I’m still sick. *sighs* Bronchitis is not an easy thing to recover from. Thank goodness for cold medicines that make it slightly less awful.
Because we weren’t busy, I went home from work a couple of hours early yesterday, and that gave me the chance to finish a couple of books- Mary Beard’s SPQR, and Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind.
I had downloaded The Shadow of the Wind from the library back in August and read the first half, but for some reason I didn’t finish before it automatically returned itself, and I had to put my name back on the waiting list.
It was checked back out to me a few days ago, and I intended to finish it off over the next week or so. I finished the second half of the book last night, though, in spite of my random coughing fits and tendency to up and fall asleep.
It was wonderful.
The story is as follows: in 1945, Daniel’s father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books in the heart of Barcelona so he can pick out one book to read. Daniel chooses, The Shadow of the Wind, an entrancing book by Julian Caraxas that seems to be the only surviving story by the mysterious author. As Daniel grows up, his obsession with the book and the mystery of Julian Caraxas’ life and death grows until it takes over his life and threatens to consume everyone around him.
The writing is elegant but unpretentious, and suitably gothic without being overbearing. The characters are complex and believable- even the ones you only glance at from a distance. And the story… this wonderful story has so many twists and turns and has an ending I didn’t see coming at all, but makes perfect sense once the final explanation is given. The clues are all there, carefully placed so they’re part of the story’s world and not some extraneous element.
There are two more books in this series: The Angel’s Game and Prisoner of Heaven, as well as a potential fourth one coming out… someday? Maybe? I will be adding them to my To Read list for the future.
Next up, though, is Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife.
I had to venture out to the post office earlier to mail a birthday gift (a book, of course), and I bought some stamps. I had to. They’re Star Trek stamps, after all, and I’ve been a Trekkie since I was five years old.
Aren’t they great? Sixties-era designs with the color pallet associated with the original series- definitely a collector’s item I can get behind.