female character that teenage boys would get a lot out of.
Dealing with Dragons is the first in a series that I just bought for my niece for her birthday. It is so incredibly fun, I can’t wait for the girls to get just a little bit older so they can read it. The main character is Cimorene, the sixth daughter of a king, who is not a proper princess. She wants to learn to fence and do magic and cook, and when her parents get worried enough about it, they betroth her to a prince and expect her to go along with it. With the help of a talking frog (not an enchanted prince, but he knows some and has learned from them) she realizes that her best option is to run away and find a dragon who wants a princess. And she does, and it’s fabulous. And when princes come to save her, she tells them to go away, and there’s a conspiracy with wizards, and it’s just a fantastically fun book.
So that’s two books this week, and nine this month, for 3317 pages. I did buy a few books- a couple that have been on my wish list and went on super cheap sale, and a couple that are loopholed because they are authors that I love passionately. And one (The Butterfly Sister) because the description grabbed me and wouldn’t let go and I had to. I had no choice. That’s the one I’m reading right now, and it’s really good so far. I also added 15 books to my wish list.
What are you reading right now?