Sunday 22 November 2015

Nerd Church! - Four Tales of Incredible Courage

I think we could all do with some courage (no, not the Dutch kind - shh!) How about you? You want some courage? These four books (in my humble opinion,) have characters who show real courage, in the most difficult of times.

The Courage of Friendship and Compassion

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief front cover

This a beautiful book, and I will always, always, always recommend it - to anyone, at any time. And Liesel, to me, is courage.

A girl growing up in Hitler's Germany, Liesel is trying to wind her way through the challenges of her life and times. Things are about to be made ever more complicated by the actions of her foster father, Hans, in hiding the Jewish son of an old friend.

Liesel never lets the challenging circumstances make her any less than who she is. Her friendship and kindness are more courageous than any bullet.

Buy now UK - Buy Now USA - Goodreads - Author's Facebook Page

The Courage of Survival

Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick

This is a book that I haven't read in years - but that I still think of as something truly memorable and remarkable.

Blood Red, Snow White book coverWritten by Marcus Sedgwick, this is a YA book with no teenage characters. All of the characters are, in fact, adult.

Set in the Russian Revolution of 1917, this book follows the true story of Arthur Ransome - the author of Swallows and Amazons - who acted as a double-agent at the heart of the new Communist regime. Such a double-agent, in fact, that no-one actually knew for sure which side he was on.

I loved the way this book tried to show the human story, and to portray the way that Ransome was an ordinary man, trapped by truly extraordinary circumstances, and just trying to survive in a world that had turned upside-down.

Certainly, if you're into spy stories, history, or both, then this book is worth the read.

Buy Now UK - Buy Now USAGoodreads - Author's Website

The Courage to Endure

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

This memoir of the life of a man kidnapped into slavery in the US is made all the more incredible and poignant by the fact that it is non-fiction.

Solomon Northup writes beautifully and with dignity, and as far as I'm concerned this should be required reading on anyone's list.

Buy Now UK - Buy Now USAGoodreadsFull Review

The Courage of Love and Sacrifice

A Tale of Two Cities book coverA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A true 19th Century classic, this is a novel of the French Revolution. Featuring some of the most beautiful lines in English literature, this is Dickens (as far as I'm concerned,) at his best.

True, I disliked the character of Lucie - a bit two-dimensional in my opinion - but overall, this is a stunning book.

Without giving away any spoilers, I can tell you that Dickens brings the French Revolution, and the terror it brought with it, to life. But this is fundamentally a tale of love and sacrifice. It is honestly worth reading just for the beautiful tragedy it reveals.

Buy Now UK - Buy Now USA - Goodreads

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