You could be forgiven for thinking I’ve given up on my BBC Big Read Top 200 challenge. I haven’t…I’ve just been…distracted by books that aren’t on the list. And it’s been quite nice reading things I want to read instead of things I feel I have to, ya know?
The Silver Sword, by Ian Serraillier. This is on the list (#156), and I think its spot well-deserved. It is a children’s book (aimed at pre-teens, I would say), but I think my plowing through it has as much to do with the tale as the length and ease of read. It tells the story of three siblings who flee from the Nazis in war-torn Warsaw, and their journey to be reunited with their parents in Switzerland.
Tiny, Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed. A book based on an advice column, this was recommended by a friend and is the kind of book that
should be must be neeeeeds to be shared. Strayed isn’t a therapist or a counselor, but she has lived an interesting, colourful, tragic life and her responses to the myriad of “Dear Sugar” letters are heartfelt, poignant, genuine, poetic, thought-provoking, honest and insightful. It’s the kind of book that will touch every reader differently, and every reader will take something away from Strayed’s responses.
And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini. From the author of Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, this book had big shoes to fill. It’s different to the other two, and I actually preferred it, surprisingly. It doesn’t depress or shock in the way the previous books did, and although the subject matter – the ultimate repercussions of war and the effects of displacement on generations of Afghanis – is grim, the characters are such that they pull the story out of possible despair and into hope.
And before that:
Days of Blood and Starlight, by Laini Taylor. The book following Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Wowsers. I can’t find the words to describe how much I loved this book, so instead, I’ll direct you to the reviews of Angela and Sarah. They loved it too, and if my brain was working properly right now, my review would say pretty much was theirs do. I will say this: Tiny was almost late to kindy one day because I simply HAD to finish this book. Had to. Sigh. Hanging out for the third book to be released in April next year.