When people inquire,

"What's your favorite book?"

My brain immediately starts to panic at the question. What IS my favorite book? How can someone even pick a favorite book? Isn't selecting your favorite book like picking your favorite child?

I reply that my NEW favorite book (new being in the last 2 years) is The Book Of Lost Things by John Connolly. This book came to me when I was in the hospital for an extended period of time in 2012. Bored, as one is, in a hospital setting, I saw a book behind the nurses station. It was unclaimed. No one is sure how this book got there. I immediately asked to read the said book, and that's how I was introduced to Connolly.

"The Book Of Lost Things" is essentially a coming of age story. Google books summarizes:

"High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the loss of his mother. He is angry and he is alone, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in the myths and fairytales so beloved by his dead mother, he finds that the real world and the fantasy world have begun to meld. The Crooked Man has come, with his mocking smile and his enigmatic words: 'Welcome, your majesty. All hail the new king.' And as war rages across Europe, David is violently propelled into a land that is both a construct of his imagination yet frighteningly real, a strange reflection of his own world composed of myths and stories, populated by wolves and worse-than-wolves, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secret in a mysterious book. An imaginative tribute to the journey we must all make through the loss of innocence into adulthood, THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS is for every adult who can recall the moment when childhood began to fade, and for every child about to face that moment. It is a story of hope for all who have lost and all who have yet to lose. It is an exhilarating tale of grief and loss, loyalty and love, and most poignantly, the enduring power of stories in our lives."

This novel is indeed all of that. Mental illness, loss, fairy tales, and World War II all clash in this novel- and somehow it works. As someone who used books to propel themselves through arduous times (at one point I liked novels more than people) the hero of the story, David, spoke to me.

In addition, the novel itself is completely riveting. Upon reading it, myself (and then my roommate) could not put "The Book Of Lost Things" down. This fairy-tale for grownups also has one of the best endings to a story that I've read in a long time.

"The Book Of Lost Things" is a testament to the power of written and oral storytelling. If you're looking for a fun read, look no further.