Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Reading List

'Tis the season to snuggle up in front of the fire with long, incredible books. There are so many new releases worthy of your time this year! Whether you are travelling for the holidays or staying home with family, steal a few moments, grab your favorite throw blanket and a cozy cup of hot cocoa to dive into some of these:

If you haven't already, you must read The Goldfinch, which is likely the best book of 2013. It's one of the most fascinating books I've read in the last few years... riveting, suspenseful, creative, and extremely well written. My review here.

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride won this year's National Fiction Book Award, and for good reason. It is a beautiful and hearbreaking story about slavery, told by the perspective of a young boy who has been snapped up by the abolitionists movement. This is a great historical fiction read and will bring you straight to the period and place because it is completely written in the 1850s dialect. While this authenticity can be difficult to navigate at times, the lyrical writing, astonishing dialogue and the wonderful character development more than make up for some tough passages.

A House in the Sky by Sara Corbett is a beautiful and touching memoir about a young woman who has a passion for travel and strives to live a meaningful, significant life. After having travelled across most of the world, backpacking, meeting new people and understanding various cultures, she travels to Somalia -- one of the most dangerous places on earth. As soon as she arrives, she is abducted by masked men and kept in captivity for 460 days. What she accomplishes in the face of adversity, how she manages to escape, and what she takes with her -- this is the tale of courage and fortitude that we all can learn something from. 

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton is set in New Zealand and begins with a tragedy, mystery and a dark secret. I just started this historical novel, but so far, I am enjoying it... plus, the reviews are fantastic! 

While I have really mixed feelings about her work, Elizabeth Gilbert's new novel, The Signature of All Things, is a great, light and well-written piece. It's clear to me that she is best at fiction, and caters to an audience that is looking for something refreshing and inspirational to read. As always, her novel focuses on love, identity and travel. Alma Whittaker is a well-rounded and loveable character, fleshed out by the author's imagination.

The Rosie Project by Graemie Simsion is essentially a love story, about a scientist on a mission to find a wife. He comes up with a survery to disqualify the unsuitable, and ends up meeting Rosie Jarman, who does not meet the criteria he is seeking. Still, their connection transcends everything else, as Don is forced to realize that love knows no reason. This is a strange and unconventional book about love, but is satisfyingly optimistic and wonderfully written!

What are you reading lately?

In case you missed it, check out my Fall Reading List too!

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