A book I picked up for FREE! It is a middle school level book, but it’s great despite the low reading level. I acquired a copy of the book The Enemy Above by Michael P. Spradlin at a cute little bookstore in Georgia before it was officially released. I’ll elaborate on that experience further after I tell you how great this book is. I actually just started reading it today and I’m already 3/4ths of the way done on page 167. I literally couldn’t put it down. Actually, the only reason I did was to use the bathroom and write this post.
Anyway, this book is a historical fiction that takes place during WWII and follows a Ukrainian Jewish boy named Anton. While most of the book is from Anton’s perspective, some of the chapters follow the antagonist, Major Karl Von Deusen of the gestapo. There’s not much else I can say about this novel without spoiling anything but I highly recommend it for anyone who likes historical fiction because it is packed with action.
An excerpt from a letter that Major Von Deusen receives from his brother fighting against the Russians:
“This was a mistake, Karl. We should never have come here. We have lost so many men and now there is talk that we must surrender. … I am afraid it is too late for us.”
This book shows from both sides what the war was like, with historically accurate information about it, like the German defeat at Stalingrad. It makes it seem like the action is happening right then and there, in real time with actual historical events. It’s great!
So, how did you acquire this book for free, you ask. Well, last April, I was just outside Atlanta, in Decatur, for a concert with a friend. Both of us are huge bookworms and I’d been to this bookstore once before so I brought him there and just outside the door was a table covered in books. Taped to the wall just above it was a sign that read: “Free Books: Yes, They Really Are Free!” My friend and I spent probably a half an hour just reading the backs of the books and holding on to ones we’d like to read. Each of us brought home 3-4 of the “Uncorrected Proof” books and bought at least one from the store. That was an adventure for sure and a wonderful trip.
The concert was awesome, by the way. I walked back to the hotel that night having acquired not only extra books but a new tank top with the band’s logo on it and a drumstick, signed by the drummer! Since I’m already being specific, I’ll go ahead and give the bookstore a shout out. Little Shop of Stories is honestly my favorite bookstore I’ve been to. The staff can give you recommendations based on books you like, which is fantastic! Also, thank you, Marty Beller of They Might Be Giants for the drumstick and the autograph. If you haven’t yet listened to their music, I highly recommend “Birdhouse in Your Soul” and “New York City.” Actually, just listen to any of it, you can’t go wrong with TMBG!