Friday, January 25, 2008

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne is the story of Bruno, a nine-year-old boy who lives in Berlin in the 1940s. Bruno's family has to move because of his father's job as a soldier, and Bruno is not too happy about it. At his new home, Bruno comes face-to-face with a mysterious fence that contains many people wearing the same striped pajamas. One day, Bruno meets a boy his age that lives on the other side of the fence. This story is heartbreaking in its portrayal of ultimate evil and ultimate innocence. You simply must pick it up if you want to know what happens next. Read this book if you are interested in the Holocaust, if you like stories told from a unique perspective, or if you have heard that they are making the film and want to read the book first. I give it a 9 out of 10.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon is the story of a 15-year-old boy, Christopher, in England who finds his neighbor's dog murdered in her yard and decides to investigate the murder. What makes this story a more than average mystery is that the young man is autistic and narrates the entire book. As a reader, you get to view the thoughts of a boy who has autism which means that the story is very interesting to read. Christopher knows all the prime numbers and therefore, labels the chapters with them. He hates yellow, so he knows that if he sees four yellow cars in a row, it's going to be a black day which means he won't eat or talk to anyone. Christopher's world is fascinating and engaging to the reader. Once you get to a certain point in the story, you won't want to put the book down. Read this book if you're interested in autism, if you like mysteries, or if you're interested in a book that's different but fascinating. I give it an 8 out of 10.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Trouble with Poetry

The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins is a collection of beautiful poems by the former U.S. Poet Laureate. Collins is definitely a "poet for the people." His poetry is simple and easy to understand but so beautiful and truthful all at the same time. This is a book you can pick up and read one poem from in order to get so much from a quick read. Read this book if you love poetry, if you don't understand poetry but want to, or if you love the beauty of language. I give it a 10 out of 10.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is an amazing story about a young Spanish Shepherd who decides to pursue his own "Personal Legend." Along the way he meets people who help him learn lessons about listening to his heart and learning about the soul of the world. This book is highly spiritual but in a way I could connect with on a personal level. Coelho uses beautiful and simple language to portray the ultimate lesson that we all need to listen to our hearts in order to live life to the best of our abilities. Read this book if you like books about spirituality, if you enjoy reading about other cultures or other time periods, or if you want a quick read with deep meaning. I give it a 10 out of 10.