1. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
From the Inside Flap-
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.
“Terrifying…Eloquent…A heart-rending drama of human yearning.”–New York Times
“A narrative of arresting force. Anyone who ever fancied wandering off to face nature on its own harsh terms should give a look. It’s gripping stuff.”–Washington Post
“Compelling and tragic…Hard to put down.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Engrossing…with a telling eye for detail, Krakauer has captured the sad saga of a stubborn, idealistic young man.”–Los Angeles Times Book Review
“It may be nonfiction, but Into the Wild is a mystery of the highest order.” –Entertainment Weekly
WHY I LIKED IT:
It really was hard to put down. I read it in about three days, and enjoyed every minute of it. Krakauer mixes stories of other peoples similar experiences in with Chris McCandlesses which is really interesting. I also liked that there were real pictures Chris had took and excerpts from his journal that he wrote in on his journey. Also (just for the heck of it), this summer I read another book by Krakauer called “Under the Banner of Heaven.” Probably the most interesting book I have EVER read on religion (Mormon). It is seriously a really great book, email me and I will give you a better synopsis and recommendation.
My Rating: 4 out 5 stars!
2. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
From the Inside Flap:
Everything his readers expect from Follett
is here: intrigue, fast-paced action and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time—the twelfth century; the place—feudal England; and the subject—the building of a Gothic cathedral. The author has recreated the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The forests, the walled towns, the castles and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters—into their dreams, their labors and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena
, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge
; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is vividly brought to life. The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of this construction, Follett
weaves a story of betrayal, revenge and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king. At once a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age, The Pillars of the Earth is without doubt Ken Follett
“An extraordinary epic buttressed by suspense … a mystifying puzzle involving the execution of an innocent man… the erection of a magnificent cathedral… romance, rivalry and spectacle… a monumental masterpiece… a towering triumph from a major talent!” – ALA Booklist
“A seesaw of tension … impeccable pacing … action, intrigue, violence and passion … a novel that entertains, instructs and satisfies on a grand scale!” – Publishers Weekly
“Follett is a master.” – Washington Post.
“A towering tale … a ripping read … there’s murder, arson, treachery, torture, love, and lust” – New York Daily News.
“Very good … fine detail… fast-paced, engaging – an enjoyable historical thriller, well told”. – Chicago Tribune.
Why I Liked It:
This book is 900+ pages and I couldn’t put it down. I was completely ignoring everything else around me and was so engrossed. I never thought I would like a story from this time period, but I so did. Also, it is the latest Oprah Book. I haven’t always been a fan of her choices (until more recently), but this book is amazing. In fact, I am going to go ahead and say that it is one of my favorite books EVER! There is a sequel, called “World Without End.” I am waiting until I have a break in school to read it, as if I start during school, that is all I will think about I am sure.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!