Happy September! I cannot get over how fast the last month and a half has flown by. Work gets very busy as summer wraps up which leads to me forgetting that one of my favourite seasons is coming to an end and often leaves me in a place where I need to press the reset button on my life.
Maybe it’s just me but I feel like the child inside of me always feels like September is a fresh start. Luckily, I work in the education industry that lets me pretend that the “year” begins as summer ends. This also means we get a new start for all those resolutions we didn’t necessarily keep. As I press the refresh button on my plans and goals this month, I want to share some of my reevaluated plans for the remainder of the year and track the follow through before the end of December.
First up on my list of things to accomplish is reading my ever-growing book list. The fact that I am a bookworm is not new information to anyone. My obsession with Chapter’s could only be rivalled by an author or literary agent. It had gotten to a point earlier last month that someone very important to me jokingly questioned my addiction. I decided it was time to put a ban on buying books for myself until I made it through some of the thirty plus books I have collected over the last few years.
And so my new series On My Bookshelf was born – here you will find a collection of brief reviews of what I’ve been reading, what I liked/disliked and what I would recommend. Committing to this many books is a huge feat – especially since commitment doesn’t seem to be my thing lately. But I believe that we can get through it together. Here is a collection of just a few books I have read lately (realistically over the last 8 months but that doesn’t sound as cool)!
“I always think this is the kind of place that people come back to. When they’ve become tired of everything else. Or when they don’t have enough imagination to go anywhere else.” – Me Before You
Mindy Kaling – Why Not Me
Truth be told, I knew very little about Mindy Kaling before I read her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, or saw the Mindy project. I would say that I was an OG fan of that book so obviously I preordered Why Not Me as soon as it was available. Mindy has a “real girl” quality that makes her seem more like your best friend than a celebrity. Her stories are funny but also touch on important topics, like the pressure of beauty for women in Hollywood. My favourite story of the book was about BJ Novak and soup snake. Side note: I watched every season of The Office as soon as I finished this book and now understand what the rest of the world knew five years ago.
Recommend to: Your best friend that loves a quick read and is still rooting for Danny/Mindy to work out.
I’ll start by admitting to you that I hate romance books. My heart does exist and I cry during Nicholas Sparks movies but I have a very hard time committing to books all about love. Me Before You was my exception to this rule. I could NOT put this book down. If you have yet to see the movie about Lou and Will, please read the book first because obviously it is better. Jojo Moyes created this incredible character in Lou that is everything I want to be (including British) and the story is as funny as it is heartbreaking.
I bought the sequel, After You, for my mom for Christmas and rushed her to finish it once I had read the first. Although not as outstanding at the first (as with most sequels), it had an equally intriguing story that left me with many questions. Hopefully this means a third! If you love humour, love, heartbreak and stories of a girl figuring out her life one step at a time, these two books are for you.
Recommend to: Anyone you know who loves a cup of tea, a good story and a good cry – this could be your best friend, your mom or anyone that appreciates a great book.
Jessica Knoll – Luckiest Girl Alive
Rating this book was very hard for me. I bought the book after reading Jessica’s essay in Lenny, which focused on the connection between Ani (the main character in the book) and Jessica’s personal experience with sexual assault. The article was brave and well written so I bought the book that had been compared to Gone Girl on more than one occasion. There were a few very disturbing parts of the book, which is what makes it hard to rate very positively. One particular section, the big twist in the novel, scarred me for a couple of days before I could continue reading it. However, I couldn’t put this book down. It has a thriller aspect to it in the sense that you need to continue reading to find out what happens and that part allows me to call it good.
Recommend to: I don’t love the idea of recommending this book to someone because of the story that it covers but I would love to chat with others that have read it to discuss their thoughts.
Paul Kalanithi – When Breath Becomes Air
There are three books I have read in the past few years that I genuinely believe have changed my life and made me think. When Breath Becomes Air is at the top of that list. For those of you who have not heard of this book, Paul Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon with a love of literature who died of cancer way too early in his life. The 200 pages are filled with Paul’s story and an incredible understanding of mortality and life. I find the best books can be described by the way they make you feel. Paul’s book made me happy and sad but most of all thankful that someone realized the talent he had before it was too late. I have a better understanding of what cancer does to a person, a respect for the people and families who are fighting against the disease fearlessly, and a new perspective in which to see life.
Recommend to: The compassionate people in your life.