So in my post about The Thirteenth Tale, I went on and on about what a good book it was because I loved reading other people's stories. That book, combined with some recommendations from friends and family, has gotten me a new genre trend - books about libraries or books. I read three in a row that fit that bill and I loved each and every one of them.
The first book after The Thirteenth Tale that I devoured (well, it was really brownies or cookies that I was devouring probably but the book was just as delicious in it's own way) was The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. Add it to the book club recommendations. It's about a woman, Nell, and her granddaughter, Cassandra, and their separate journeys to discover who Nell really was. As a child, Nell was discovered on a boat dock in Australia and brought up by a family that was not her own. Life, and later death, intervened before she could solve her own mystery so her granddaughter picks up when she left off and ultimately discovers her family heritage after her grandmother's death. The book does a wonderful job of telling the story from all of the perspectives and time periods involved and conjures up incredible images of stories that are waiting to be deciphered. One of the only things that Nell has to help solve her mystery is a book of fairy tales that she arrived with in Australia. The fairy tales themselves are a clue and tell the stories of lost princesses, scary old witches, homely but kind hearted crones... It gives me chills just thinking of how artfully these stories are crafted into this book.
After finishing that book cuddled in my bed on Saturday morning, I opened up The Shadow of the Wind, yet another book that tells the story of a mysterious book. This story talks about a magical, if not sad, place that I wish really existed - the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. I want a job someday guarding those books so they are not forgotten. Seriously. Anywho, the eerie tale that follows about a boy who "adopts" one of these forgotten books and subsequently goes on a quest to discover why it has all but disappeared is one that will suck you in on a rainy Saturday night and not let you out of its grasp until you reach the end and learn all of the gritty details sometime in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday. I loved this book. Very rarely do I read a book and think that I need to own it so that I can pass it along to everyone who is willing to read it, but this is one of those books.
Alright, that was sort of brief but it's 5:30 and I don't want to sit at my desk any longer. Just wanted to mention a couple of wonderful reads for those of you who are going to be settling for the holidays and want something to read.
Oh yeah! And I couple of movie recommendations too...
- 27 Dresses - So cute that I went out and bought a copy...
- Avatar - I've been putting off seeing this because my tv isn't worthy. Well I watched it last weekend anyway and hello, AMAZING. I don't care who you are, watch it. My mom even loved it and my mom is not a movie person. That was the fastest 2.5 hours I've spent watching a movie in a long time. Beautiful, political, and heartwarming all rolled into one.
- My Sisters Keeper - Yeah, no. Not a bad movie if you haven't read the book but I am not surprised that Jodi Picoult hated it so much. Terrible adaptation of a great story. Skip the movie and read the book.
- The Queen - How did it take so long for me to see this movie?! It was so royal, and British, and somehow comforting and uncomfortable all at once. And I love Helen Mirren. Wonderful.
Happy Thanksgiving friends!