What I’ve been reading: January, February, March 2016

This is a fairly short list for 3 months of reading and yes, I am disappointed in myself. I could say I made up for quantity with quality, but I think that’s just an excuse! I have excellent taste in books every month… or something like that. All joking aside, there were definitely some winners in this list.

Come to Me, Amy Bloom

My aunt got me this collection of short stories for Christmas and I read it over the course of a few commutes. The pinnacle of the short story form, each one captures a whole world and a moment in time at once. Each one has flawed, funny characters with a sort of black humour mixed with quite serious themes of mental illness, affairs and others. I can’t pick a favourite because I loved them all.

Kafka on the Shore, Huruki Murakami

I’ve re-read this book so many times and keep coming back to it. A 15 year old boy runs away from home, but because it’s written by Murakami ,it involves ghosts, a man who can speak to cats and an alternate universe. It’s one of his best and one of the best examples of am ambiguous ending done really, really well. It’s complex; tying in so many unique characters, magic and Greek mythology, but with such a strong story that it all holds together. I keep reading it because depending on my mood, it is almost like a different story each time.

For a Pagan Song: In the Footsteps of the Man Who Would Be King – Travels in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, John Bealby

On a scale of 1-10, I would score this 10000000000. It’s beautifully written, a heartbreaking, funny, lovely adventure. John Bealby follows the trail of Rudyard Kipling’s fictional king through his own journey of discovery. It sounds like a stunt at first, but is so well-written and has such a genuinely good story, it is far from being trite. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll love it. I loved it.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Colonel Chris Hadfield

A book written by an astronaut, do I need to sell this book at all? Okay, It wasn’t written by just any astronaut, but written by Chris Hadfield. I’ll just assume you’re buying this book now. It’s half autobiographical, half inspirational. Colonel Hadfield tells his story of going into space, a life long dream, and shares what he’s learned that has made his life on Earth more meaningful. He has somehow written a book about being the coolest guy ever and not sounded patronising or self-obsessed providing what could be described as ‘self help’ in a totally non-irritating way. (I’m writing this from the perspective that I once threw a self-help book across the room.)

The Mosquito Coast, Paul Theroux

Another great work of fiction from the great travel writer Paul Theroux. A very self-assured man moves his family away from what he believes to be the inevitable apocalypse in suburban America to the jungle in South America. It’s a dark, dark story that made me really uncomfortable at times and made me laugh a lot.

One of my resolutions for this year was to read more female authors.Do you have any recommendation? Well, really, I’ll accept any book recommendations.

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