I’m only 3 books behind on my 2014 reading goal for the year! With just over two months to go, I think I might actually make it. I’ve been reading some really great books lately but these ones are my stand-out favourites.
School of Essential Ingredients / This one was meant to be. It was recommended by one of my favourite authors but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Then, an English bookstore near me was having a closing sale and I ended up finding this one tucked away on an upper shelf. I absolutely loved it. The book tells the stories of different people who come together for a cooking class and it was lovely to read. I’m a sucker for food descriptions and stories that stick in your head and this book had plenty of both.
The Rosie Project / I whipped through this book so fast, because it was funny and so well done. The protagonist is very socially awkward (it’s hinted he is probably on the autism spectrum) – which is not in itself funny, but he is also smart and fascinating and completely hilarious. The way it’s written is wonderful, because the character is your classic unreliable narrator so you’re realizing things when he isn’t, which is both fun and funny. It’s a love story, and you are rooting for him every single step of the way. The premise is that he makes an elaborate questionnaire to find himself the perfect wife, and then Rosie happens.
Bridges of Madison County / Gah. This is a perfect little novella. It’s a beautiful love story that I cried while reading, what more is there to say? The friend who recommended it to me said that some people don’t like this book, but I can’t see how. It’s so beautifully written and based on a true story (I can’t decide if that makes it better or worse, emotionally).
Help Thanks Wow / Another short book but packed full of wisdom. The idea is that help, thanks and wow are the only three prayers you need. The book is not overly religious despite the word prayer – but it has this kind of down-to-earth, realistic spirituality that I really resonated with. Anne Lamott is a wonderful writer and it shows through here as well. She just elaborates on each prayer one at a time and ends with amen – it’s simple, accessible, easy, powerful.
This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage / I listened to this as an audiobook and it was not what I had been expecting but I loved it. I really like Ann Patchett as both a writer and a person and it was fascinating to get to know her more through her personal essays (narrated by the author herself!). I cried at the one about her grandmother and found inspiration in the ones about her writing and marriage and travels and friendships.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves / This book was recommended by Parnassus Books (the bookstore owned by Ann Patchett, see above!) by Patchett herself, with the caption:“This will be the All Nashville Reads book for 2014, and my best book of 2013. Don’t talk about it, don’t read the reviews, just read the book. It’s brilliant.” I second that. Don’t read the reviews or the back of the book, just start reading it without knowing anything about it. I did, and it was so awesome to start figuring things out on my own. It’s so touching and well-written and it’s also such a page turner, I couldn’t put it down.
The last two months were so awesome for reading. I started listening to more audiobooks which has been such a happy decision for me. It means I can do twice as much reading and digest twice as many ideas! (Yes, I know I’m obsessed.)
As always, you can see all the books I’ve read and plan to read on GoodReads. Also, if you have any great book recommendations for me, I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments below.