Who am I?
I write. (you know that)
I talk. (a lot)
But something I don’t do is read.
Well, something I didn’t do was read. I have surprised my family and friends, (and pretty sure I would surprise my grade 3 teacher who thought I suffered from aphasia), by already completing four books in 2012.
No, this isn’t a goal of mine for the year. The great friends I have in Calgary decided just before Christmas that the girls needed a little more girl time, so we decided to have monthly get togethers; no boys allowed. Book Club! aka bitches, books and boardgames. (Of course we titled it).
Weary to the thought of all that reading, I was characteristically hesitant. I don’t read, I am not drawn in by books, I get bored so easily, I have zero attention span. Each one of those thoughts circled in my brain while everyone else was giddy with excitement.
This ain’t no Oprah’s book club. We have some great literary selectors in the group who have picked really thrilling books, we meet monthly over wine and fantastic conversation, and eat delicious food that is usually themed to complement the book or the host.
I’d suggest each of the four books for anyone to read, most alongside a box of Kleenex.
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Just like Beaches is the ultimate best friend movie (thank Jenn for making Dani and I sit through that one), this is the ultimate best friends book. I don’t know any woman who hasn’t balled their eyes out reading it, but if you make it through the piles of tissues, you will take away Hannah’s themes of love, power, friendship and trust.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
I was looking to a mostly scientific based book after the emotional tug I suffered in January. Not the case. Fewer tears, but they were still there. In Still Alice, the main character, Alice, is a Harvard professor that is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. That hit too close to home after losing my grandmother to Alzheimer’s a year and a half ago. It explains her journey with her family and with her profession as she slips deeper and deeper into the disease.
The Book Thief by Mark Zusak
Your narrator for this tale is death. It only seems to be fitting for a story set in Nazi Germany. I thought I’d get out of this one tear-free, but the epilogue hit and I cried the entire way through. The little heroine, Liesel, will steal your heart. She is brave, she is smart, she is loving. You know the story of WWII already, the story from the Allies and the story of the little Jewish girl, but this is the story of a Germany town trying to survive. What I learned: the bad guy isn’t always bad, death isn’t a bad guy.
Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
I didn’t cry! I was just assigned this book on Sunday, and have managed to wrap it up already. I could not put it down. The Thirteenth Tale is a story about a story teller, told by a story teller, to a story teller. Have I lost you yet? A writer’s life, no kidding I’m captivated. You can’t predict this book. There are a few little signs that you will pick up, but just when you think you’ve figured it all out Vida Winter will tell you another part of the story that you couldn’t even imagine but somehow it all makes sense in the end.
I know, I really can’t believe it either. I surprise myself each time I turn a page. It’s not like me at all, but this new girl isn’t so bad. Plus, she looks pretty smart with her glasses on and nose in a book.
Have you read any of these books? Can you suggest any others for our book club?