Well, I haven't written any proper book reviews lately, but I have been reading, of course. So here are three books I feel like talking about:
Tales from the Secret Annexe by Anne Frank
I had read the Diary of Anne Frank a couple of times, but it wasn't until last year that I learned that there was actually another book by her – and that a compilation of some edited diary entries, essays, short stories, and the beginnings of a longer story. Of course, when I did find out, being a general fan of her diary, I really wanted to read it. So I put it on my goodreads want-to-read list, and waited for someday when I decided to order more books. Well, then my friend and her family went overseas, and they ended up in Amsterdam. While they were there they got to visit the Secret Annexe – where Anne Frank penned most of her diary. But, they must've also visited the shop in the front of Anne's house, because upon their return, I received this book in the mail! Now books themselves are just plain exciting, but a book I really wanted to read, and a book that had literally come all the way from Anne Franks house itself?! Added to that, it was as good as, and better than I expected. There are a few things in there that I don't agree with, but overall it is an excellent book – the stories are well-written, and have underlying themes, morals - the most common of which is simply get outside, look at nature, and find contentment. The diary entries are good, and they make me laugh. Mostly Anne is just so plain – she says what she thinks, and often that includes unpleasant sentiments about various members of the shared house, mostly about Mrs Van Daan, of course. Anne wanted to be a writer when she grew up and the war was over, and while she never got there, her writing did. I always find it inspiring to read her thoughts, because they're deep and real, and yet she was only a young teenager.
It Took a War by Emily Ann Putzke
I first discovered this book late last year, before it was even published, actually. I really enjoyed reading the author's blog, and when her book was published, I really wanted to read it because 1) It's historical fiction, which is one of my favourite genres; 2) it sounded like a good, interesting book anyway, and 3) the author is just nineteen! (Wow). That is very inspiring for me, obviously, as I would like to be an author myself, so I really had to read her book. I wanted the paperback version, but that worked out hugely expensive, so I settled on getting the ebook. Then, I ended up getting it extremely cheaply on a Valentines day special! Anyway, I read it, and it was really good. The story itself was simple and went by pretty fast, but it was still good and well-written, and the characters were relate-to-able. While it is a story set during the Civil War, which I know practically nothing about, that didn't make it boring at all, and I could still follow everything. So, yes it was really good and inspiring, as I've said three times already. Check out the author's website for more about her life & writing, here. She also wrote a really good WWII short story the other day too, here.
The Shadow Line by Joseph Conrad
Apparently Joseph Conrad was a British novelist in the very early 1900's, but I'd never heard of him. Until, that is, I was browsing the book section of an op shop, and I discovered this little book by him, called The Shadow Line. I bought it (for $1, I might add) just because I liked the cover, and it was old; I like old books, and I'm aspiring to have a whole shelf of them someday. :) Later I discovered more about Joseph Conrad, and that this book was first published in 1915, although my edition is a little bit younger. Apparently also, it's a mostly autobiographical account. I haven't read it yet, but I'm looking forward to it. But seriously, even if the story is mediocre, the cover will still be there, and that's what sold me in the first place. I always keep my eye out for these old covers – and older. I saw one in another op-shop the other day that was really nice – published in 1907. But unfortunately, someone saw value in it, and priced it accordingly. :(
So there you have it: three books I feel like talking about. Actually, I'm rather behind with writing and posting, so it's been a few weeks since I read the first two, and bought the last one. I still feel like talking about them though, so that's how good they were. :) What have you been reading lately? Have you scored any bookish bargains recently?