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.
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!