Seattle adventures, life, home, and coffee—in no particular order

A glimpse into my beach bag (or, books)

In a thinly veiled attempt to solicit new suggestions, let’s talk books.

I packed two books across the border in my Mexico beach bag: Firefly Lane and the Book Thief. One made me want to gouge my eyes out with a dull spoon, the other was brilliant and made me cry. Care to guess which was which?

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

At the suggestion of my sister’s drunken book club, I suffered through this treat. It’s set in the greater Seattle area (plus 10 points), but it’s cheesy, predictable, and laaaaaaaaaame (minus 100 points). If you like chick lit that melts your brain, it’s a must read.

Score: -90 points

Tear factor: Medium (Ok, ok, I cried at the end. That doesn’t mean I liked it!)

Donate to the Blind? YES

I'm sure Oprah loved it

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The esteemed Chelsea Tuman recommended this book, and it did not disappoint. At the risk of using too strong a word, it was brilliant. Set in Nazi Germany and narrated by Death himself, it offers a poignant and fresh take on Hitler’s regime, focusing on the story of a young orphan named Liesel. You can’t help but fall in love with the characters. Please read.

Score: One million points

Tear factor: High (Yes, I cry at most everything, but this one will make even YOU cry, promise)

Donate to the Blind? Dear god, no


I managed to finish the Zusak novel on the first leg of the plane ride home, so I picked up another book in Phoenix…

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen

This is Larsen’s surprisingly dense debut novel. It’s narrated by T.S., a 13-year-old genius mapmaker from the farmland of Montana. The story chronicles his journey east to receive a prestigious Smithsonian award (of which his family is unaware he received and the awarders are unaware of his age), and in the process, you learn about the ghosts that haunt the Spivet family. Because T.S. is a mapmaker, the margins are filled with asides, maps, and random doodles. It’s amazing. Again, read it. Oh, and check out the website, it’s pretty fun too.

Score: 999,999 points

Tear factor: Near the end, when you finally learn what happened to little Layton, you will cry. Trust me.

Donate to the Blind? No, share with your friends (after giving them a new book suggestion *cough, cough*)

You'll love young Tecumsah Sparrow (T.S.)

I’m off to the $2 book store this afternoon to get a camping read (ok, and to visit the hot book store boy)…suggestions, please!

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This entry was posted on May 26, 2010 by in Books, Vacation.
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