I was a late bloomer when it came to reading; my first serious bout with it began in my late teens. Sidney Sheldon, Sandra Brown, Victoria Holt, and Mary Higgins Clark were the leaders of the pack for me. After that, I slowly sprouted out toward other authors and genres.
This past year has taken me away from writing, but brought me back to my love of reading—paperbacks, please! There’s just something about a paperback book in my hand to keep me reading on.
Environment aside, are you a fan of paperbacks or eBooks?
Today, I’d like to share 5 book recommendations before you develop cataracts. So before you purchase or check out a book from the library, take a look at this list to see if you can cuddle up with one. 😉
1) The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
“I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time.”
Put on your big girl/big boy pants and settle in for this gothic wonder!
Set in postwar Barcelona, Daniel Sempere wakes on his eleventh birthday realizing he can no longer remember his mother’s face. His widowed father takes his son to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, where he chooses The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. Daniel loves the book and wants to read more of his works, but he finds out that someone has been destroying all the books ever written by Julian. On a quest to uncover the books and the mysterious author, Daniel exposes Barcelona’s dark secrets of murder, magic, madness, and love. As he peels away each revelation, the reader watches Daniel grow into a young man.
This story weaves a list of unforgettable characters through the streets of Barcelona. Rich in writing and wonderful dialogue!
2) A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.”
Put aside your beliefs and read this book with an open mind and heart!
This is a story about John Wheelwright and Owen Meany—best friends growing up in the 50s and 60s in New Hampshire. John narrates the story from his present day perspective (1987), and his memories of the past. It approaches such themes as faith, religion, Vietnam, and friendship.
Absorb Irving’s unique storytelling and characters. His style is different, which is what readers remember.
3) A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
“Ove is fifty-nine. He drives a Saab. He’s the kind of man who points at people he doesn’t like the look of, as if they were burglars and his forefinger a policeman’s torch.”
Turn your frown upside down. LOL! Some of us know an Ove.
A curmudgeon of the neighborhood, who thinks everyone is an idiot. The neighborhood watchman, Ove does his daily inspections to make sure all rules are followed. As some of his neighbors tend to gravitate toward this grumpy man, his strict attitude toward how life is to be lived begins to loosen.
Little by little, Ove’s personality begins to grow on the reader, and by the end, you can’t help finding this cantankerous character a delight.
4) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
“First the colors. Then the humans. That’s usually how I see things. Or at least, I try.”
Forget about makeup or hanging out with friends after reading this tearjerker.
Liesel Meminger’s life changes after the loss of her brother, and stealing a book, The Grave Digger’s Handbook. It’s WWII Germany, and Liesel’s mother leaves her in the care of Hans and Rosa Huberman. She begins to steal books from Nazi-book burnings and the mayor’s wife’s library, and learns to read with the help of Hans. Liesel becomes friends with Rudy Steiner, and Max Vandenburg, a Jew her foster family hides in their basement.
Narrated by Death, explaining his perception of humans, the reader gets a vivid understanding of war and death.
5) Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
“Dear Kurt Cobain, Mrs. Buster gave us our first assignment in English today, to write a letter to a dead person.”
A bold young adult book that will leave you reminiscing, smiling, and satisfied.
Laurel’s first assignment in a new school is to write a letter to a dead person. What was supposed to be a one-letter assignment, turns into a year of writing to dead people to help her overcome the loss of innocence, the death of her sister, and her mother moving away. Laurel speaks to the dead about her experiences, falling in love, grappling with her mother’s departure and her sister’s absence. In turn, her search into their lives answers some questions, and in the end, lets her forgive and heal.
Amelia Earhart. Kurt Cobain. Amy Winehouse. Janis Joplin. These are just some of the people Laurel writes to; those her sister liked and who died young.
I hope some of these might pique your interest.
Share a few of your favorite books in the comments.
Reading, Eras, and Perspectives,