As the days get a little longer and we are reaching into the spring, I thought it was a perfect time to share a few reads that have had me entertained this year. I hope you have a cozy, preferably sunny, spot to enjoy some stories.
What's included: a debut mystery novel from a local author, a palette-cleansing, cheap thrill, a poignant memoir, a hilarious family drama that revolves around the pitfalls of social media, and another that I haven't finished reading yet!
I'm starting with this book because I am currently reading it and thoroughly enjoying it. Slightly daunting, as it's a good length (575 pages), but I enjoy Towles characters and the writing style so much that I find myself looking forward to picking it up and breezing through 60+ pages at a time. His previous book, A Gentleman in Moscow, is another that several friends have loved and I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm hesitant to write a little synopsis here, because I've only just started. But trust that if I'm already enjoying it and suggesting it this far, then it's worth picking up!
The Echo Chamber, John Boyne
This book surprised me and I found myself laughing out loud at several points. I haven't read any of Boyne's other books, but this is apparently quite the departure from his usual storylines. I read as an alternative to scrolling social media, so picking up a book about the impacts of social media felt a little ironic to me. However: the laughs alone and the tongue-in-cheek structure of it all kept me going. It was a slower start, but the family characters and dynamics at play here all reaching their own, yet intersecting, pitfalls picked up and carried me through.
Windfall is a book I would have never discovered on my own if not for my friend giving it to me for my birthday. It was written by one of her co-workers here in Victoria. The underbelly revolves around the infamous high-altitude robbery + disappearance of D.B Cooper, so naturally, I found myself intrigued all the way through. It was a simple, fun read, and another book that I looked forward to getting back into when I wasn't reading it. A little stretched out at the end, but I still enjoyed it. I was reading this while I was spending time in Vancouver last month, and since the setting is in Vancouver, it was fun to know the areas and stores that were being referenced along the way. If you want to hear about D.B Cooper as a bedtime story, check it out here on Wikisleep!
This book was a tough one for me. Put plainly, I think it's a very relatable read for many women and while it could be called an easy read, its actually anything but that. The way she describes her experiences, how her body and images have been used, spoken about, and gazed at that was a particular form of catharsis for me. The over-arching theme is the impacts of objectifying women, how it begins at a very early age and is deeply ingrained into our society and psyche. There were parts of this book that were so relatable; she gave voice to thoughts that I'd had from my own experiences of trauma that I had to stop to put the book down and just process. To get a glimpse of some themes that are covered in her memoir, read her short story that was published in the New Yorker. When I was done reading this, I wanted my friends to read it, my partner, my mom, everyone. I think this woman is to be celebrated for being so raw and honest by aptly and courageously sharing her thoughts and emotions.
And to finish things off: a cheap-thrills palette cleanser of a mystery. I've read a few of Lucy Foley's books now and while they don't really have a ton of depth to them, she is good at concealing what's really going on and hiding the answers in plain sight. I'm always surprised by her endings, even if I think I've figured it out half-way through, and The Paris Apartment was no different.