I bet you thought that I fell off the face of the earth.
Hell, I think that I may well have.
I am not sure exactly what my problem is, but I do know that I am in a slump. If you live in a snowy climate you know what doing a donut means. You get in the middle of a deserted parking lot filled with ice and then you race your car around in a circle really fast. You go nowhere and you may get a bit woozy, sort of losing your bearings. That is where I feel I am, doing donuts in the parking lot. I seem to be spinning my wheels a lot lately. I am not sure what direction I am headed and I feel like even if I got pointed the right way I wouldn't know how to drive anymore. Have you ever felt like that?
Over break I spent a lot of time just sitting in a chair with the fireplace going reading books. In fact, in December alone I completely read three books (of course one I had started months earlier, but still. Record!) Three! I know! I can barely read three in one year let alone in one month, and the last two were read in one week!
I like books that transport me to another time and place. That is what I got with the first one that I had been reading a long while. I read Carlos Ruiz Zafon's Shadow of the Wind a few year ago. He is an enchanting storyteller. This book, The Angel's Game takes place in Barcelona in the 1920s. Every chapter was a new twist that kept me hungry for more. This is a tale of obsession both in literature and in love as we follow the main character David Martin into a spiraling chain of events. In Zafon's books there is a connection to the Cemetery of Lost Books. That part is always fascinating to me, and I wish that he would spend more time on that. I hear that there is another book that is set to come out this summer that goes back to the same bookstore, different characters. The Angel's Game is a haunting book with whole passages that I will go back and read again someday, particularly the funeral of his friend Sempere the bookseller. If you are looking for intrigue and the mysterious world of a writer, this is a great read.
I was excited to read the book that my daughter got for Christmas ~ Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. Selznick is the author The Invention of Hugo Cabret (in theaters as Hugo ~ which I saw and would HIGHLY recommend! And in 3D!). This novel is only similar to Hugo in that it is graphic, the pictures tell half the story. But this one is even better than Hugo. I do hope that they make it into a movie. The cool part is that this is truly two stories that seem to be unrelated 50 years apart and merge in the end and intertwine. I was most impressed that Selznick is an artist and a writer and a storyteller and a researcher. All the things I love. He really delves into making sure that the the events in the book are true-to-life. And it is incredible how one little thing can spark the imagination of someone like Selznick. If you are so inclined, please check out this video of the author explaining this new book.
The last book I read is a bit more bizarre - or peculiar as the case may be. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. The haunting cover with a strange woman-child hovering in mid air was what sucked me in. I bought this last summer when we went school shopping. Took me this long to get around to reading it. This is also a book that has a mysterious twist and pictures that tell part of the story. The story is fantastical, involving time travel and monsters, a mysterious island and a strange cast of characters. Watch this YouTube video and see for yourself. I have read that Tim Burton is set to direct the movie. That would be fantastic!
What about you? Have you read any good books lately? Since I finished all of those I am on the hunt for something new for 2012!