Day 2, of 30 Days of Books

Day 2: A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about

Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak.

Both of these books staggered me so much that words have generally failed me in trying to convey their sheer awesomeness.

Shadow of the Wind: boy has father who owns bookshop. Finds a book no one else seems to have read or own a copy of. Weird things (in a non-fantasy way) happen, which appear to be connected to said book. Boy meets fascinating people, has complex relationships with many of them, has classic but non-contrived growing-up experiences. Also, set in Barcelona, which features so prominently in the story that I wish I knew the place to appreciate it better (my copy had a map, showing the congruence between real life and the book!). Madly, wonderfully, fabulous.

The Book Thief: set in Hitler’s Germany, it follows a little girl’s experience of living in a little German town, not really understanding what’s going on. I’m not a fan of war books, but this isn’t one; war provides the setting, and motive for some of the action, but it is not the centrepiece. Relationships are: how she relates to her guardians, to her friends, to the man who comes to stay in their basement, and to the rest of the townspeople. For all its setting, and that it has some unpleasant parts – I couldn’t accuse Zusak of whitewashing WW2 – this is still a delightful book overall. I read it in a day, and almost cried when I had to put it down so that I could do something trivial, like prepare food. The joy of humanity, the power of books – that’s what this is about.

Everyone should read these two books.

You can look forward to:
Day 03 – The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months
Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever
Day 05 – A book or series you hate
Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series OR your favorite book of all time
Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise
Day 08 – A book everyone should read at least once
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you
Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve watched more than five times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)
Day 14 – Favorite character in a book (of any sex or gender)
Day 15 – Your “comfort” book
Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)
Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book
Day 19 – Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)
Day 20 – Favorite kiss
Day 21 – Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 22 – Favorite non-sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 23 – Most annoying character ever
Day 24 – Best quote from a novel
Day 25 – Any five books from your “to be read” stack
Day 26 – OMG WTF? OR most irritating/awful/annoying book ending
Day 27 – If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!
Day 28 – First favorite book or series obsession
Day 29 – Saddest character death OR best/most satisfying character death (or both!)
Day 30 – What book are you reading right now?

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