Summer reads bend lines of sanity |

Summer reads bend lines of sanity

Brett Burmania/For Steamboat Pilot & Today

“The Cabin At The End Of The World”

by Nathan Tremblay

When reading a suspense story, an easy identifier for the quality of the story is how anxious the book leaves you upon being forced to sit it down. Reading parts of this story at work, I’d stop mid-sentence to help customers with a pit in my stomach, almost frantic to return to this erie tale to know what happens next. A book that almost reads itself, I finished it in record time just as Victor LaValle, author of “The Changeling,” raved.

The story starts with a young girl named Wen — the adopted daughter of the young married couple, Eric and Andrew — who is gathering crickets in her yard. The setting, a peaceful cabin out in the middle of the woods by a lake, quickly progresses into a nightmare-scape as four uninvited visitors invade their remote cabin with a message: the world is ending and only they can save it. “The Cabin At The End Of The World,” forces you to question the sanity of all involved and had me constantly asking, “are they crazy or is this really happening?”

A must read for Stephen King fans, the style of writing reminds me of the type of gradual suspense that only a master author can craft. King even calls it, “Tremblay’s personal best. It’s that good.”

“Veronika Decides To Die: A Novel of Redemption”

by Paulo Coelho

How quickly someone can go from being ready to die to truly falling in love with life? Touching on topics like spirituality, the soul, human spirit, following dreams and the true definition of sanity, “Veronika Decides to Die”answers just this in a way that only Paulo Coelho could.

This was one of the more difficult books for me to get started on. As a matter of fact, I began the audiobook of it on a roadtrip and quickly turned it off in favor of finding something more uplifting while being on the road. However, after giving it a second try, this has become one of my absolute favorite novels. In a way that feels completely relatable, Paulo Coelho tells a story of overcoming the darkest night of your life to find hope and inspiration.

Based on a true story, the book is written about 24 year old Veronika who decides to kill herself. The failed attempt lands her in the notoriously famous insane asylum known as Villette. Upon waking up, she is told that the attempt has damaged her heart and that she only has upwards of a week to live.

As a result, Veronika grapples with her own hopelessness facing the inevitability of death. However, through the help of some new, “crazy” friends, she decides that she actually has love and hope for life and wants to live her last few days doing something only a truly insane person would, following her dreams. In a matter of days, she lives out a love story and her dream to be a pianist in such a way that she is able to awaken the desire to live a full life even in the hearts of those most lost. With a surprising twist ending that will have you furious, amazed, and thrilled, don’t miss out on “Veronika Decides To Die.”

These titles are available at Off the Beaten Path bookstore and Bud Werner Memorial Library.

Brett Burmania is a bookseller and barista at Off the Beaten Path bookstore.

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