Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Club for One

One of my goals this year was to focus on doing more of the things I love...... but with three jobs this has proved easier said than done! I have been too busy on weekends to go snowboarding and the weather in Vancouver has been less than stellar, thus squashing my big ideas to enjoy lovely sunny runs along the seawall. What I have been able to do, however, is bury myself in some great books. Since I work in before and after school care, by definition this leaves me a break in the day where I have some time to kill.....so I grab a cup of tea and bury myself in a book for a few hours. I have come to cherish these moments as a chance to remind myself why I loved reading as a child....to escape from the real world and get a glimpse into someone else's life. I am not afraid to admit that I have always been a nosy person, I love finding out the details of other people's life and seeing the world through his or her eyes if just for a moment. For me, reading feeds this curiosity, opens my mind to new perspectives and in my opinion there is no better way to de-stress than to lose yourself in a great story! When I was doing my clothing inventory I decided to also do a book inventory and I found that I have quite a few books on my bookshelf that I haven't read! They range from friends recommendations, to the latest Oprah book club books and even a few impulse purchases from one of my frequent Chapters 'pop-ins' (yes friends I admit, I was wooed by Heather's picks). After sorting and counting I realized I can read a new book a month for the entire year.....and so began the Book Club for one! 

What I am reading in 2011:
January- Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
February- The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
March- The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy
April- Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan
May- The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
June- Small Island by Andrea Levy
July- Freedom by Jonathan Franzen 
August- Empire of Asia by Adam Lewis Schroeder
September-Last Night at Chateau Marmot 
by Lauren Weisberger (a little guilty pleasure to cure the back to school blues)
October-The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls 
November-The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
December-Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

January's Book Report 
Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda is the story of two mothers, whose lives are joined by the daughter they share. Born in India, a country that favors boys, Asha is given up by her birth mother Kavita to an orphanage where she is adopted by Somer, and her husband Krishnan an American couple who can't conceive a child of their own. This book follows Kavita, Somer, and Asha as their lives unfold on opposite sides of the world. It was definitely a heartwarming book that was a quick-read and I couldn't put it down, but I must say part of the motivation to keep reading was the hope that something unexpected would happen....but it never did. So all-in-all, a predictable albeit enjoyable read! 

So, if you want to make 2011 the year you rediscover your love for reading too, then join me in reading some or all of these books this year! Luckily, Secret Daughter was a quick read because my next book is going to be a tough one.....The Shock Doctrine is a big commitment, but having read the first three chapters I have found it to be interesting, eye-opening and as most thought-provoking reads are..... potentially controversial. Surprisingly enough, it makes me miss my life as an undergraduate communications student, I forgot how exciting it was to argue....ahem...I mean... engage in intelligent dialogue and challenge every assumption we have about the world. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I am enjoying it....and isn't that what this project is all about? 

Happy Reading!

PS: Had quite a few suggestions for a place to donate my $365. Check out my new poll with the top 3 and vote for your fave :)


  1. I really like Secret DAughter too! Reading another one on your list right now - Glass Castle. That is an intense book!

  2. I have heard that was an intense one....I think I have a good balance on my list between fluffy and intense though....hopefully!

  3. I've only read two of the books on your list, so I might have to join you!

  4. That sounds great Jessica! Which books have you already read?

  5. I've read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle & Sarah's Key. I won't say anything about them til after you've read them! :-)