Monday, January 20, 2014
At this time last year, I wrote a list of my five favourite books and I received a lot of positive feedback from people who were hoping to read more and watch less in the new year. So I thought, heck, why not add another five to that list, in case anyone out there is looking for some reading inspiration.
In no particular order, here's what I came up with:
1. The Bear's Embrace by Patricia Van Tighem
I read this in one sitting a couple of weeks ago. It is a powerful TRUE story of a woman who was mauled by a grizzly bear in British Columbia. I don't recommend reading it all in one go. It honestly left me feeling incredibly depressed by the end, as most of the book deals with the aftermath, not the event itself. Van Tighem goes into great detail about the weeks after the mauling, including the emotions and the pain she feels as the doctors put her face back together again. She also describes the intense depression she suffers for the next 15 years and how it results in her being institutionalized more than once. This book is not for the faint of heart.
2. The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
This is a quick read, but it's always enjoyable. I'm a sucker for a good gothic novel, or in this case novella, so Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde gets re-read quite often. The classic tale is about a lawyer who investigates the strange actions of his friend Dr. Jekyll, who suffers from split personality disorder. Jekyll's other half is Mr. Hyde, an evil character, who's moral compass is opposite to Jekyll's.
3. The Shining by Stephen King
As I said, I love me some gothic lit, so for me The Shining is a no brainer. The story is of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer whose alcoholism causes him to lose numerous opportunities for his family. As a result, he takes a winter job as a caretaker in a fancy-shmancy hotel in the middle of nowhere. Early on, Jack's son, Danny, sees ghosts and other strange visions in the hotel and slowly, Jack goes crazy in the isolated place.
4. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
First let me admit that before reading this book I was anti-Atwood. Up to that point, I had based all of my hate on her poetry. But after reading Oryx and Crake, I now take back all of the negative words I've said about this Canadian icon. She is in fact a spectacular writer and this is an amazing dystopic sci-fi novel. The story follows Snowman following the collapse of civilization. Through his flashbacks, the reader finds out how the world got to where it is.
5. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
This novel follows the story of Nazneen, a young Bangladeshi woman who moves to London to marry an older man. When she arrives in England, she can speak little to no English, isolating her from her new home. The story follows her and her husband as they start a family and struggle to stay afloat. The book ends with Nazneen finding independence. Read this one after Bear's Embrace, for a little pick-me-up.
Well folks, I think five is enough for now. If you do take my advice and read any of these, I'd love to hear what you think. Currently I'm reading The Exorcist and next on the list is House in the Sky.
**UPDATE: I finished the Exorcist last night and it should totally make this list! It was super creepy in all the right ways. In fact, one night it got me so freaked out that I literally got out of bed and checked my house for intruders! That's the sign of a good book, my friends. Read it! I promise you won't regret it.**
If you have any recommendations as to what I should add to my ever growing stack of books, please add them in the comments. I, like many others, hope to increase the number of books I read this year, so any suggestions are good suggestions!