At the beginning of 2017, I set my reading challenge on Goodreads to thirty books for the year. I was doing pretty well for the first six months, staying at least two-three books ahead of schedule, but in the second half it petered off as I went into a reading slump in the fall, and I ended up finishing at only twenty-two. Twenty-two books isn’t exactly a whole lot of selection to choose from when choosing a Top 5, but there were a few that stood out to me. When considering which books made it to this list, I looked at the rating I gave it on Goodreads, how fast I finished it, and how memorable it was for me. The books are in no particular ranking order.
From the minute I heard about this book on an episode of The Next Chapter CBC podcast, I knew I wanted to read it. Barbara Gowdy’s Little Sister has quite an intriguing premise, not to mention a rather creepy, enticing cover. It takes place in Toronto, Ontario and follows a third-person narrative of Rose Bowan. Rose is in her thirties and owns an old movie theatre with her mother, who is gradually losing herself to dementia. Something strange begins happening to Rose during that summer; every time a thunderstorm occurs in the area, she finds herself losing consciousness and has vivid, realistic encounters whilst inhabiting another woman’s body. Rose sets out to find this other woman to see if she’s real, in hopes that she can come face-to-face with her eventually.
When I was working at Chapters, I kept seeing this book on the shelf in the fiction section, staring out at me for weeks, and finally decided to get it. It follows the story of teenage Linda, living with her parents on a lake in northern Minnesota. On summer, a family with a 4 year old son named Paul move in across the lake, and Linda begins to babysit Paul. Over the course of that summer, “Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life.”
From that synopsis, I was prepared for some sort of epic, tragic revelation and subtle but crazy events at every turn. There’s this whole build up to what happens to Paul; you know something bad is going to happen to him (it’s revealed in the first page), but you don’t know what. Then finally when it does happen, I was a bit shocked but it all happened so fast, I expected more to come. And then when it ended later without much else happening, I was just super underwhelmed. It was not what I was expecting; it was subtle to the point of being almost so subtle I missed what the point of it was. Continue reading
You’ll be scared, but you won’t know why – that’s what I kept hearing people say about this book, and they weren’t wrong.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Canadian author Ian Reid follows a first person narrative of a young woman and her boyfriend driving on the road, headed towards the house of the boyfriend’s parents. On this drive, it becomes clear from the first line in the book that the girlfriend is thinking of ending her relationship with the boyfriend. Sounds harmless enough, right? It possibly even evokes expectations of some sort of rom-com or chick-lit plot – but you couldn’t be more wrong. From the first page onwards, things just get exponentially bizarre and creepier, more than you would ever think, and it keeps it up, right until the final page. Continue reading
That’s right – I no longer work at a bookstore. As of exactly a month ago, I’ve gotten a new job somewhere else, somewhere just as good as a bookstore – if not better in some ways. But it’s a secret for now; more shall be revealed later in a separate post. While I love my new job and am very excited for it, there are definitely things I’m going to miss about my old job… Continue reading