Book Club: March & April

Best Books of 2016 >> Life In Limbo

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. You can also check out what I’m reading at #stephlovestoread on Instagram.

At the end of March, I was lucky enough to go away to a lodge in the jungle for a few days on my own. It was obviously incredible in so many ways, but one unexpected benefit was getting so much reading done – as in, a book a day. It really showed me how distracted I’ve been getting lately, and mostly by social media, as sad as that is. Getting to spend a few days with my nose in a book was total bliss and reminded me of how much I love reading. My phone wallpaper is still Read A Book Instead, but I need to start following that motto a bit more often.

That said! I still got to read a few really great books over the past few months. Here are my recent faves:

Best Books of 2016 >> Life In Limbo

1. I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam

I love Laura Vanderkam so much that I’ve actually started to think: “what would Laura Vanderkam do?” when making decisions. Yes, really. She has such a unique way of thinking about the world, especially when it comes to money and time. I think what I like most about her writing is that her philosophy is one of abundance and possibility, rather than the same old stories of scarcity and fear. In this book for example, she profiles women who have successful careers and families and are managing to make it all work in their own ways. It just felt like a breath of fresh air, and really showed me that I carry some limiting beliefs about “having it all” that might not even be true.

2. The Bees by Laline Paull

This book is written from the point-of-view of a worker bee born into the lowest caste in an orchard hive. She is smart and curious, and has to learn how to navigate a hive full of politics and rules and mysterious rituals. The book incorporates a ton of science about bee behaviour, but spins it all into a really fascinating, compelling narrative. So even though the book was fictional, I came away feeling like I had learned a lot about bees. I read this one in a “book club” with my boyfriend and it sparked so many interesting discussions between us.

3. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

This novel is short, because Offill doesn’t need a lot of words to convey the beautiful, heartbreaking, lovely, nostalgic scenes that she’s created. It’s the story of a marriage with all its ups and downs, and it’s told using many different kinds of images, philosophies, and ideas. Mostly, this one just made me feel a lot of feelings – I read it in a day and already want to read it again, because of that intangible feeling that it evoked.

4. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Once it gets going, this one is a page-turner and a thriller, but at the same time is different than other books of a similar genre. What I liked most about the book was how you as a reader begin with one idea of the protagonist, but that idea completely changes as the book progresses. The character (like the best kinds of people) gets more complex and interesting with time and as you learn more of her back story. I loved the twist, which I didn’t see coming, and I also liked the ending.

You can see all my book recommendation blog posts here.

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