As I’ve been packing up my place getting ready to move (whenever that’s going to be), I’ve been going through my little library and reminiscing about past books read. It’s funny the ones that stand out in your head, even years after you’ve read them, as being amazing. I thought I’d put a little collection of some of my favourites over the past few years. Each of these is very much recommended, although most are pretty substantial. I mean, you need to invest your reading time into them. But you won’t be disappointed.
The Age of Wonder, by Richard Holmes
The Age of Wonder, by Richard Holmes. There is something about the age of exploration that I find fascinating and, yes, incredibly romantic. It makes me wish I lived in the Victorian ages just so I could go here these talks on nascent principles and ideas, no matter how off they were in the long run. In my Victorian fantasies I’m super rich and, apparently, male. But just reading about these explorers, these astronomers, these scientists developing these wonderful inventions and ideas that went on to better the world … it’s heady stuff. At times the book is a bit dry, but for the most part the subject matter is so rich you get entirely wrapped up in it.
Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
I know this is a pretty popular best-seller out there, but I just wanted to state that I loved the book. I think the best way to describe it is that is was beautiful. Visually, I mean. The details and the intricacies of the setting are so embroidered into the text that you can see it, hear it, taste it. I wish that Night Circus was a real thing, I think I’d be a devotee as well. I think this would make a fantastic movie (I’m not sure – is it going to be?). The plot wasn’t as well fleshed out as I thought it could be, but that wasn’t really the point. When you read this book, it’s like you enter into this dark world.
I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb
I read this book a very long time ago, and it still lingers with me. I was actually reluctant to read it at first because it’s an Oprah book, and at the time I hadn’t read many of hers that I really enjoyed. This one blew me away, though. That is all. Go read it.
A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
Just in case you were wondering whether the entire history of the planet, and science, and some other stuff thrown in there could actually be entertaining – it can be when Bryson is writing about it. How physics becomes laugh-out-loud funny I’ll never understand, but therein is his genius. I feel about eighteen times smarter after reading this book and any knowledge I have on anything probably comes 95% from this book.
Matched is a lighter YA read, but one I really enjoyed. It was the first novel of a trilogy, and I know I’ve blogged about the final book in the series, Reached, a few months ago. While the ending didn’t meet my expectations, it is because my expectations were really raised by this beginning. I loved the world Condie had created and sympathized with each of the characters. Maybe I’m also biased because one of the heroes has one of my favourite names ever – what is it about a name that makes you like someone more or less? I do absolutely suggest this book to anyone who loves their YA dystopic fiction.
Word of the day:
Circumspect: watchful and discreet; cautious; prudent: circumspect behavior.