|Out celebrating Katherine's birthday! Katherine, Liz, Alex, and me.|
Here's us, towards the end of the festival if you can't tell.
|See my little sampling mug?|
Aside from visiting new places, I've also been a busy book reader lately. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I finished The Book Thief, which was amazing. Maybe it's because I felt gipped in the World War II history department all throughout school, but I've always had an interest in any and all World War II fiction. The Book Thief is about a little German girl and the impact that Nazi Germany had on her childhood, as narrated by death, or a grim reaper-esque character. Sounds really uplifting, right? It actually had a surprisingly perfect mix of sad moments and laughable scenes, especially given such a heavy subject matter. Two thumbs up.
I also read The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory, the author of The Other Boleyn Girl. I'm sure there's a lot of criticism about her interpretations of history, but I really enjoyed this book. For all of the Shakespeare and accompanying history that I was force-fed as an English major I somehow couldn't remember learning about Mary, the queen of Scotland (aka the other queen), who was held captive in England throughout the middle years of Queen Elizabeth's reign, when it was up in the air as to whether she would ever get married and have a son to be heir to the throne. Whenever I read books about royalty I can't help but think how lame it would have been to be pretty much everyone else back then. If you weren't some sort of nobility you had to slave away your entire life for someone else, only to get beheaded or hanged or die at the hands of some disgusting disease. I guess we've got it pretty good now!
Last night I finished Jodi Picoult's Lone Wolf, also a great read. I've always been a big Jodi Picoult fan, although the last few books of hers that I've read have been somewhat similar in terms of the story being told from multiple perspectives and hinting at some plot-twisting secret that doesn't come out until the very end. I will say, the ending is never what I expected so she's got me there, and her subject matters are always different. She also does a thorough job researching her book topics and shedding light on flaws in the legal system as well as sticky moral dilemmas. In this book two children are forced to decide whether or not their father, who suffered severe brain trauma in a car wreck, should be taken off of life support or kept alive in a vegetable state. He had dedicated his life to the research of wolves, hence the title, which meant that I learned a lot of cool wolf facts along the way. Definitely a tear jerker- don't read it in public.
Whew! I feel like I just wrote three very incomplete book reports. I didn't want to give too much away, though- there's nothing worse than starting a book and knowing how it ends. If you have any good book suggestions, let me know... unless it's Twilight. I refuse to read those books.