Under the Dome, by Stephen King.
It was so good.
This book is long, over 1000 pages, so it is quite the time commitment. I had a deadline too, as this book has lengthy waiting list at the local library and I had to get it done before the due date. My sister the librarian checked it out, and I don't want to sully her reputation with an overdue. That doesn't look good at all for librarians.
There are some slight spoilers ahead, just a warning!
The basic premise is a small town in Maine gets trapped under a mysterious dome. No one can get in or out, even the weather is affected as very little air can get into the dome. The book follows some notable residents of the town through the havoc that ensues after the dome goes down.
It's disturbing how badly humans treat each other, and how propaganda works, and how quickly a society can fall apart.
Mr. King very nicely provided a list of main characters at the front of the book, which was very welcome as he tells the stories of many, many people, and I lost track a couple times who was who!
I loved the book, and will definitely purchase a copy when it hits paperback and read it again. The Wikipedia entry on the book gives you some great insight into what inspired the story. Mr. King mentions that "We're a blue planet in a corner of the galaxy, and for all the satellites and probes and Hubble pictures, we haven't seen evidence of anyone else. There's nothing like ours. We have to conclude we're on our own, and we have to deal with it. We're under the dome. All of us."
I finished that book last weekend, and I picked up Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family after I read on CNN that Mip Gies (the author) had passed away this week at the age of 100.
If you read anything this year, this book should be it. If you don't even want to read the whole book, read the prologue. This book is an autobiography written by one of Mr. Frank's employees who helped to hide the Frank family from July of 1942 to August of 1944. It's a really short read, and quick. Miep writes very matter-of-factly, and it's so interesting to see the "Secret Annex" from the view of someone who wasn't hiding in it. I can't believe how brave this woman was...not only was she helping to hide 7 people in her office, but she hid someone else in her home.
The prologue mentions that every night the curtain goes up on the play based on Anne Frank's diary. My junior year in high school, that curtain opened on my drama club's production of The Diary of Anne Frank. I played Anne's older sister Margot. It was...surreal. You don't got off stage when your bits done like in other shows, the whole stage is the Secret Annex so you would go off to the "bedroom" or whatever while the show was going on. We worked so hard on that show, and the drama teachers (now family friends, they're coming to the wedding!) still say that out of the dozens of shows they've done, they are most proud of Diary. It means the world to me that I got to be involved in it. So I've also had a particular interest in the story since the show.
I just started reading Barbara Kingsolver's new book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which is the story of her family trying to grow their own food and eat as locally as possible.
What are you reading right now?