So I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks, my apologies.
First I was hit by a car and the pain in my hands made it impossible for me to type more than a sentence.
By the time that I could actually function normally, my 10 month old girl came down with a bad case of the chicken pox. So I’ve been running around the house, taking care of her and neglecting this blog.. shame on me..
Since this is a new blog and you don’t really know me yet, I thought I would introduce you to my favourite book.
Okay, introduce might not be the right term because I’m pretty sure that 99.9% of earth’s population has already read it. If you haven’t, you really should. Before I give you the reasons why, let me tell you a little story.
It was a nice and sunny day back in May 2011 (at least I think it was May, it’s been a while…) when we were told that a well-known American author would be signing at our bookshop. His name? John Green.
We were all a bit ashamed to admit that we didn’t actually know anything about this well-known American so I decided to do the logical thing.. and google him.
The internet told me that he wrote a couple of young adult books who were all very well reviewed. He also had a large fan base on YouTube which sounded cool and at that point in time he was on a book signing tour for his newest book The Fault in our Stars.
The day of the signing we were all very curious to see if his fans would actually show up. Although he seemed really popular online, we weren’t too sure if there were people in Belgium who knew about this guy.
About half an hour before he was due to start his session, people started coming into the store. I think the average age was 16, some older, some younger but all very anxious to see this author. There was a lot of nervous chatting going on in Dutch, English and even Spanish. Some were discussing his older books, some the latest one.
I have to admit I was intrigued and mentally put the titles I heard on my to-read list.
And then came one of the most amazing moments of my life. This John Green walked into the shop and everyone stopped talking. I think some of them actually stopped breathing altogether. It was like a god had set foot into our bookshop.
He was a kind and easy-going guy who immediately went to the back of the store where we had put a little table for him to sit at. He addressed his crowd and asked them nicely to try to make something that resembled a que. The teens jumped at his request and I have to say that I have never before in my life seen people form a line so quickly.
20 minutes later he was done signing and instructed everyone to go to a nearby park where he would take the time to answer some questions, because “These people probably want their bookshop back”.
In less than two minutes the shop was quiet again.
Some months ago, a girl came into the shop and we started talking about The Fault in our Stars. I recommended it to her and she told me that she had already read it. That she came to the signing that day. She also told me that they DID go to that park and that he really took his time to answer all of their questions.
What a nice guy!
So this book, The Fault in our Stars, really is amazing. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it left me speechless at the end.
It tells you the story of a girl, Hazel, who has long cancer. Her mother thinks that she’s depressed and forces her to go to support meetings. At one of those meetings she meets Gus, or Augustus, who has survived bone cancer. Needless to say, they connect.
I think that it’s the honesty that makes this book so great. It’s written in the vocabulary of a 16-year-old, which made me laugh at least ten times in the first two pages alone. She doesn’t hold back. At one point she says: “I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”
John Green is a genius when it comes to words. There are so many amazing quotes in the book but I’m going to end this post with this one, because it’s exactly how I feel.
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
Picture John Green – Facebook page of Bookshop De Reyghere
Cover The Fault in our Stars – Wikipedia