Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On My Bookshelf: The Books I Couldn't Put Down

I love to read. Some recent college grads still associate books with academia, and refuse to read for pleasure, but not me. Reading is an escape. A good book is one you can get lost in, totally absorbed, invested in the story. The best books are the ones you can't put down, but you never want to finish because you don't want the story to end. My favorite kinds of books are the ones that make you think. I'm not a fan of pure fluff, I just get bored, but a little bit of a love story never hurts. I'm always looking for something new to read, but it's sometimes difficult to find books that are worthwhile. So, I thought I'd share some of my favorites with the blogosphere, and maybe get some recommendations in return.

Keeping the House
by Ellen Baker

At more than 500 pages in hardcover, this book looked a little daunting. It took me a while, but it was totally worth it. Baker tells the compelling story of a small town housewife longing to be anyone else, anywhere else. Smartly written, the reader experiences the roller coaster of the main character's life along with her, and even after more than 500 pages, doesn't want the story to end.

The Book Thief
By Markus Zusak

This story is narrated by Death. Seriously. And, Death is a remarkably good story teller. It's World War II in Germany, and Death is very busy. Somehow though, Death still finds the time to tell about the life of a young girl and the very different, but equally important, roles that books play in her life.

The Glass Castle
By Jeannette Walls

This best-selling memoir is a chilling account of growing up in poverty, constantly on the move. With every page, you will find yourself shaking your head in disbelief, wondering if these things really happened. The unique life outlook of Walls' parents is truly captivating. You will remember this book for a long time after you finish reading.

The Kommandant's Girl and The Diplomat's Wife
By Pam Jenoff

These books provide a different perspective on the Holocaust with harrowing tales of survival. Jenoff takes the reader on an endless adventure, with such vivid detail that you feel like you're watching the story unfold. Though the Diplomat's Wife is not exactly a sequel, I recommend reading The Kommandant's Girl first. The stories are fittingly sad, but well worth reading.

The Queen's Fool
By Philippa Gregory

I've recently become a fan of historical fiction, and though I have read several of Gregory's books, this one was by far my favorite. The well-known author of The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory details the tumultuous times of the Inquisition through the eyes of an unlikely member of the Royal Court. This story provides a look into the drama and controversy of the Tudor Court, and shows just how powerful religion can be.

If you want more info on these books, just let me know. And, please feel free to share your favorites.

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