Joey gave me a copy of Inkheart for my birthday.

That was quite a Mommy Moment, let me tell you! My child read a book on his own that he reasonably thought I would like. Which means that his reading level is -- okay, not quite adult, but getting there. And also means that he realizes we share certain tastes in books.

Inkheart also happens to be the book he reviewed here.

I haven't told him yet, but I'm having trouble getting through it. I will finish it because my darling child gave it to me, but honestly I could easily put it down right now (halfway through) and never pick it up again. It's strange. I have no problem reading kids' books if I've been rereading them regularly since childhood, and I have no problem with books new to me but written for a younger age group, and heaven knows there are picture books I adore. But every time I've tried a young adult book (I guess that's what they are) I find myself getting impatient and annoyed. Maybe they're not "deep" enough?

However, Inkheart does have some interesting elements. In fact it is reminding me a lot of another book, Shadow of the Wind, which was my book club's inaugural choice. Here are some similarities:

1. The title of the book is also the title of a book in the story.

2. Bad guys are trying to rid the world of the book. Intrigue, suspense, and book burnings occur in the attempt.

3. What's written in the book subsequently happens in real life. Sort of.

4. The novel was originally written in another language and takes place very much in Europe.

5. One of the characters is quite appealing, in a ruffian, vagabond, thief -ish way.

I don't particularly recommend Shadow of the Wind, by the way. A lot of things bugged me about it, and my book club's review was very mixed. Though as you might imagine from the list above, it does have some interesting elements and ideas. If only the author had dug into them a bit deeper!

Meanwhile, I'll keep plugging away at Inkheart.


  • You're a great mom, because of course, you will finish the book! And it's so rewarding when you and your kids start to share literary gems - I remember when my oldest son read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD his freshman year in high school. He loved it just as much as I did, and we had such wonderful talks. Same thing happened when he read THE GREAT GATSBY...and FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS...even THE BEAN TREES, which I was so happy to learn had been assigned to his sophomore honors English class.

    It's just so much fun to discuss books with your kids! Books that don't have pictures, anyway!

    posted by Anonymous Melanie Lynne Hauser on 10:01 AM  

  • Too bad... I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I guess everyone's tastes are different. That's neat that Joey gave you the book. The only thing my oldest and I share right now is Harry Potter. But there's hope, right?

    posted by Blogger Melissa on 2:54 PM  

  • I'm very curious about why you get irritated by YA lit . . . I used to feel that way, I was pretty dejected when I got the middle school job, thinking I'd never read a "real" book again (ha!) but I've come to really love the genre. So much so that occasionally (like yesterday) I'll discover one I can't put down and spend the evening finishing it instead of reading my grown-up book. It just means an adjustment of expectations, I suppose. Isaac and I are enjoying the Lemony Snicket books--I don't think he's up to Inkheart yet. But I'm glad he loves to read with me. I look forward to when he's Joey's age and can do that very thing.

    posted by Anonymous Laura on 11:55 PM  

  • I know what you mean about the Cornelia Funke books-- F adores them, and keeps suggesting I read them, but when I pick one up and glance through it, I'm just not interested. I do like many YA novels though-- have you tried The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley? This is one I read as an adult the first time around, and really enjoyed. And the Philip Pullman books are outrageous(plenty of emotional depth, and complex ideas to be found here)-- the His Dark Materials trilogy. I'm also a big fan of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen, by Garth Nix. I think there's some cross marketing for all of these books, by the way. So you may be able to find them in adult sections as well as kid's sections.

    posted by Anonymous martha on 12:54 PM  

  • I love coming to your site and reading the reviews you write about the books you've read or started to read. I'm always, always looking for something new because I seem to get a rut with the same authors. I keep a list going with all of your suggestions.

    I have to say too that I really admire and enjoy your writings. I wish I could be half as eloquent as you are.

    posted by Blogger Adrienne on 6:23 PM  

  • I just found your blog from the BoBs. Interestingly, we are reading Shadow of the Wind for our book club right now, and I just reviewed it on my book blog. I think I liked it a tad more than you did though ;).

    This looks like a very interesting blog . . .I'm glad I found you.

    posted by Blogger Anita on 4:49 PM  

  • My experience with Inkheart is pretty similar. I struggled to get through it for a while, and then it just fell by the wayside because I can't control my acquisition of books. I think it's just a slow book. You're a great mom for sticking with it. Good luck!

    posted by Blogger Crazy Chick on 11:20 PM  

  • I thought Inkheart was a book that even adults could enjoy. It let me escape into me childhood once agian. I guess I loved the adventure, and the realty of the book. Well, we all have diff. opinions, but this is one book I'de definetly recomend, and pass down to my children. I also definetly am looking forward to reading the follow-up to Inkheart, "Inkspell." Thanks for listening!

    posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 10:04 AM