Friday, January 4, 2013


PhotobucketIt seems we bloggers all want to read more and watch less. I feel like I have read that on a bazillion New Year's resolutions lists, including my own. So, I thought today I would talk about a few of my favourite books, just in case you weren't sure how to fulfill your goal.

I'm writing these in no particular order, as I'm terrible at ranking the things I love.

1. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
This is a short story that, although quick to read, sticks with you once you're done. The story centres around Edna who (in 1899) is struggling with and against accepted forms of femininity and motherhood. The ending will blow your mind, I promise!

2. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
This poetic novel is Astrid Magnussen's coming-of-age story. Astrid's mother, Ingrid, finds herself in jail after killing her ex-boyfriend, leaving 12-year-old Astrid in a foster home. Astrid then spends the next five years bouncing from one dysfunctional home to the next. The writing in this novel is incredible. If I hadn't borrowed my copy, there would have been underlines and stars on each page.

3. Small Island by Andrea Levy
This story, set in 1948, is told in the point of view of four characters: Hortense, Queenie, Gilbert and Bernard. I think that's one of the things I like so much about it, having all of the different perspectives. The novel is about the diaspora of Jamaican immigrants, who move to England, the country the men fought for in World War II. This book is a knock out. I've read it twice and will likely read it again.

4. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
This is another short story with a punch. Published in 1892, The Yellow Wallpaper, tells the story of a woman who has been prescribed a "rest cure" following the birth of her baby.  That "cure", which prevents her from working, writing, reading or even leaving her room, pushes her to a dark descent into madness.

5. Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo
This is the story of Mala Ramchandin, a "crazy" old woman suspected of murder. The novel traces back to Mala's youth, to tell of her mother leaving her and her sister behind with her abusive father. This one's a jaw dropping tearjerker.

Well folks, I think five is enough for now. If you do take my advice and read any of these, I'd love to hear what you thought.

And, while we're at it, do you have any recommended reading for me? I have a Kobo E-Reader coming in the mail any day now (thanks Ian!!), so I could definitely use some suggestions.

P.S. I just realized that all of my favourite books are written by women. Interesting!!


  1. I have a KOBO and I love it! I bought Nick the Kobo mini for Christmas and loaded it with the Game of Thrones series for him.

    As for favorite books, this summer I really enjoyed reading all of Charlaine Harris's books (lighter fair then you seem to be interested in, haha, but great romps!) I also just read "The Last Policeman" by Ben Winters.

    My all time favorite book has to be "Firelord" by Parke Godwin (my blog name is from a quote from that book) but it is out of print and not available on KOBO. You can always order it on Amazon if you're interested! There's also "Till We Have Faces" by CS Lewis, "The Princess Bride" by William Goldman, and "A Fine and Private Place" by Peter S. Beagle.

    It seems most of my favorite books are written by men...

  2. Love your list! I'm always looking for new books to read and White Oleander by Janet Finch sounds incredibly interesting .. I'm always drawn to books about children being the protagonist. Thanks for the list Nicole!

    Summer x

  3. I just wrote about reading yesterday! Thank you for this list, I am anxious to pick one of these up!! I have been been in a sort of reading rut so I am hoping these new suggestions will invigorate me :)

  4. Small Island?! I didn't even know it was a book, actually, until you posted about it just now! I recorded the BBC adaptation of it years ago and it still sits on my box, waiting to be watched again and again. I LOVE it! Now that I know it's a book, I'll have to find it! I come.

    And other than that, your list is awesome. I don't think I could list my favourite books. But authors are easy. Douglas Copland, Jasper Fforde, Margaret Atwood, Malcolm Gladwell, Terry Pratchett, Stephen Leacock, Naomi Klein, HG Wells....oh dear, I could go on and on! I'm sure you'll get lots of reading done with your new tech! Have fun!!

  5. Thanks for this list! So many bloggers are counting up all the books they've read and I'm utterly ashamed at how few I read in the last 12 months.

  6. Thanks for your favourites, I'm glad you listed them as one I got for free, another was 49p, 2 aren't available and I saved one to my favourites so I'll let you know what I think.

    I blog every Tuesday about books.

  7. Yes! Thank you very much. I wish everyone would list their things like this so I can get some inspirtation!


  8. I loved The Awakening in high school. Downloading on kindle to retread now! Thanks for the recommendations.

  9. I absolutely love the Yellow Wallpaper. So glad that it made your list!

  10. White Oleander is an AMAZING book! The movie is great too, I think they both stand strong separately.

  11. White Oleander and The Awakening - both such powerful choices. If you like autobiography, I would recommend At Home in the World by Joyce Maynard. If you prefer to stick with fiction, The Everlasting Story of Nory by Nicholson Baker is an interesting tale.

  12. The Awakening is on my "to read" list for next week. I've heard really good things about it and can't wait to start reading.