I’ve been doing lots of reading recently, which has made me quite happy. I find that reading happens for me like that — I almost have to build momentum and then, once I get going, I crave book after book. I just need to keep this streak going.
Anyway, I thought I’d share the books I’ve read of late, because all of them have been worth recommending. Here goes!:
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes: I haven’t seen the movie that was inspired by this book, so I’m not able to compare the two, but the book is wonderful. It tells the story of a mid-20s girl named Louisa (“Lou”) who’s lived in the same small English town her whole life and finds herself acting as a paid companion to a wealthy quadriplegic man named Will. The two come from very different realities and at first seem the opposite of compatible, but find their lives starting to intertwine in ways neither expected. It’s lovely and heart wrenching and absolutely worth reading.
- Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman: I think this book should be required reading for all Americans — especially middle and upper class Americans. I’ve been a fan of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black since it was released, but found this book to be much more relatable than the show. It’s much more approachable and less dramatic than the show, although it’s easy to see how the show was born from the book. Kerman — thanks to her first-person perspective — is able to give readers a clear and honest view of what the state of prisons in America is. (Spoiler: It’s not great.) She combines compelling stats with stories of people she came into contact with during her 15 months in prison, making the story wonderfully human and strikingly memorable.
- All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood: This was a book club book (great pick, Sarah!), and I adored Greenwood’s writing style. The story — focusing around main character Wavy — is told from several characters’ perspectives throughout the course of the book, which is a storytelling approach I tend to really enjoy. The novel — dealing with themes including drug use and drug sales, OCD, underage girls in relationships with older men, and infidelity — was certainly not an easy read, but so very worth it.
- Runaway by Alice Munro: I love, love, love short stories (and have blogged in the past about some of my favorite short story books, if you want some additional recommendations), but hadn’t read anything by prolific Canadian short story author Alice Munro until just recently. Talk about compelling. Each story is beautiful, and Munro’s approach is quite fluid, often with characters from one story appearing in a different life stage in another story. She builds characters in a captivating way — especially impressive since she has so little time to do so. I can’t wait to read more of her work.
- Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff: Another book club selection (this one by Nora!), Fates and Furies is told first from the perspective of the husband in a relationship (the first half of the book) and then from his wife’s angle (the second half of the book). Groff does such a good job pointing out both the mystery as well as overlap and trust that tend to exist in any marriage, played out within the particular scenario of this couple and their life experience.
Please send any recent favorite reads my way as well to help me keep my reading streak going strong!