Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Greetings my dear friends and happy holidays and happy 2009. Although we all have yet to post on our last book club assignment (I'll do it today or tomorrow....) it is now January and time for a new book. After looking over our previous reads, I am choosing something that goes in a very different direction...

THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This is one of my favorite books. It is full of mystery, intrigue, romance, danger, suspense and great writing. This book caused me to miss my stop on a train, take extremely long lunch breaks, stay up way past my bed time, and sneak into the bathroom at work to read just one more chapter. My problem with most page turners is a thin plot or poor writing style, but Zafon is a master author and weaves an intense plot with well developed characters and a complex storyline beautifully. I'm getting excited to read it again.

Here is the description from the author's website:

"Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out 'La Sombra del Viento' by Julian Carax. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead."

Still not convinced? Here are some reviews...

"A potent mix: a coming-of-age story set in Barcelona's post-war years, an edge of fantasy, a tragic love story, and a labyrinth of mystery."

"Zafón makes sure there's a robust serving of amor, and enough magic, murder and madness to keep even the most reluctant reader engrossed. Diabolically good."

"...There is no question that Wind is wondrous.... [M]asterful, meticulous plotting and extraordinary control over language.... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero."
- Entertainment Weekly

"The Shadow of the Wind will keep you up nights---and it'll be time well spent. Absolutely marvelous."
- Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Well, now that I have your attention, let me introduce you to a helpful website where you can read an excerpt from the book... click HERE... and you will find intriguing questions, more reviews, a summary, and other info about the novel. And in the interest of our pocket books, I even looked it up on "half.com" and you can buy the book new for less then $10 and slightly used for even cheaper. It is also available in my public library as I am sure it is in yours...so you have that option too. In other words this book is just waiting for you to pick it up and enjoy it.

I hope everyone enjoys this novel, it is one of my favorites and I am excited to see what everyone thinks. Happy reading!!


Mary said...

I just electronically reserved it it from the library. I'm excited to get started Mand, you make it seem like a real adventure of a book.

Catherine said...

I just reserved it at my library too! I am excited for somethign different. I hope to post about the Bonds book and our choice her in teh next week or so. Who ever knew having a nine month old daughter would take away from my reading time :)

Emilee said...

I was actually wondering if our book club had died. I'm excited about the book that Mandy suggested especially since she is so enthused about it. I reserved it at the library so I'll start as soon as I can. Looking forward to it.

Heather said...

Sounds exciting! I'm looking forward to it!

Shelli said...

I think I'm going to have to buy it because all the copies at the local libraries (plural) have at least 3 holds on each copy. :) It must be a good book! I'm excited!

P.S. I apologize for the non-fiction attempt two months ago ... I think it's my fault our group has been dragging its feet. :)

Emilee said...

Shelli, I don't know you very well but I do know that it wasn't your fault. It was a great idea to do a non-fiction book. It was just a very busy month (probably for all of us). Don't feel bad!