Books! Who loves books? Me. I do.
I am sharing with you the last five books I have read. Save for Small Victories, none of these books are new releases. In fact they range from 3 to 202 years old, but isn’t that the beauty of literature? It’s always new to someone. Anyhoo, here we go.
1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
I have been wanting to read something by Margaret Atwood for some time. I picked this gem up at a thrift store and got in to it as soon as I could. I’m a sucker for those dystopian-world-type-stories (movies and books alike) and this one was so great.
It gave me the creeps, in every good way. If I were a man reading it, I’m not sure I would feel that on the same level. In it, women hold no power, neither ‘in the world’ nor personally. They cannot vote, own property of any kind, they are not allowed to read (not even things like store signs or food box labels), and love and friendships (among many things) are punishable by beating or death. They pull Biblical scriptures and use it to oppress women. I suppose what made me feel the way I did was that many women in some cultures live like this in our world, right now. The Handmaid’s Tale was written thirty years ago, but many situations in this book are actually pretty relevant in a lot of ways. Yikes.
One of my favourite quotes: But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest.
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (duh)
I feel like I am the last person on this earth to read this book, but better late than never, right? I loved reading this. I found it challenging to read since it’s (obviously) written in the way people in England spoke in 1813. (And by “challenging” I don’t mean difficult, but it was just different than what I am used to) I loved that there were a few times I had to check my Dictionary app to see what a word meant. Two of my favourite quotes from the book:
Mr. Darcy, on loving Elizabeth: I cannot fix the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun. *swoon!*
Wise words: Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us. *Jane drops mic from the grave*
3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I initially signed this book out from the library because I heard a lot of buzz around it: how it was on all the bestseller lists, people allegedly couldn’t put it down, etc. I was in the mood for an edge-of-your-seat, almost scared to go to bed type of story, so I reserved it (I had to wait three or so weeks) and was super excited when it was finally my turn. I brought it home and started reading. It’s a decent mystery, easy to read, and it does pull you in. However…I wouldn’t say it was very…well, thrilling. After I read it, I just didn’t understand what all the hype was about. It was good, but in my opinion, not ‘hype’ good. In the end, I thought it was okay. If I were the Siskel & Ebert of book reviewers, I would give it one solitary thumb. Or if you prefer scales, perhaps a 6 out of 10.
4. Small Victories by Anne Lamott
This is the first book I have read by Anne Lamott. I don’t read non-fiction on the regular…I find my attention is held more by listening and learning from stories and experience rather than points and how-to’s and the like. Her personal stories had me laughing and crying and cringing, and to me, that’s a great writer that wrote a kick-ass book. Each chapter is a new story with a new lesson on overcoming and grace. I highly recommend it! Go out and read it, like now.
5. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Another ‘genre’ that draws me is stories set in the middle East and south Asia (think A Fine Balance, The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns). I’m not sure why, and I realize this is a very specific taste. Perhaps it intrigues me because it contrasts so much from where I am, with a history and culture that is so different from my own. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking tale of two brothers that choose different paths in life and the consequences of those choices, and how it affects the people in their world. It’s a bit slow at the start, but it’s because the author gives a lot of historic background that is essential to the brother’s tales. It’s worth it.
There you have it. I don’t have favourite quotes from numbers 4 and 5 because there was a bit of a gap between them and number 3, and therefore I can’t remember exact quotes because I forgot to write them down. Life. It happens.
This “Five on Friday” post is part of a weekly link-up of a bunch of Canadian bloggers! Thanks to the gal pals at Two Fun Moms for letting me tag along!
Question: What are the last few books you’ve read? Have a good book recommendation? I’m always looking! Leave it in the comments!
Photos from PhotoPin and Reddit