Ever since I was a little kid I loved being lost in imaginary worlds created by authors. A book was a temporarily escape from the ordinary world. Just for a while you could imagine that you were there at Hogwarts when Harry defeated the Basilisk or when Mathilda convinced her parents to let her be adopted by that sweet primary school teacher, Miss Honey.
It was not reality, it did not set place in what people call the real world. But that did not make it any less real for us, the children who loved to read. When I got older, the time to read slowly started to slip away. Secondary school and after that university became more important. And the pile of books I devoured became smaller and smaller. I still read. And sometimes I long for those special days when I read 2 books a day. But most times the feeling of nostalgia fades away when I pick up another book.
I do not waste my time by reading terrible books anymore. The time I still get to read is precious so I make sure it counts. For those of you in the same position, I listed 4 books that I have recently read and loved. You might want to give them a try as well.
1. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
This story is set in Alaska about 100 years ago. Jack and Mabel, a couple that has never been able to have children, are drifting apart. One day, during the first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone but a girl, who calls herself Fiana, appears at the edge of the woods where the couple lives. The Snow Child is the heartbreaking story of a childless couple and their hopeless longing for a child.
It is a story about love and loss, sett in a beautiful but mysterious place. Author Eowyn Ivey knows how to move her readers by creating a jaw-dropping backdrop to a puzzling story. This book is not about solving the mystery of the snow child, it is about the readers’ journey along with the characters. It is not so much the wanting to know what is happening as it is knowing what is about to happen but wanting to avoid it. And that is all I am saying for now.
2. The Book Of Lost Things by John Connolly
The next novel revolves around the live of 12-year-old David who has just lost his mother and therefore feels abandoned. His father does not understand and he turns to books as they seem to be his only friends. Fairy tales begin to take over his life. The fine line between reality and imagination starts to crumble. Imaginary evil characters begin to taunt him in real life.
The dark yet thrilling story of David takes place in the 1940’s during World War II. I genuinely enjoyed The Book Of Lost Things and would describe it as a real page-turner. However, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea as its main character is a young boy with a somewhat childish imagination. It is one of those books that you either love or hate. I ended up finding pleasure in David’s story and would definitely recommend it.
3. The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson
Nombeko is a South-African girl that scoops up poop for a latrine management company. One day she is run over by an engineer. She survives but is blamed for the accident and needs to go work for him to pay of her debt. Somehow she stumbles upon a big secret that brings her life in danger. Nombeko decides to flee, which is the start of an enormous adventure.
This is the second book by Swedish journalist Jonas Jonasson. His first book ‘The Hunderd-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared’ is an international best-seller. Nombeko’s journey to Sweden is a delightful adventure. The characters are a very diverse group of people yet they inexplicably seem to belong together. This is definitely the most light-hearted book of the four.
4. Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Little June has always been very close to her uncle. So when he passes away her heart aches from an incredible loss. She however, soon finds out that she isn’t the only one missing him and an unlikely friendship begins to form between her and a secretive stranger.
This isn’t a happy story. I could not help but feel a little overwhelmed after finishing it. It is a humbling tale about losing a loved-one to AIDS and the mystery that comes with such a disease. Perhaps, I should have read and written about more cheerful books. But then again, just because a book tells a story about loss does not make it lifeless.
It might not be that easy to read that much anymore nowadays. I do still love it and therefore I would really like to know which books you read recently and what you thought of it!