Living In The Shadow Of The Wind

The other day at lunch, my sister-in-law, Kathy, knowing that I’m a reader asked if I planned to read Fifty Shades of Grey.  I wasn’t feeling well and actually shuddered saying, “No, that’s not my kind of book.”  She just smiled because I think she got the reaction she expected and she agreed with it.

What makes something “my kind of book” or “not my kind of book?”  It’s a very personal thing and as with so many things in my life, I don’t do them just because they’re popular.  I prefer to make my own mistakes, Thank You!

For a long time, I resisted reading The Lovely Bones.  Very popular but I’d read a blurb and didn’t think I’d enjoy it due to the subject matter.  When I finally read it, I loved the book.  I made the mistake of starting to look at other people’s reviews of it on Goodreads before I’d finished it and it crushed me that some people gave it bad reviews.  I haven’t made that mistake again.

The same thing happened with The Hunger Games.  Too many people saying too many things about it, I just stayed away.  Then my friend Kristen, whose opinion I respect started telling me about it.  I thought she was a reliable source.  She was even offering to lend me her copies of the trilogy.  How could I resist.  I zoomed right through them and enjoyed all three of them.

Lately, you’ve been hearing me bemoan the fact that I’m not finding a good book to read.  I start one and can’t even finish it because it just doesn’t work for me.  I got through A Novel Bookstore and kept waiting for something to happen.  Big build up…no finish.  I was disappointed, especially because I paid real money for that…didn’t buy it at Goodwill or a thrift store.


I always loved this cartoon!

Then I found The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

The Shadow of the Wind (El cementerio de los libros olvidados, #1)

I had never heard of this book.  I found it at Goodwill and because it was a paperback, it cost me 49 cents.  It sat in my “to read” pile (of which there are several!) and I kept picking other books first.  The blurb on the back looked interesting which is why I took it off of the shelf to begin with.  But…I’ve been burned so many times lately I didn’t want to dive into what sounded like a complex story.  Then a book blogger who I read mentioned loving it.  Then another one mentioned it.  Then one of my blogger friends, Allie said how much she loved it.

I dragged it out from almost the bottom of that particular pile and said “What the Heck!”

I’m so glad I did.  I can’t remember when I was so drawn into a story.  It was complex but in a way that took you deeper and deeper into the story of these lives.  I was particularly struck by the fact that if I hadn’t known, I would never guess that this was a translation.  It was set in Barcelona, a city that fascinates me, and the character and location names were Spanish.  Other than that, no indication.  The story flowed well and as each new twist occurred, it sucked me in more.  I loved it.

When I finished it yesterday I let out a yelp.  Ralph came into the bedroom.  I hadn’t been feeling well…he thought I was getting sick!  I just laughed and told him I’d finished the book (which I’d been telling him about as I progressed) and it was a great ending.

Then I did something I doubt I’ve ever done before.  I re-read the last two chapters, just because I wanted to relive what happened and stay in the book.

It was a terrific book and I recommend it.  It’s a book you have to pay attention to because it’s filled with details.  In fact, this is a book, I know I’m going to hold on to because I’d like to read it again, to catch all of the details I might have missed the first time.

Now the hard part is to pick a book to read After reading a book I enjoyed so much.  I’ll have to check my pile! 😉

Happy Friday!  Go Read A Book!





28 responses to “Living In The Shadow Of The Wind

  1. Loved your blog and I never depend on other’s critique about a book or movie. I investigate on my own and like you, are sometimes disappointed, but sometimes I’m pleastanly surprised. Have a great day and I’ll check out The Shadow of the Wind.

    • Marie, I think you’ll really like it. A rich and dark(which you’ll like) story. Well worth the effort in my opinion. From what my friend tells me his other book The Angel’s Game is also very good. He’s also written some young adult fiction which I found out when I did some research.

  2. Definitely move on to The Angel’s Game. It’s a … sequel? prequel? related tome? Kinda hard to describe and I didn’t love it as much as I loved Shadow but it’s still awfully good.

  3. oh, i love book talk!!! please let us know when you get started on your next read, fran!!
    i was like that after i read “the help” – took me weeks to get into another book! i had to do a chick lit/fluff read to clear my brain.
    i hear you on questioning what makes a book “my book” – it’s hit and miss! i have stayed away from the hunger games…should i try it??? i started the girl with the dragon tattoo and gave up 150 pages in – *not my thing.*
    i really enjoy reading your reviews – i love reading! so fun to find blog friends with whom we share common interests.
    laughing at poor ralph hearing you yelp! 🙂

    • I really enjoyed The Hunger Games, Cathy. A little gorey yes, but very interesting and I’m quite surprised that it was intended for a young adult audience. I think it’s worth the effort. I read Girl With The Dragon Tatto, and the second one, the name escapes me at the moment. I heard several people say that it took a couple hundred pages to get in to both of them. Guess I had more patience, then. Haven’t read the last one. I keep meaning to request it at the library because I don’t like to pay “real” money for books if I can help it. I love talking books. You should go to Sign up and we can be friends there, too! I love that site, I find books I want to read on there. Like I need more!!!

  4. I’ll put that book on my list. 🙂

    I felt the same way about The Lovely Bones; I resisted it for a long time, but once I read it, I thought it was wonderful.

  5. Hey there, Frannie — thanks so much for the review of some of the books you’ve read. I read only the first of the Hunger Games trilogy and am totally hooked — it is quite an adventure. As you know, I am dysylic (spelling??) so I love to read to keep up with the challenge. I usually get books from our local library since I am trying to downsize on some of the clutter I have built up from over 40 years of living in our home. So, I’ve added your book to my growing list of reads — thanks — and great post — oxo

  6. So glad you enjoyed this! It’s definitely a book I try to recommend as often as possible, haha. And I’m in that awkward new book transition stage too–it’s so hard to finish a good book and then disrupt that mood/feeling with something different. (And I just switched from epic fantasy to Russian lit…my brain is definitely struggle to adjust…)

  7. So wish I still had the desire to read. Grad school sucked the reading life outta me for awhile. I will be a bibliophile again, though!

    • Jayne, I’ve gone in and out of being a big reader. It came back to me a few years ago and intensified when I had a long commute and discovered audio books. Now I’m actually challenging myself to read as much as possible. I take that tee shirt seriously that says “So Many Books…So Little Time.” I’m starting to feel that!

  8. I had a poster size print of that cartoon when I was stdying Geology in college. I wish it had survived the many moves since then.

  9. That has officially been added to my to-read list… that list is ever increasing and it’s a-okay with me 🙂

  10. I love those books, where you literally can’t put them down – I’m reading a new one called Saplings at the moment and I was literally standing at the door with it in my hand this morning, knowing I was going to be late for work but still reading! I might have to try The Shadow of the Wind; that’s the second great review I’ve seen of it today… and I love that cartoon 🙂

  11. I hope you feel better soon!!! 😦

    still glad you liked hunger games. I always hesitate to try any book that’s loved by the masses… harry potter, twilight, hunger games… and crazily, I always sort of love them. after hunger games and the night circus, I still haven’t found anything I adore quite so much.

    • That’s the way I’ve been since I finished The Night Circus. This one really did it for me! I’m feeling better at the moment, but that’s the way it’s been for the last 5 days. Ok in the morning, then I start to feel yucky again. Wish I knew what it was. Travel Safe today. Let me know when you’re safely home!

  12. I had to laugh- I also am not sure I want to read 50 Shades of Grey. I’m not a prude by any means, but I’ve heard many English and lit majors say the writing is horrendous and it’s pretty much just porn. Meh.
    Have you read “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” yet? It’s another YA lit book, but it’s very interesting and will keep you hooked until the end. The concept is unique as well. The author found a bunch of random weird pictures and built a story around them. Great read.

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