I love spending hours between the shelves of bookstores. Bookstores are like my haven of rest. I walk quietly and try to hear the books whisper their stories. When I touch the right one for me, I’ll know it. The words on the pages will interlace with the strings of my heart and will bring forgotten emotions to life. Sooner or later.
I fell in love again. No, not this kind of love. I’m in love with some beautiful new books I found the last time I decided to look for my peace of mind in a bookstore. Here they are!
The Art of Racing in the Rain
This is the first one that drew my attention. Adorable puppy eyes and a captivating title written with golden letters. I like rain and I’ve always wanted to just go out in the rain and enjoy the touch of every raindrop on my skin. Well, Garth Stein has a different idea of a race under the rain but this is definitely a book I’m going to read someday.
“In Mongolia, when a dog dies, he is buried high in the hills so people cannot walk on his grave. The dog’s master whispers into the dog’s ear his wishes that the dog will return as a man in his next life. Then his tail is cut off and put beneath his head, and a piece of meat or fat is placed in his mouth to sustain his soul on its journey; before he is reincarnated, the dog’s soul is freed to travel the land, to run across the high desert plains for as long as it would like.
I learned that from a program on the National Geographic channel, so I believe it is true. Not all dogs return as men, they say; only those who are ready.
I am ready.”
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals.
On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny’s wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it.
“The Art of Racing in The Rain has everything: love, tragedy, redemption, danger, and–best of all–the canine narrator Enzo. This old soul of a dog has much to teach to us about being human. I loved this book.”
Sara Gruen, Author of “Water for Elephants “
“I savored Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain for many reasons: a dog who speaks, the thrill of competitive racing, a heart-tugging storyline, and–best of all–the fact that it is a meditation on humility and hope in the face of despair. Since finishing this engagingly unique novel, I’ve found myself staring at my own dog, thinking, Hmm, I wonder …”
Wally Lamb, Author of “She’s Come Undone” and “I Know This Much Is True”
The Girl with Glass Feet
Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St Hauda’s Land. Unusual winged creatures flit around icy bogland; albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods; jellyfish glow in the ocean’s depths… and Ida MacLaird is slowly turning into glass.
A mysterious and frightening metamorphosis has befallen Ida – she is slowly turning into glass, from the feet up. She returns to St Hauda’s Land, where she believes the glass first took hold, in search of a cure.
Midas Crook is a young loner, who has lived on the islands his entire life. When he meets Ida, something about her sad, defiant spirit pierces his emotional defences. As Midas helps Ida come to terms with her affliction, she gradually unpicks the knots of his heart, and they begin to fall in love…
What they need most is time – and time is slipping away fast. Will they find a way to stave off the spread of the glass?
“Whisper” is one of my favorite words. I believe there is magic in it. There is magic in this book, too. One more author I’ve never heard before and one more book in the “love at first sight” category. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even find this one in the bookstore. It just appeared while I was looking for something else on the internet and I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
“I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin… “
Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears a frightening whisper from Jessica’s own mind, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.
The Almost Moon
OK, one more novel by Alice Sebold on my list and I haven’t even bought “The Lovely Bones” yet. Shame on me! I wish I had enough money (because I know I’ll have enough time in August and being too busy to read is not an excuse). But I don’t want to ruin everything with a money talk so I’ll repeat once again how easy it is to be compelled by a beautiful book. I know I’m not the only one!
Helen Knightly has spent a lifetime trying to win the love of a mother who had none to spare. And as this electrifying novel opens, she steps over a boundary she never dreamt she would even approach. But while her act is almost unconscious, it also seems like the fulfilment of a lifetime’s buried desire.
Over the next twenty-four hours, her life rushes in at her as she confronts the choices that have brought her to this crossroads.
“Exhilarating, unforgettable . . . This is a remarkable novel in which every word is vital, each nuance felt . . . Candid, gut-wrenching, at times horribly funny and often beautifully touching . . . The genius which guides The Almost Moon is its absolute, horrible, multiple truths; its staggering clarity.”
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
“As moving as it is unquestionably gripping”
“As gripping as it is strange and wild . . . My God, it grips . . . I lay awake half the night, feverishly hoping both that it would never end, and that it would all be over soon.”
Rachel Cooke, Evening Standard
I’m sure there are many more books somewhere on the shelves of a quiet bookstore awaiting to be discovered. I’ll hear them calling when they are ready to show me how colorful the world can be.