As I’m known for being quite the book nerd, I often get asked about what I’m reading and for book recommendations, so I thought that I’d do a cheeky round up of what’s on my current reading pile and tell you about a few, that whilst not new releases, are up there as must reads for me.
My first few titles are stories that are very much family centred dramas. They’re not for the faint-hearted to be honest, as they all centre on subjects that are tough to imagine or even think about as a mum. But I think that it’s important that we do; they’re beautifully written and by authors that I love, so I wholeheartedly recommend them and think that you’ll love them too.
Wonder – R J Palacio
I’ve written a review on this before– so have a read if you’d like a broader overview – and given that it’s been a well-publicised film with Julia Roberts this year you’re probably familiar with it anyhoo. But if you’re not aware of the story and haven’t spotted the trailer, August (the main character) was born with facial deformities which has led to a childhood spent in hospital having innumerable operations and being home-schooled by his mum; when we pick up the story he is about to go to school (middle school) for the first time and we experience that first year with him. The story is told from the perspectives of different children in Auggie’s life, which I really enjoyed, and it’s just a lovely lovely read. I bought it to read to my ten year old son, but ended up nabbing it first, and I have to say that it’s one of the best books that I’ve read this year!
We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver
Talk about tough material; just how could you go on if your child did the unspeakable things that Kevin does in this story?! This book is not an easy read. I won’t spoil it if you’ve not stumbled across the book or the movie before, but it’s essentially about a woman whose teenage son Kevin has committed a Columbine-style massacre and the aftermath of this teenage boy’s psychopathic rampage; how it affects the family, the events that led up to the massacre and her trying to understand whether there was one defining moment, terrible misjudgement or failure as a mother that set Kevin on his path. I found myself distressed and repulsed in equal measures so don’t enter into this expecting a fluffy read, it’s not but it’s bloody well written – I love Lionel Shriver and have enjoyed everything that I’ve read of hers – and it stayed with me long after I closed the last page with a shudder. Read it if you haven’t already; it will haunt you, but you won’t regret it!
My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
I’ll let you in to a secret. This has been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of months now and I haven’t plucked up the courage to read it yet; I desperately want to but am a little bit scared. One of my friends has given it to me and can’t recommend it enough – and we like the same kind of books – but as the crux of the book is a girl dying of cancer and the story of her sister who’s essentially born as a donor to save her sister’s life, it sounds harrowing, and I know that I’ll be a blubbing mess by the end of it. But as a big Jodi Picoult fan – she sure doesn’t shy away from challenging subject matter – I know that I need to put on my big girl pants and read it!
Right, moving away from all things beautifully written but harrowing and tissue drenching, here are the two books that I’m currently reading and loving.
Every Note Played – Lisa Genova
Well ok, it’s not an easy breezy skip through the park, so maybe we haven’t taken a turn to all things light hearted but Lisa Genova is bloody awesome and Still Alice and Left Neglected are two of my fave books ever – read them read them read them if you haven’t – and her latest offering is not disappointing. Lisa’s a talented author – she has a Ph. D. in Neuroscience and uses that knowledge to educate and entertain us about neurological diseases and disorders – and just as she did in Still Alice with Alzheimer’s here she brings to life ALS and how it affects not only the victim but all those who surround and care for them. I’m really enjoying what I’ve read so far so can definitely recommend this as one to download/throw into your Book Depository basket.
The Kookaburra Creek Café – Sandy Docker
Now I had to finish with this one; it’s a bit special as it’s the debut novel from Sandie Docker, a school mum at my sons’ school and we’re all really proud of her. Heart-warming and charming, in the very best sense of the word, this is a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea and bickie (or 5) kind of a read; multilayered, full of real characters and set in a small Australian town that you immediately want to visit, it tells the story of three generations of woman who all seek solace – and find so much more – in a café in a small town. I haven’t finished it yet – book club isn’t until Wednesday so I’m not rushing – but just know that I’m going to keep enjoying it and will be asking Sandie when the next instalment is coming out when I bump into her next in Woolies!
So that’s my current reading list anda few book recommendations for you; have you read any of them, what do you think?