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.
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.
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?