A Conspiracy of Kings – by Megan Whalen Turner. I talked about the first three books in the series here and this one? Not even a little disappointing. It focused on Sophos, heir to Sounis and his coming-of-age and the growth of his wisdom as a leader and man. This book has all the twistiness, the turns and the heart of Turner’s other novels, and it was really wonderful. It was also among the first books I finished on my Kindle. (It doesn’t really encourage me to be less ADD with my reading. I’m currently reading a biography of Jane Austen, a biography of Emily Dickinson, and a book on the Orthodox church.)
In the paper book world, I read one of the most heart-breaking books of the year this weekend. Still Alice, by Lisa Genova. It’s about a Harvard professor’s descent into early-onset Alzheimer’s. The novel is chock full of actual information about the disease without once stepping into the boredom of preachiness (Sophie’s World, anyone, on philosophy?) In college, I would have rather proudly informed you that no book or movie could make me cry. I thought it was a sign of strong midwestern stoicism, turns out it was just immaturity. College and grad school, if they taught me anything, taught me to cry. The sympathy I felt about other people’s losses and struggles ripened into empathy. This book? Really beautiful and really sad. It’s about dealing with loss and coming to terms with grief. It’s touching, it made me cry and I would highly recommend it to everyone. If you already read and loved it, may I recommend C.S. Richardson’s short and sweet The End of the Alphabet as a novel with a similar sweet, sorrowful feel.