I love to read. Being curled up with a good book on a rainy day is almost perfection. Better yet, reading a good book to my grandchildren is perfection. The last time I finished reading a book to my #1 granddaughter, she said unsolicited, "I love you", as she ran out to play with her friends. My heart almost stopped as I thought, "she loves a good book as much I do".
I am always on the hunt for a good read and I find myself looking more and more to the Young Adult section of the bookstore. Why, you might ask? YA authors are telling the best stories. Young Adult Literature runs the whole spectrum from To Kill A Mockingbird to Bruiser to The Book Thief. The characters are fully formed in their humanity and don't rely on stereotypical shorthand to describe who they are. Also YA Literature doesn't shy away from looking at the ugly and the evil of this world but it also incorporates the good and uplifting of the human spirit. The end may not always turn out as we hope but we are left with the feeling that what is good in man survived.
Right now, on the recommendation of my friend and fellow Haven Retreat compatriot, Lorraine Nelson Tom, I am reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The book is wonderful and to reinforce my credibility, I will mention The Book Thief movie, directed by Brian Percival is being released on November 8. You may know Percival's other directing credits, Downton Abby. (And to be clear, I am not being compensated for writing about any of this, though if anyone were inclined to send money, gold jewelry or first class round trip tickets to Paris, I would not stop them.)
But back to the subject at hand...finding a good book. The Book Thief has been a slower read for me; why a slow read when it's beautifully crafted with an interesting storyline? It's a slow read because it takes place in Nazi Germany and the story is being told by Death. Yes, Death as a character and a more fully drawn character than one would imagine. I have slowly been making my way though the book as one would walk up a set of dark stairs. Is there a terrifying monster lurking at the top of the stairs or is my fear greater than reality? What keeps me moving forward is my belief that YA authors want to salvage the kernel of humanity that exist even during horrifying human experiences while telling an engaging story. Markus Zusak is no exception.
I am recommending The Book Thief along with the whole world of YA Literature because I believe you will be entertained, engaged and inspired. The next time you are on Amazon or browsing the shelves of Barnes and Nobles, check out the Young Adult section. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find. Additionally, my friend Lorrie (see above) is also writing a book. The working title is: How Real Love Ruined the Men of My Dreams. I can't wait for it to get published because I know it is going to be hilariously great.