March was a very special month for me because in March I met the author of The Book Thief, Markus Zusak. I went with my friends, Chris and Lisa, and my husband. We were only able to get two books signed each, but my good buddies were willing to bring my extra books through the line with me even though I was perfectly honest with Markus Zusak about the books and how they were all for me. Here's what he wrote in I Am the Messenger, "Dear Kacy, Here's to love, bank robbers that screw it up--and books..."He probably writes that all the time to everyone, but I don't care.
To my son he wrote, "Dear Sam, Here's to Jesse Owens impersonators and books." I like how he referred to Rudy in this one because Sam is about Rudy's age. Rudy is Markus Zusak's favorite character in the book.
To Maggie he wrote, "Dear Maggie, Thank your mum for this," which was sweet, I thought. He asked how old she was and whether I would give her the book now. I told him I'd probably wait a couple of years but she is actually reading it now. He said he didn't write it as young adult fiction. That's just the publisher he got.
And to my friend, Beth, who drove over to my house to insist that I read her copy of The Book Thief he wrote, "Dear Beth, Don't mind the Diet Coke--at least it's signed." I had kind of ruined Beth's copy and thought I would have to buy her another one. But in the end I gave her warped and ruined book back.
In addition to meeting one of my favorite authors, I also read some books in March.
Siblings Without Rivalry--It's full of great ideas, but none of them worked for me. Sigh.
Then I read As I Have Loved You. It's good, inspiring, and true. I recommend it.
The Discovery of Witches--It's equal parts Twilight and The Historian.
I hate this book. I almost quit reading it about 30 times. Usually if I am even inclined once to quit reading a book I put it down and move on to the next one. I should stick with that rule. I kept plowing through this because little bits of the story would interest me and propel me further but I hate the main character so much that the reading experience was very distasteful to me. She's supposed to be an independent academic but she spends the whole book being, literally, swaddled and spoon fed and put to bed. She is ostensibly a professor of history who starts dating (they go to yoga) a thousand-year-old vampire. You'd think she might have a few interesting questions for him about, oh, something to do with history? But she hardly asks him anything interesting. I guess because he is so sexy. You can read it--I won't hate you if you like it. But I will be interested to know if you do.
My mom loaned me Half Broke Horses after I read The Glass Castle.
I liked The Glass Castle better, but I really enjoyed this too. It is the imagined but basically true memoir of Jeanette Wells' grandma. She comes from an interesting family--that's for sure.
I also almost quit reading A Secret Kept. It's not that good. Once again, I should have quit reading at my first inkling of not liking it. Life's too short!
I never read Tatiana de Rosnay's first book, Sarah's Key. A lot of people recommended it to me though. The secret in A Secret Kept is pretty easy to guess. (Spoiler: Lesbians.) I did enjoy the writing but I don't get why I'm supposed to think the main character is so sympathetic because his wife left him and ALSO think his mother is so heroic for cheating on his dad with a (spoiler) woman. See what I mean? It's incongruous. You can skip it.
Mark Zusak wrote I Am the Messenger before he wrote The Book Thief. It is not a great book.
But I did enjoy it. The ending has a major twist which he doesn't quite pull off. But it has a moral message that I really liked. In fact, it says some of what The Book Thief says about being a good person and that doing small, nice things for people might be the difference between losers and heroes. I love the writing and sense of humor--but of course, I know Mark Zusak personally. I don't heartily recommend it. You won't like it as much as The Book Thief. But it is a thousand times better than The Discovery of Witches.
Then I read Real Simple Cleaning for a lark.
It got me in the mood to organize some drawers. But then it snowed.
In April I promise myself I will not finish any books I don't like.