Winter saps me of my creative drive. Every single winter I start to worry that I’ve lost my mojo…I swear it. And then spring comes around in all her glory and I can’t stop babbling on about the blossoms and the beauty as I reenter the world with my camera in hand. I suppose winter would be different if I were out everyday experiencing its cool, serene beauty. But in reality, I am pretty much locked in the house with the two boys wondering which one of us will make it out alive come spring. It’s like a (much less entertaining) cross between Survivor and Gladiator around here. I keep coming here hoping to find words but end up snapping my computer shut and retreating to bed to read. On that note, I have loads of great reading recommendations to share (and not much else!). I hope you too are in the mood to curl up with a good read, because there are some amazing titles here…
Everything I Never Told You : This is a hauntingly beautiful book, written in fast, sharp prose. It’s an intimate peek into a family that is falling apart at the seams, and when the eldest daughter turns up dead, the pressure and secrets start to spill over. This is not a fast paced murder mystery, rather a careful look at the ways in which a mother and father can allow their own histories to weigh down their children beyond saving.
Us: A Novel: Equally heartbreaking and hysterical this novel explores a marriage that is crumbling at its seams. The husband narrates the story, and he is such a rich and wonderful character, full of hilarious insights and quirks. Along with his wife and son, he is taking a family holiday in Europe with the hope of saving his marriage along the way. Like I said; hilarious and heartbreaking.
Still Life With Bread Crumbs: When a famous photographer finds herself broke and divorced, she decides to rent out her expensive NYC apartment and flee for the (cheaper) countryside. She rents a dilapidated cabin in a small town filled with nosy neighbors and spotty cell service. On her own for the first time in decades, she is forced to rediscover what really makes her tic. A fabulous, warming read.
The Secret Place: I have loved almost everything Tana French has written. Her writing is fast-paced and casual, like you’d expect out of a bunch of hardened Dublin Murder Squad detectives. When a boy is found murdered on the grounds of an exclusive all-girls boarding school, the squad comes out in force to find his killer. They come up empty handed. A year passes and a new clue brings a pair of detectives back to the scene of the crime where they begin piecing together what went down. Tana French does a great job depicting the highly emotional world of teenage girls- the characters and dialogue are spot on.
The Girl on the Train: This book is everywhere right now. It has been popping up on every bestseller list around. I liked it and I sped right through it, but it wasn’t a read that will stay with me. The main character is so utterly depressing that I had a hard time warming up to the book, to be honest. But it was a nice whodunnit- a fast and entertaining read.
My Sunshine Away: I found this book via the Indie Next List, which almost never steers me wrong. Again, I liked it and I sped right through it, but there were a few things that bothered me about the book. The story focuses around the narrator, a teenage boy who is so lovestruck by his neighbor that he can think of little else. Seriously. His whole obsession seemed a bit too much, and it eventually led me to tire of the plot a bit. There were elements of this book that I enjoyed, but it wasn’t at the top of this here list.
Fire Shot Up My Bones: I’ve had this on my radar for a while as I usually love memoirs. And I loved the beginning of this one, the parts that focused on Charles’ childhood in rural Louisiana. However once he started in on his college years, and the ridiculousness of his fraternity, he totally lost me. I had a hard time finishing the book because I lost interest in his life story. The whole fraternity, drink-til-you-puke, haze your brothers into submission, thing is so not entertaining, which is a shame, because he is a great writer.
Station Eleven: This is one of those apocalyptic books that I always walk right past at the bookstore. I’ve watched a few episodes of The Walking Dead and read The Road and that’s enough of that. But this book feels different- it follows the lives of its characters both before and after the “Georgian Flu” wipes out 99% of the Earth’s population. It caught me completely by surprise but I ended up loving this book wholeheartedly. I read it in a single (very late) night.
If you were headed to the beach and had a weekend of lounging and reading stretched out before you and I had to recommend my top four picks, I would go with Station Eleven, Us: A Novel, The Secret Place and Everything I Never Told You. If you were stuck inside during the Snowpocalypse I would recommend the same! ;) I hope you’ll share what your reading!