Recent Reads II

Wednesday 5 June 2013

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
-Set in Communist Czechoslovakia, we follow the lives of a few characters who clumsily navigate life and relationships.  Kundera's writing makes you feel like you are a fly on the wall, watching the highs and lows of real life.  There are some really profound and brilliant thoughts in this book and it occasionally straddles between fiction and philosophy.  It wasn't an easy read for me but it was certainly good.  I'm taking a bit of time away from it but I want to re-read it, this time with a highlighter and sticky notes in hand because there are some awfully thought-provoking moments that I just didn't give enough time to while reading in bed.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich
-This novel follows a young boy on a Native reserve in the Northern United States who deals with a horrific attack on his mother.  A Native American herself, Erdrich uses real-life stats and stories of rape on reserves as inspiration for the story which is eye-opening and heartbreaking.  There are many First Nations Reservations in my home province and adopted province of Alberta and having spent a lot of my elementary school career learning about Aboriginal culture, this novel was particularly interesting to me but the story itself is full of mystery and it's easy to find yourself frantically turning pages as you become more and more attached to the Coutts family.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
-A YA work of fiction, this book is actually quite brilliant.  Written through the form of letters to an imaginary friend, the plot follows Charlie's life as a highly intellectual teenager who has struggled to find his place in the world.  It's sad and funny and charming .  Immediately after finishing, I watched the movie which is never a good idea.  I was disappointed in it and strongly advocate reading the book even if you liked the film.  The words are fantastic.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio
-On a bit of a YA kick, I downloaded this novel after it was recommended by someone in my book club.  It tells the story of a young boy who was born with a horribly disfigured face.  Home-schooled for most of his life, the decision is made to send him to Middle School.  We follow the plot through the eyes of several characters.  I think this would be a great read for Middle School kids - while I enjoyed the story, it was a bit juvenile for me.  (Teachers, this would be a great read-aloud.)

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
-I've read quite a few of Kate Morton's other stories (The Forgotten Garden being my favourite so far) and knew that her new novel would be perfect Santorini reading.  The author has a talent for weaving together a story through multiple perspectives and characters which create an element of suspense and keeps it more intriguing than if she had just written it straight through.  'The Secret Keeper' is a good, easy read and if you're looking for something to keep your interest this summer without being too heavy, this is a good choice.

Currently reading...

Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
-This is the fifth book in Bradley's series and there's something about the precocious, child prodigy Flavia de Luce that keeps me coming back.  A mystery in the English countryside makes for a perfect summer read - it's smart, the writing is good but it's fun.

Next up...
Rules of Civility
The Aviator's Wife
Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar
All Over But The Shoutin'

What are you reading? Any recommendations?


  1. I haven't been reading for pleasure as much as I used to lately, mainly because studying law involves copious amounts of complicated literature, so I'm often too tired to read even more when I have some downtime.
    Recently, I've read Dan Brown's newest novel though which I enjoyed (but maybe not as much as his other novels) and would recommend if you're into these sorts of books.


  2. I love love loved The Unbearable Lightness of Being. You should check out some of his other books--The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.

    I started Khaled Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed recently and it's been pretty decent thus far. I loved Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns (not sure if you've read them).

    Also recently finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which was pretty good.

    1. Gone Girl was meh for me. I detested the ending and felt the last half of the book was silly. But, I'm super excited about Khalid's new book - loved the other 2. Let me know what you think when you're finished.

  3. Just started reading In the Kingdom of Men as it is the Waterstone's book of the month - sounds like an intriguing story about a young wife in the 60s who follows her husband to Saudia Arabia and then gets caught up in the murder of a local.

  4. Oh man. Love Kate Morton! Read The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden while in Croatia. In The Distant Hours now. Great plane reads!

  5. I love that you read so much. I'm reading The Marriage Plot. I was super bored in the beginning but am really starting to get into it

  6. i read half of those - so i am sure i would lvoe the rest! summer is hard for me to find time to read because i am an event planner! summer are my crazy times! when wither comes i have time to cuddle up with a good book!

  7. I'm currently reading Anne of Avonlea by LM Montgomery. I've never read them but of course watched the movies growing up. It's funny how the book is bringing back very foggy memories of the film.


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