Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
-This book was chosen as the Book Club read for January and although I missed the actual meeting, I did read the book. Based on the true stories of a young midwife in post-WWII London, Call the Midwife tells the tales of women, families & life in the East End of the city, notorious as a very poor community. While I found myself a little squeamish at the beginning of the novel, I ended up really enjoying it. Afterwards I felt inspired to download the TV show but as I watched the first episode, I decided I needed to wait. The show really sways from the plot of the book and it was just too difficult to watch and enjoy after having just finished reading. I'll give it a try again later.
A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous
-This book was lent to me by a friend after having heard how interested I was in Berlin and the stories of WWII. The novel itself is actually a journal of a young woman who resided in Berlin throughout the entire period but specifically chronicles the end of the war and the taking of Berlin by the Russians. This was something I knew very little about and it presented an often un-talked about aspect of the war. As heart wrenching as it was, I am so glad to have read this book and occasionally think of the anonymous author and wonder how she faired in post-war Germany.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
-I actually can't believe I hadn't read this book before but as Joe and I talked of seeing the film, I knew I had to read the novel first. I knew the author was Canadian but had no idea he resides in Saskatoon, a mere 2 hours from my hometown. There were parts of this book I really liked and parts that I struggled with but I'm happy to have finished it. Joe is currently reading it, and loving it, so I can't wait until we can chat about it - and then see the movie which I hear is visually stunning!
Why Have Kids? by Jessica Valenti
-I can't remember where I heard about this book but I had it sitting on my Kindle for ages before I finally got around to it. It takes a sociological look at having children, the pressure placed on women (specifically in the US) to be mothers and it challenges many lines of thinking regarding parenthood that have developed over the decades in society. I found this read fascinating but I often am fascinated looking at society and why we think the way we do. I know the book has angered some people and I'm certain that some may find it negative or get defensive as it challenges such popular ways of thinking but I found it refreshing and realistic. Contrary to what the title may suggest, I didn't find it to sway my own personal thoughts on having children to either side but it gave me a lot to ponder.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
-Taking place in Paris at an apartment building of upperclass families, this novel centres around a precocious young girl who has decided to end her life in a spectacular fashion on her thirteenth birthday and the concierge who is an unsuspected brilliant woman often overlooked by the bourgeois families residing in the building. I won't lie - there were times where I really struggled with this book. It took me quite awhile to get attached to the characters but when I did, I fell in love with their stories. It was worth sticking out.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
-This was chosen as the Book Club read for February and I've been meaning to read it anyways. Thus far, I'm intrigued by this Mr Jay Gatsby and his lavish but secretive lifestyle. I'm quite looking forward to the film out later this year - directed by Baz Luhrman, the director of Romeo & Juliet and starring Leonardo DiCaprio- I'm hoping it lives up to the expectations.
Thanks to my last post about reading, my to-read shelf is massive! Currently on my amazon wishlist:
The Round House by Louise Eldrich
All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
From Beirut to Jereusalem by Thomas L. Friedman
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder
What have you been reading?