Happy Black Friday! Thanksgiving is officially over, and the winter holiday season is upon us. So many people spend today shopping for their loved ones as an initiation of the holiday season. Today is a day where the value of material goods gets tangled up in our love for others as we determine the best gift for each person at the right price. Some items are just priceless – many would put pieces of art in this category, as well as relationships, love, and lessons we learn along the way. While you are scurrying from one deal to the next, try one of these books whose characters’ lives are changed by a priceless piece of art:
The Goldfinch is a mammoth of a book. It follows Theo Decker for several decades. When Theo ends up with a valuable painting of a goldfinch, much of his life revolves around the painting. In many ways, it seems as though the painting by not doing anything is driving most of the action of the novel. Theo gets into typical – and not so typical – teen hijinks and grows into a man all while hiding a million dollar painting. Throughout the book, Theo comes to learn the value of friendship, loyalty and redemption.
All the Light We Cannot See takes place during World War II and follows two adolescents. The book starts with the mythology of a specific gem that causes trouble wherever it goes, as it needs to be returned to the sea. Human greed and arrogance has kept the stone on land reeking trouble, rather than to where it belongs in the sea. Marie-Laure is a blind French girl who is the daughter of a museum worker where the gem is housed. Marie-Laure and her father leave Paris to seek safety in the countryside of France. Werner is an orphan in Germany who joins the army, because there isn’t another choice. Though, his own intelligence gives him advantages, and trials, throughout the book. Marie-Laure and Werner’s paths are hurdling toward each other in unexpected ways.
Both of these books are recent Pulitzer Winners and sizable time investments due to page count. Curling up with one of these books, a fire, and a mug of hot chocolate could make for an idyllic afternoon away from all of the holiday bustle.