I absolutely love to read, and I love to share the books I like best with other people. Every few months here on the blog I choose my favourites from what I’ve read lately and write about them. As always, you can see everything I’m reading on my Goodreads profile!
One of the best things I’ve done in Quito so far is to join a book club. We’ve had two meetings so far this year, and both have been such interesting, awesome discussions about really good books. It’s also introduced me to some great people who have become friends outside of our book club meetings. It just goes to show: books (and the people who love them) are the best!
Here are my faves from the last two months.
1. The City & The City by China Mieville
This was our February book club choice. It’s about two different city states that exist in the same physical space but aren’t allowed to acknowledge, see, or interact with the other city that exists right next door. I felt that the setup and description of the cities and their rules was more interesting even than the murder mystery plot – fascinating, and definitely thought-provoking. I didn’t love the end, but we had a really great discussion about the book and how it brings up issues of class, capitalism, bureaucracy, authoritarianism, and human nature.
2. Delancey by Molly Wizenberg
This one left me really feeling like I needed to drop everything and open a pizza restaurant. Molly Wizenberg is a great writer, especially when it comes to her food descriptions (yummm) and her total honesty. I appreciated how real she was about her reservations about the restaurant and how she wasn’t always fully supportive or understanding of her husband’s big idea. The story is so inspiring and exciting, and it made me feel nostalgic about my restaurant days.
3. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
This was the first book I read for my book club and it surprised me. I expected a bunch of funny essays on love, in the style of Bossypants, but it’s not like that at all. Yes, there’s humour, but what’s interesting is that Aziz actually teamed up with a sociologist for 3 years (!) to do formal studies of what dating and relationships are really like right now. It’s interesting and insightful, and talks about everything from Tinder to the success of arranged marriages to how people used to choose marriage partners 50 years ago to what the dating scene is like in Japan right now.
4. A Year of Mornings by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes
This one is actually a book of photographs – diptychs, to be precise. I “read” it in about half an hour, but I really found it inspiring. Two friends live 3191 miles apart, and for a year they take photographs of their mornings every weekday. They pair the photos together and the result is this lovely, simple collection. Sometimes the photos are uncannily similar or complementary, even though they never coordinated with each other or had themes for each day. It left me wanting to pick up my camera, wake up earlier, and do a better job of documenting and celebrating my humble, beautiful life just as it is. The photos in the book don’t seem overly styled and they don’t depict a life that seems unattainable – they’re just a source of inspiration for you to notice the beauty in your everyday life, too.
You can see all my book recommendation blog posts here.