Day 108 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project. Laura has just finished reading Dark Life, a young adult science fiction "western" by Kat Falls, and is moving on to some Ursula Leguin Earthsea sequels, because science fiction rocks! (I think that's why. Laura, you can tell us more about why.) Is that a jellyfish, or are you just happy to see me?
Young adulthood is when I fell in love with science fiction, and I haven't read very much since, though Leguin has been recommended to me frequently. But I did read and love The Sparrow and Children of God, by Maria Doria Russell, after frequent recommendations, and those recommenders were definitely right. The Russell novels are a wonderful combination of science fiction, cultural anthropology, and comparative religion. I learned a heck of a lot about Earth before we went off it.
I loved talking to Curt (of a past entry), who had read a lot of classic science fiction with his mother growing up, because she was in a science fiction book club. I could talk to Curt about Zenna Henderson and The People books! I have Henderson paperbacks on a bookshelf upstairs and may bring them to the beach this summer to entice the kids. (Me, I'm bringing Barbara Pym. And Three Men in a Boat.)
Laura is also reading The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, which is marketed as young adult fiction in the U.S. but was written as general adult fiction in Australia. I think an Australian first told me about it. Narrated by Death, it takes place during World War II and has a child heroine. Dark as that sounds, it looks to be a charming, moving, and even uplifting book, maybe the way The Diary of Anne Frank is uplifting and heartbreaking at once.
Or, since Death is called wry and sardonic by readers and reviewers of The Book Thief, maybe it is more like Dead Like Me, a television series my son found on Hulu, with the amazing Mandy Patinkin in it. Markus Zusak is pretty darn cute, too.