Everyone knows I love books, so at the end of every year there are a number of rectangular packages under the tree with my name on them. This year, when my little eight-year-old sister handed me a present out of the pile, she was very confident when she said: "I think it's another book."
It was, and I was very happy.
I got a bonus supply of books this year because my beautiful, talented, and adventurous cousin is moving to New Zealand for two years and bequeathed some of her library to me. Books can't replace having her close by me in Canada, but they sure can help!
Snow and sleet have finally come to Toronto, so after a good day's work at my writing desk I've been spending every evening this week curled up with a book. It feels extra luxurious because, for the first time in months, I'm reading books that have nothing to do with school or research for my own project.
Since I'm having so much good old fashioned fun, I thought I would share what's on my literary docket for the next few weeks:
An Incomplete Reading List for 2016
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
This book wasn't actually a Christmas gift, but I picked it up off my mom's bookshelf when I was home recently. I remember her reading it for her bookclub when it first came out over ten years ago and caused a minor sensation. It seemed like everyone read it at the time, but I was very busy with the seventh grade back then and it fell off my radar until now. It's a grippingly well-written novel about some of my favourite topics: 19th century England, forbidden love, insanity, sex, and scandal. It's a big, heavy thing but I find I'm sailing through it rather quickly. I finally understand what all the fuss was about all those years ago.
The Winds of War by Herman Wouk
Herman Wouk was recommended to me a few months ago so I was thrilled to find one of his most well-known books under the Christmas Tree. It also conveniently covers another of my favourite genres: war-time historical fiction. (This genre is one of my favourite because it usually features forbidden love or complicated romances torn apart by tragedy). The Winds of War promises to "capture the tides of global events-- and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II".
How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
This best-selling title was recommended to me during my summer writing residence in Halifax, and I hadn't had the chance to pick it up yet. Needless to say, I was very happily surprised to open it on Christmas Eve. It seems my parents know me very very well! How To Be A Woman promises a humorous and insightful look into modern feminism. Moran seeks to "jump-start a new conversation about feminism" and I'm very curious to discover exactly what that will be.
Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk
I don't know much about this book since it came as part of the bundle from my cousin's collection, but Chuck Palahniuk is on my list of "famous-authors-whose-work-I-should-have-read-by-now". Plus the excerpt on the back cover made it seem pretty interesting: "Six hundred dudes. One porn queen. A world record for the ages. A must-have movie for every discerning collector of things erotic. Didn't one of us on purpose set out to make a snuff movie."
Earth: A Visitor's Guide To the Human Race by Jon Stewart
If I had known that The Daily Show's Jon Stewart had written a book about humanity, I would have bought it within minutes of its launch. How did I go five years without hearing about this book?! I blame it on the fact that when it came out in 2010, I was so deeply immersed in my undergrad that I didn't have time to read anything that wasn't on a syllabus. And I guess it's flown under my radar ever since... But now that I know it exists, I can't wait to read Jon Stewart's summary of our species' entire existence.
These are just a few of the titles I plan to start the year with. What's on your 2016 reading list?