Return of Bookish!

So even though I read a lot on my vacation, I didn’t actually review any of those (or other books) here at the UIG.  For shame.  Anyway, to prove it to you, here’s what I’ve been reading:

Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant.  I mentioned just before vacation that I was about half way through this book and loving it.  And love it I did, right up until the end.  In fact, the last 50 pages were probably some of the best I’ve ever read, and nudged this book up from “this is a fantastic read” to “this is one of the best books I’ve ever read” territory.  Recommended if you enjoy the quirk, and not recommended if you prefer your books to have less quirk.  But it was truly beautifully done.

Okay!  Moving on!

In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson.  American diplomat and his family living and coping in Berlin during the rise of Hitler.  This book was quite terrifying to read, knowing how it would all end.  Interesting insight into the whole idea of complacency and business as usual of the times, while a select group attempted to raise the alarm that anything to do with Nazis would end badly. 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  I think this is listed as a Young Adult novel, but I read a review saying it was easily appealing to Old Adults, and it did not disappoint.  The story of a girl growing up in Germany in the 1930s – yes, it’s true, two books dealing with Nazis in the course of one vacation – and narrated by Death.  Yes, that Death.  I like this description: “It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .”
Extremely interesting and very well-written, I really liked this book.  Recommended for sure for older youths or for old, olds like me. 

Smile by Raina Telgemeier.  Another YA book, this time a graphic novel that tells the story of a middle-school kid and her experiences with extreme orthodontics and everything else that goes with being a pre-teen – friends, clothes, family, etc.  I originally borrowed this book to give to The Musician to read, since he has had his fair share of extreme orthodontics.  But after reading it, thought it might be too girl-experienced for him.  Not that he’s not down with stuff that girls have to deal with, but I wasn’t sure he’d be all that into it in this format.  Might still have to give it a go with him though, it’s quite excellent.

Two more to share with you, but I’m going to save those for another edition of Bookish.  For now, gonna leave you with a video of the author of the book I am currently reading.  And his band.  I saw Josh Ritter open for Blue Rodeo about 3 years ago, and have loved his music ever since.  And now he’s an author, and I’m excited to dive in to his very first novel.  This song is one of my faves.  Enjoy.

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