As I told you, I chose short books for the Readathon, and that was the best idea I ever had: I read five books during the event! And, this is remarkable, all of them were interesting and enjoyable reads. This was a surprise because I just browsed the library and borrowed books based entirely on their number of pages, without any further information about them but the synopsis on the back cover.
I read almost all of them in Spanish, but I have seen they have also been translated into English, so I am free to recommend them here on my blog :)
Bitter Herbs: The Vivid Memories of a Fugitive Jewish Girl in Nazi Occupied Holland (Marga Minco)
The story starts when the German soldiers enter Marga’s town and, when she asks her father if they are going to deport the Jews, like they were doing in Germany, he says that ‘Something like that could never happen here‘. Her family didn’t want to leave the country and none of them survived except Marga.
It is a terrible story, of course, but the author doesn’t put any sentimentalism on the text; she just gives us her memories as facts for us to cover the passages with the fear and pain Marga must have felt in her youth.
The blue fox (Sjón)
The story starts with a priest chasing a fox for its fur but, as they move towards the mountains through the snow, the narration is interrupted to tell us what has happened those days in the village. There has been a death, and thanks to the preparations for her funeral, we are going to know the story of a girl who was “different”.
This is that kind of book you don’t want to talk about so much, for the prospective readers to discover the story by themselves. It is thought-provoking, sad and beautiful.
I wish someone were waiting for me somewhere (Anna Gavalda)
What they have in common is the impact of one single event that, in less than a minute, changes everything. Apart from this, there are different genres, characters, situations, etc.
I specially liked three of them: a humorous story about two rich boys who take their father’s car without permission; one about a female veterinarian who has trouble making herself a place in a small village; and one about a salesman whose life has been destroyed by himself alone.