Pillars of the Earth is one of my all time favourite books. Ever. Goodreads tells me I read this in 2009, and I remember the experience clearly.
Now, almost 1000 pages about building a cathedral in the 12th century doesn’t sound very interesting. And that’s exactly what I said to the lady at the used book store. Her eyes got wide and then she excitedly started telling me that it’s the characters and their journeys that make the story so engrossing. I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try because $2 for a 1000 page book is a pretty good deal.
At the time, I was in college for Journalism and had a 1 hour and 20 minute bus ride to get to school every day (Canada is big, eh?), so naturally I’d read a lot on my commute. After finishing the book I was currently reading, I decided to take Pillars of the Earth with me and see what would happen.
I got through about 60 pages before I got to school and holy crap. The family in the story had their pig stolen. But they needed that pig so they could sell it for money and buy food so they could survive the winter. BUT THEIR PIG GOT STOLEN.
It was so captivating. It was all I could think about during my classes all day–I had to borrow notes from classmates after class because I kept drifting off into a panic, hoping that the family would get their pig back.
I flew through the rest of the pages in just a few days because it was so intense, so mesmerizing. After I read the last page, I had to close the book and just sit for a few minutes staring at nothing to take in the whole experience. It’s that good.
So, go read it. Now.