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Page Turners Best Books of March 2024

The three books in this review post are in the top ten of Best Books Ever! Amazing, beautiful, heartbreaking, hopeful. Oh, so good!

This month was a weird one for me. I have only 3 books I finished. I have 4 marked DNF. Those were purely awful, too confusing, or I could not pay attention.

The 3 reviewed here are the ones you need to read.

Page turners for March2024, best books of the month, book reviews including The Humans, The Book Thief, and Demon Copperhead.

In this post, for your convenience, you may find Amazon Affiliate links to resources. This means that Amazon will pass on small percentages to me with your purchase of items. This will not create extra costs for you at all! It will help me keep this blog running!

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

This book was on my Top Ten list for 2023 and I reread it this month for a Book Club. It was even more astounding on the second read.

The story is set in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. Demon is a boy born to a teenage alcoholic with little means to care for herself, let alone a baby.

He has red hair, clever sarcasm, and an amazing will to survive. The story races along and never pauses as Demon encounters one trial after another. Told from his point of view Demon faces abuse from his step-father, the horrendous situations of foster care, working jobs even as a child, terrible schools, success as an athlete, addiction, and more.

Demon learns something early in life. “I was a lowlife,” he says, “born in a mobile home, so that’s like the Eagle Scout of trailer trash.”

At age 10, Demon enters the foster care system when his mother dies. He is placed on a farm with several orphaned boys, all of whom are treated poorly by the farmer. Demon, attempting to save food or money, must hand over anything of value to an older boy.

Next, he moves to the McCobbs where he sleeps in a dog’s room and must earn money to give to the family. Attending school is a nightmare and Demon is always hungry and poorly dressed. He is bullied by his classmates. And then, hope arrives in the form of a new placement.

I will leave the details out because I want you to read this book.listened to it a year ago and read a physical copy this year. The narrator was magnificent. You will feel like it is Demon telling you his story. The physical copy presented the beautiful words in a different way. My book is loaded with tabbed passages that are breathtaking. FIVE STARS for this must-read book!

The Humans by Matt Haig

The Humans by Matt Haig is a captivating novel skillfully blending humor, depth, and profound reflections on the human condition.

From the beginning, Haig leads you on an extraordinary journey through the perspective of an alien inhabiting a human body.

This alien tackles the complexities of human existence, giving us, real humans a glimpse of the world we live in- from the point of view of someone who knows nothing about us. It’s pretty mind-blowing.

The author explores themes – love, empathy, and the search for meaning as a human. This quote resonated with me, “Humans, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

What a dilemma we humans have. We learn, but do we really? It’s challenging to admit we are wrong or blindly following what others dictate, and we don’t change. Goodness.

The author fills even the darkest moments with warmth and wit. His writing is elegant yet understandable. I stopped often to reread specific lines – like the one below:

“Humans exist simultaneously in two worlds- the world of appearances and the world of truth.”

The story progresses through the alien’s visit by having him experience meeting people, learning about wearing clothing, learning the languages he needs, and becoming accustomed to eating human food (most of which he hates). Will he learn to care about these humans he is amongst? Will he have friends? What is he doing on earth?

I will not answer any of those questions here, so let’s just say The Humans is a book that leaves a lasting impression. I loved it and can highly recommend that you try it. Sad, beautiful, hopeful. 5+ stars!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

There are not enough words to describe the power of this book.

“He watched them grow, until eventually, great forests of words had risen throughout Germany… It was a nation of formed thoughts.”

The author describes the events of WWII through the eyes of Liesel, the Book Thief. The story is narrated by Death.

The quotes throughout tell the story of the German people, many of whom stood by and watched as their country was overtaken.

Liesel is an orphan who never knew her father. Her mother disappears after delivering her to her new foster parents, and her younger brother dies on the train to Molching where the foster parents live. Death meets 9-year-old Liesel when her brother dies, and then watches her steal her first book, The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left lying in the snow by her brother’s grave.

Her foster parents, Hans and Rosa Herbermann, are poor Germans given a small allowance to take her in. Hans, a tall, quiet man with silver eyes, is a house painter who plays the accordion. He teaches Liesel to read and write. Rosa is gruff and calls everyone horrible names but somehow she is lovable. She is a laundress taking in the washing of local wealthy people. Liesel is best friends with a neighbor Rudy.

And Liesel is also the Book Thief. While at the mayor’s home with Rosa, Liesel enters the library.

“…the book thief could touch the shelves within a few small steps. She ran the back of her hand along the first shelf, listening to the shuffle of her fingernails gliding across the spinal cord of each book. It sounded like an instrument, or the notes of running feet. She used both hands…How many books had she touched?”

These few sentences are just perfection if you are a reader. How many times have you walked through a library or book store and felt you needed to touch the books?

It should be no surprise to anyone that a Jewish person might turn up. They were being rounded up, killed, and persecuted by this time. The man arrives to Hans and Rosa’s home having been sent there by his mother. He’s the son of a friend of Hans from the WWI. Hans had promised to help her if she ever needed it. Despite the danger to himself and his family, the man is allowed to stay and live in their basement.

There are so many more details and quotes I would love to write here, but it would be so much better if you read this book and savor the pages as I did. It was extraordinary, heartbreaking, breathtaking, hopeful, and sad. 5++ stars

These 3 were the only books I read this month, but, oh what a great reading month it was! Try them all.

RELATED ARTICLES

Page turners for March2024, best books of the month, book reviews including The Humans, The Book Thief, and Demon Copperhead.

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