Due to my current allergy situation (and resulting grumpiness), I've not felt like doing much more than reading in he evening. A good book is definitely something that can cheer me up and make me forget about my snuffly nose. In the past I've tried to keep a list of what I've read and books I'd like to read, but my record keeping has been pretty sporadic. Recently I discovered GoodReads, which makes keeping track so much easier. If you join, please do feel free to add me as a friend. I think you can invite me using my lucy at heylucy dot net address. It's so easy to find, add, and rate books. I've been adding books I've read over the last couple years here and there.
So, I thought I'd share some recent reads, and ask for some recommendations. I am waiting for a couple books to arrive at the library, but you can never have too many book recommendations to fall back on, can you? Speaking of the library, does your local library have their catalog online? I love that I can just go to the San Diego County Library website, find a book, and have it sent to my little local branch. If you haven't tried doing that with your local library, I would suggest trying it out.
My first, and strongest recommendation is The Book Thief. Set in Germany during WWII, and narrated by the Grim Reaper himself, it's the story of a young girl growing up during the Holocaust. There were so many great characters, and I don't want to spoil anything, but I sobbed at the end of this one, and I'm not really one to cry when reading books or watching movies.
I also recently finished Water for Elephants, which is one of those books everyone has read and loved. I did like it, but I wouldn't call it a five star read, but I'd give it a solid three stars. There were some quirky characters, which was a lot of fun, but the story itself was a little predictable, or at least as predictable as a story set on a circus train during the Great Depression could be.
Like most women, I love Jane Austen, and can't get enough, but I've always drawn the line at cheesy fan fiction. So I was a little reluctant to give Pamela Aidan's Darcy Trilogy a fair chance, but I have to say, I really enjoyed what she did with the character. The first book, An Assembly Such as This, covers the first few meetings between Elizabeth and Darcy during his stay at Netherfield. The second book, Duty and Desire, wasn't nearly as good, mainly because there was so little Elizabeth. It started to veer into Gothic mystery territory, but luckily didn't go all the way there. Then, the last book in the series, These Three Remain picked up the pace, and of course had all the really great stuff, so it was worth slogging through the second book to get there.
Finally, a quick little read that I really enjoyed was The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It's a YA book, and I checked it out from the library on the recommendation of a friend. While not really a graphic novel, there are a lot of really lovely illustrations. This story of a boy living in the walls of a Paris train station, fixing the station clocks is a big, thick book, but only took about an hour to read.
And now, a surprise for those of you who have scrolled this far in this long, long post, since you must obviously like books as much as I do. I loved The Book Thief so much that I want to share my copy with another reader. It's the copy that I read, so it's not a brand new book, but if you don't mind slightly dog-eared corners, hey, it's free! Just leave a recommendation for one of your favorite books in the comments, and I'll draw a name this weekend, and send it to the winner! So give me your recommendations! Do you like when I get all bossy? I can't help it, I'm an oldest child.