WARNING: When I write about books, I try to sound intelligent.  Therefore, anything on this page will probably sound snobbish.  However, if you read the titles and skip my comments, you’ll find some pretty decent books 🙂

The Spy Wore Red ~Aline, Countess of Romanones

I just finished this book, and found it incredibly engrossing.  I wasn’t particularly impressed by the Countess’ writing style (I am a hardcore Wharton fan, after all) but her ability to weave a story is unquestionable.  The fact that most of the book is based on her actual experiences as a spy in World War II doesn’t hurt, either, although the truth of her histoire is controversial.  Nevertheless, fact or fiction, this is one heck of a story.  I am seriously looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy!

The House of the Spirits ~Isabel Allende

We’re reading this in my book club at the moment, to be discussed tomorrow at 10 a.m. (we’ll see how that goes, given that I’m still blogging at 2 a.m.).  It’s an epic, mesmerizing story about love, magic, family, and most of all, life.  If this sounds like every other book review you’ve ever read, forgive me, because I’m new at this.  The thing I love most about this book is dynamism of the characters.  There are many things to love: the richness of the setting, the fact that it’s almost impossible not to become immersed in the lives of the characters, the grand scale of the plot.  But to me, the most impressive aspect of the novel is the ability of the characters to grow.  The book seems almost alive to me, because I am there watching as the characters experience, process, adapt, and change.  It’s what I find so terrifyingly liberating about life, and what the art I love most tries to imitate.  Life is fragile, dynamic, and oh so short.  I love God because he gives us the freedom to embrace the transient nature of our lives here, pushing us to abandon our desire for safety and to freefall into the light.  Allende is able in The House of the Spirits to capture the dynamism of life in a beautiful portrait.

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