Monday, January 8, 2018

3 Books I Read Because Other People Made Me

HA just kidding as if anyone could make me read books that I don't want to read (sorry, dad). But sometimes a nudge from a friend really helps to push me out of my comfort zone, or actually sit down and read a book I've been meaning to read for months. Here are a few books I've read recently based almost solely on the recommendations of others!

1. Waking in Time by Angie Stanton

Recommended by: I can't remember who recommended this to me... it may have been Lara? Someone on Twitter, anyway, when I asked for romance recs.

Well, whoever recommended it to me said it was cute, fun romance and they were so right. It was exactly what I needed after the crazy month that is November for university students. It was a simple, fluffy read, featuring romance and time travel and centred around a super sweet family story.  It was such a fun, relaxing read. ...Although I was trying to figure out the age logistics of someone from the 2010s dating someone from the 1920s. Like, is age just inconsequential when you hop from time to time? How does that work? (This is why I love time travel. So many questions. So many possibilities.)

2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Recommended by: A school friend of mine who is getting an English degree. She read Frankenstein for an essay she was writing for class, and said that Frankenstein reminded her of herself in some ways, which I thought was intriguing. I've also been meaning to read Frankenstein for forever, and this was just the push I needed to actually sit down and read it.

It was... a lot different than I expected. I didn't know much about it, aside from the usual cultural connotations of Frankenstein, and that it's considered the first sci-fi novel. It was much starker and sadder than I thought it would be, and a lot of it takes place more internally than the sci-fi I'm used to reading. It was still good though, just made me think. (And also weirded me out a lot...) I'm not sure if I'd recommend it, necessarily, but it was interesting.

3. Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs

Recommended by: A friend of mine that I worked with this past summer, who reads almost exclusively thrillers, which I would not have guessed upon first meeting her. She said it was one of her favourites of the genre.

If you aren't aware by now, I don't really read thrillers at all. I read Melina Marchetta's Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil, but that's it (and it was so very familiar and similar to the rest of MM's work that it wasn't that strange). So reading Monday Mourning was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I gave my friend Jellicoe Road to read in return so I had to read it. It was really good! It's amazing how no matter the genre if there's good, self-aware and empathetic characters then I'm hooked. My favourite part of this book is how Reichs weaved in a message about the utter sadness of women being victims of violence into her mystery story. And it ended so, so well, despite being unexpectedly sad in places.

This recent experience with reading books outside of my comfort zone has made me want to read even more widely and outside of my reading comfort zone. What should I try reading (maybe a genre you haven't seen yet on the blog)? What books have you read solely because of others' recommendations?

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