Friday, November 26, 2010

The Book of Lost Things by John Connelly

I was really hesitant to read this when I heard about it, because I am wary of books about children that claim to be for grown-ups. Not that that's a recipe for failure, by any means, but it made me set it aside, mentally, until it popped up again in my life in the form of my friend Annamarie.

Annamarie is not a BIG reader. She loves books about horses, and fairy tales where everything comes out okay in the end. I have recommended a lot to her; she had never returned the favor--until The Book of Lost Things. Which she insisted emphatically that I read. And dragged me to a bookstore, and bought it for me, and put it in my hands, and sat me down, and forced me to read the beginning so that I would be hooked and read it right away.

Which I did, nearly in one sitting. And oh my. What an excellent recommendation.

This is the story of David, a 12-year-old boy who's just lost his mother. When his father remarries and has another son, David retreats into his books and fairy tales, but gets much more drawn in than he expected.

And, oh, the references and rewritings. With many stories twisted into new shapes (including a Beauty and the Beast where the Beast is the woman--and the Beauty does not free her from her spell--and a Sleeping Beauty where the sleeper awakens every night and is more of a danger to the princes than any thorns ever were), David explores a new land where the greatest danger will be the ones he calls from his own imagination.

Try to figure out who the villain is before the reveal at the end. (Yeah, I totally did.)

This is now one of my favorites books. (I don't say that too often, do I???) Check it out!

I do recommend the paperback edition with the red cover, as there's a section of notes at the back of the book, with Connelly's thoughts on the fairy tales he used, as well as original versions of the tales.


I know that I say "This is one of my new favorite books!" far too often, especially here where I am talking about my favorite kind of book. But I really want to back that up this time, with this exceptionally good book.



Post a link back to this blog on your blog for 1 entry, or on twitter for 1 entry. (If you have multiple blogs you can have an entry for each blog you post on, but only one entry per blog.)

Be sure to put a comment on this entry so I can see your links!

I'll draw a random winner on Friday, December 3rd, and I'll send the winner a copy of The Book of Lost Things.


  1. Oh, excellent -- I'm glad to hear this. I've been sitting on a copy of TBoLT for many months, with similar trepidation. I'll have to dig it out of the pile and give it a try this weekend.

  2. I would also rank this among my favorite books. :)

  3. Stumbled upon this entry on the livejournal community bookshare. Anyway can international bloghoppers join in this giveaway? thought I might try LOL anyway posted about this contest on twitter: Thanks so much!

  4. Yes by all means! Internationals welcome. :)

  5. I have this sitting on my shelf currently, unread. Your review makes me want to pick it up ASAP! :D

  6. This book is haunting and whimsical and poignant and innocent and so very very old all at the same time. I read this book years ago and the story and the feelings I had reading it stay with me to this day. I don't have enough words to say how much I love this book and I'm glad to see that many feel the same.

  7. Thanks! I will definitely check this out :-)

  8. I am completely fascinated with this book. I shall go investigate immediately!

  9. I linked back to this giveaway on my blog:

  10. I also twittered about it-

  11. On my blog and facebook (, I don't have a twitter...pleased to spread the word, may this be the first of many sucessful giveaways!

  12. Ok - I pasted the wrong link, I was distracted!

  13. I linked to this post on my twitter ^^