The Child Theif

Gerald Brom

I enjoy dark retellings of popularised sanguine Disney characters. These “dark fairy tales” seem to rekindle the spirit of the original fables, lore, and tales shared for generations before Disney’s adaptations. For these reasons, I picked up Brom’s story.

I received a suitably grim novel for those sharing my slightly twisted streak, Brom retells Peter Pan for the modern listener filled with wondrous depictions and incredible world building.

The three-dimensional characters are some of the most astounding characters written in fantasy today (rivalling Abercrombie and Martin). The depth of the characters ensures there are no good and no bad roles. No black and white. Merely people.

Once I finished the novel, I was delighted by the tale. I read it late into the night and dreamt of Avalon and Peter until society sucked me back into its tight grasp. When work threatened to overwhelm, the actual meaning of this story surfaced.

I stood up, walked out of the office, and went for a walk in the beautiful park downtown that I often comment on but rarely enjoy. I watched children play in the river next to the sign stating the rocks and water is NOT for swimming, I saw a dog running with an adolescent near a sign mounted demanding the reader to stay off the grass, and I felt the sun kiss my skin and release the need to play. The magical innocence of childhood rekindled, I returned to work, finished my working day, went home and romped with the two puppies waiting impatiently on my return. The world is filled with rules which take from the magic; we should fight to keep the magic alive.

-A Bookish Girl

Believe Me

Eddie Izzard

I received a digital advance reader edition of this book for free from firsttoread.com.

Eddie Izzard’s memoirs are enchanting. He has welcomed us into his mind, made us a cuppa, and asked us to stay a while. Izzard opens his life to us with a graceful honesty that makes you ruminate on the innocence of childhood, the tragedy of those teenage years, and the contradiction of absolute freedom and societal restriction that is young adulthood alongside him. When he describes a moment, he does so in a manner that you experience first-hand, but also with the wisdom of age and hindsight. He does this in a way that does not take from the memory, merely sprinkles a touch of self-awareness into the stories.

Izzard has given us a beautifully honest and entertaining glimpse into his life story. It is devoured easily in a single sitting and endlessly quotable. I hope you do spend a few hours of your life with this story and laugh, hurt, and grow alongside one of the best entertainers of our era.

-A Bookish Girl

Verdigris Deep

Frances Hardinge

If you have not yet read a Frances Hardinge book, please pick one up today. She is incredibly talented. You may be weary at first because her books are often referred to has children’s books. The only thing that makes these novels “children’s books” is the font-size and young main characters. The themes, prose, and storyline are so unique and beautiful in each of her novels.

Verdigris Deep is a story covering the nature of wishes, friendships, relationships, and the interconnectedness of the world. Hardinge has the ability to do this without disrupting the flow of the story or becoming condescending – which can happen when an adult is teaching life lessons of this nature and depth. Hardinge teaches lessons that are necessary to learn and be reminded of during any part of your life journey.

I hope that you will pick these books up to share with your family and the child that lives and imagines in all of us.

-A Bookish Girl