One of the best parts of summer is the time it opens up to leisurely enjoy good books. During the school year, it’s all about getting through classes and passing finals. Copious amounts of speed-reading on topics you may care about but will probably still struggle to get through 100 pages of. For those taking summer classes, free time is still hard to find; however, there is something about beautiful weather that makes it hard to focus entirely on required subjects. Spend an hour here and there on reading for fun, it’s good for you.
The hardest part about reading for pleasure is simply choosing the book. There are so many options, and it can be difficult to make choices for yourself, especially when you have grown being told what to pick up next throughout the school year. Suddenly you can make a decision based on your current mood and your patience level; the time it would take to speed-read doesn’t have to come into calculation at all. You are in control.
All anyone else can do is make suggestions for books to read, which is what this is. In this Arts & Entertainment section, throughout the summer, you can find recommendations for books you can then pick up the next time you’re at a library or a book store.
This week’s book: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner.
Don’t let yourself be scared away by the fact that it is the first in a series; each book is relatively short–this one is no more than 300 pages–and is a pretty quick read. After reading the first book, you may find you enjoy it so much you are comforted knowing the story continues.
The Thief starts out in a grimy prison cell of some medieval-style castle within a world different from our own. The story draws significantly from Classical Greek traditions, particularly in the presence of a pantheon of goddesses and gods. Within this prison sits a dirty young boy, whose name is soon revealed to be Gen. Though the story is told in first-person through Gen, starting with him alone in the prison and moving on as he becomes part of a small party on a quest to find a jewel with legendary powers, it is astounding how little the reader is actually able to figure out about him.
Gen remains the most intriguing character, with nothing ever fully revealed about his character, past or nature, and the majority of his actions come a surprise to the reader as much as they do to his companions. At times, this lack of information can become confusing. Still, for the most part, this mystery serves to make the story all the more engaging and the adventure twice as thrilling. The book throws multiple twists and turns at the reader and few of them can be guessed beforehand. This mystery, combined with a collection of witty exchanges and intense action scenes, results in a book you will likely struggle to put down.