Why Recommending Books You Probably Won’t Read Is My Favourite Pastime
by Piotr Golinski
One of my favourite hobbies – aside from girl-bossing and astral projecting – is reading! This alone is pretty satisfying, but what’s even better is exceeding expectations by recommending books to people who I know have no intention of coming within 10 metres of a book unless it’s to use as a bug killing weapon. There’s a very specific joy in watching another person’s eyes glaze as I try to summarize the arc of a story in a captivating way and then hearing the blatant lie of adding it to a supposed “list” saved somewhere in the depths of their 7 year old iPhone 4s (which coincidentally is also in the depths of their closet or office drawer) at their parent’s house .
Little do they know, I love depth and layers – especially when reading – so without further ado, here are several recommendations from yours truly with stories ranging from fun and flirty to heavy and dramatic and if you’re not a reader, then here’s your chance to become one – or at the very least, a chance to refresh that “list” of yours.
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
While this is the only non fiction book in my recommendations (I read to escape, what kind of escape is the real world?) it’s a really good one! It’s written in a style that almost teeters at the edge of fiction by attributing human characteristics to trees and sometimes outright identifying them as fellow “creatures” of this earth. By comparing the types of relationships that humans form, author Peter Wohlleben is able to communicate tree behaviour in a way that makes sense to us. Using scientific and personal field research, Wohlleben explains some of the known processes of trees and how they communicate with each other and the world. One of the hardest hitting points that Wohlleben drives is most simply how little we actually do know of trees; most of our knowledge is based on theories and assumptions, but in the end, these life forms speak in a language that humans simply can’t understand; one thing’s for sure though, they are speaking!
The Back of The Turtle by Thomas King
Thomas King is a Canadian author who focuses largely on the First Nations experience and The Back of the Turtle is no different. This story has a few perspectives of various individuals in a deserted reservation after an environmental disaster took place killing many plant and animal life in the surrounding area. Three individuals all must come to terms with their past and they find meaning in their lives through shared experiences. King also provides context for the title through the first nation story of the world starting on the back of the turtle by making several references and anecdotes. I think it’s meant to serve as a metaphor for the entire story, but I’m not too sure how well King managed to actually tie it in rather than just make mention of it several times. Or maybe it’s there and I just didn’t see it. Regardless, a great read with some very thoughtful lines that will tickle your inner existentialist.
Staying Out For The Summer by Mandy Baggot
What some may call “chick lit” I call perfect escapism at it’s finest. Not only can we experience a greek island love in the summer along with the main characters, but what’s more it’s set post COVID 19. Yup! I guess Author Mandy Baggot was just so sick of the pandemic she said “I’ll write about life afterwards!” and if this is what she’s manifesting, then I’m all in for it! Pick this one up if you want to follow along as two overworked nurses from the UK go on vacation to find love, healing, and lizards in the Greek island of Corfu.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Did you really enjoy the book/movie Gone Girl? Lucky for you, Author Gillian Flynn is not a one hit wonder! This novel has all the mystery of Gone Girl but a much darker atmosphere that is almost suffocating at times.. In a good way that is! This story is about an investigative journalist who decides to reconnect with her mother after being assigned a job in her small home-town in the south. Unfortunately, memories of her past are not easy to forget and being there brings back a lot of darkness. I don’t want to give too much away but if you’re even remotely interested, just pick it up from our local library; you won’t regret it. Bonus, if you’re still thinking about the story even after reading (or maybe don’t want to read it but are interested to know more) there’s also a fantastic and true to the book HBO mini series by the same name starring Amy Adams.
Swimming In The Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski
Moving, heartfelt, beautiful, sometimes painful: these are words that come to mind when I recall reading this story of a Polish man who grows up fighting with himself to come to terms with his sexuality. The main character takes us through a life changing experience and then the outcomes of trying to understand how and why the experience was so pivotal while also trying to hide and suppress them. This one is especially touching to me because I relate to some of the experiences. I also admire Jedrowski’s capability to write a story that isn’t explicitly an LBGTQ+ novel. While the details may label it as such, it’s more of a story of love, loss, and ultimately hope for the future, but even without personal connection, it is not hard to find a way to relate to this character. Doesn’t everyone struggle with their emotions and past to some extent?
Hopefully by now, you are already browsing through the Toronto Public Library or Indigo.ca for your next read and how great would it be if that next read was one of my recommendations?! My ego would love it, I can’t even contain myself! And yes I know that reading can seem like a chore, but when you were younger didn’t home reno shows seem like a bore? And look at you know, taking every opportunity to head to Homesense to recreate that living room you saw on Love it or List It and Take This House And Sell It (please tell me you remember those shows). Maybe that person who thought they weren’t a reader is long gone now and a curious individual looking to get swept away to Greece has taken their place? Remember reading doesn’t have to be a chore and if you want to enjoy it, you only have to be interested in what you’re reading even if it’s some “perfect escapism”.
If you have any recommendations you’d like to send me feel free to comment below!