I enjoy reading (my B.A. is in English Literature), but I don’t have a lot of time to read. I try and squeeze it in for 20-30 minutes each day and for a few hours on the weekend. Because my reading time is limited, I try and read only very good or great books. That might sound like I’m a bit of a book snob and I guess I can’t argue with that, but it really boils down to being efficient. If there are 100 books and your time is limited and 50 of them are poor, 25 of them are okay, 15 of them are pretty good and 10 of them are excellent, why would you want to read all 100 books? Anyway, here is my reading list for winter 2020:
Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny
I have never read a Louise Penny book before, but she is a favourite of my very well-read mother and has had numerous books at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list. Penny was also a broadcaster with CBC Radio before turning her hand to writing fiction. The Armand Gamache series focuses on a police chief inspector who investigates murder cases in a charming Quebecois village, the fictional Three Pines. For all of these persuasive reasons, I decided that investing my time in Louise Penny’s books was probably a good bet so I started with Kingdom of the Blind. I am so glad I added Kingdom of the Blind to my reading list for winter 2020 as it is not only a great mystery, but a book in which you’ll feel like you are becoming acquainted with new friends. Have you read any of Louise Penny’s books? Please let me know what your favourite one is in the comment section.
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Washington Black is the story of a young boy (George Washington Black called “Wash”) born into slavery in Barbados in the early 19th century. Wash, who has a talent for creating detailed sketches, is taken under the wing of the white plantation owner’s brother, Titch, to become an assistant in his scientific discoveries. As a result of a death in which Washington is incriminated, Titch and Wash escape to Virginia and then end up in the Arctic, where Titch’s father is conducting research. I found this book to be a fascinating and enlightening read since it contained many historically accurate details regarding the treatment of slaves on plantations and the colonizers’ prejudicial attitudes. It is also a story of Wash’s profound courage and steadfast loyalty to Titch.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
I was excited to add The Testaments to my reading list for winter 2020 because it made such a huge splash in 2019 by winning The Booker Prize. When my sister lent me her copy of this dystopian novel, I couldn’t wait to dig into it. I noticed that many reviewers on Goodreads said they felt that The Testaments was redundant i.e. it didn’t really add to the experience of the first book in the series, The Handmaid’s Tale. Because I didn’t read The Handmaid’s Tale (nor have I watched the popular series starring Elizabeth Moss), the whole premise of The Testaments was new to me and I found the story kept me captivated. For those who are unfamiliar with the plot, the United States of America has been overthrown. The new country of Gilead is a militarized society where women are not allowed to read, write, own property, manage their finances or have control over their reproductive functions. The Testaments follows the story of handmaid Offred’s two daughters: one living in Gilead and the other living in Canada.
The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante
My sister lent me her copy of A Brilliant Friend, which is the first book in this series. The books center on Elena and her intellectually gifted friend Lila, growing up in the 50s in a working-class neighbourhood in Naples, Italy. In The Story of a New Name, 16-year-old Elena is able to continue her studies and experience a bit of freedom from her restricted life while Lila has been forced into an unhappy marriage. I found the descriptions of the firey and flamboyant characters in the first novel amusingly memorable and the characters’ loyalties to tradition, culture and pride are in stark contrast to the more relaxed and changing attitudes of modern North American society.
Let me know if you get a chance to read any of the above-noted books and what you thought of them. What is on your reading list for winter 2020?
You might be interested in reading, “Best Books to Give as Gifts for the Holidays 2019“.
This is an interesting list! I’ve been making a conscious effort to read more in 2020 so I’ll have to check these out. Thanks for sharing!
I am also trying to read more this year (instead of watching TV!) Cheers, Lori
I am interested to read Washington Black. That sounds like a great book to read this weekend. I can relate to you, when it comes to time dedicated to reading. I have to put a sign over my head “Currently reading. Do not disturb.” Haha.
I hope you enjoy Washington Black. It’s very well written. I like your “Do not disturb” sign idea. Cheers, Lori
My favorite author right now is Lisa Gardner. I will have to put this one on my reader list.
I have never heard of her. I will have to check some of her books out. Cheers, Lori
Thanks for sharing.. I bet it is making some of us be more inspired to read some of them. Continue to do this.
I love learning about new books too! Cheers, Lori
Sounds like you have a lot of reading to do. I am always looking for a new read, so will add a few of these to the list xx
Yes, there always seems to be so many books I want to read! Cheers, Lori
I’ve been working hard on reading more this year. This is a good place to start for sure
That is always my goal: to read more! Cheers, Lori
I haven’t read any of your March list. I will share them with my book club. I only read 2 books a month.
I only manage to read two books a month too. I think these books would be great for a book club! Cheers, Lori
Sounds like a nice list! I started a big sci-fi series I was hoping to read for a long time so my March is packed full. Will probably still read something for work and sports as well
Like you, I have many books on my to-read list! So many books, so little time! Cheers, Lori
The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante looks interesting. I’m fascinated with stories from a different time zone. I wanna know how it feels to live in the 50’s.
I also like to read stories that take place in different countries. I think you will enjoy The Story of a New Name! Cheers, Lori
These all sound sogreat! I always need new books to add to my list
[…] What a great time to tackle the books piling up on your night table or get your kids reacquainted with the love of reading! Having a bit of downtime will give you and your kids enough time to dive deeply into that intriguing mystery book or Sci-Fi novel. Here are some of the books I’m currently reading. […]
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