The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
I picked up The Kite Runner last month at a used book sale, knowing that it is a highly regarded ‘must read in your lifetime novels’. I stared it on the plane on the way to Florida, and truthfully had to battle through the first few bits of the book. I found it disturbing and difficult to stomach, but after posting about it on IG, I had an overwhelming amount of people encouraging me to keep reading. I’m glad that I did. I finished this book with tears steaming down my face on the beach (Despite two chapters earlier debating throwing the book into the ocean never to be seen again). It was an emotional, heart wrenching but overwhelmingly powerful novel that I am happy to give the full 5 star rating.
Dare to Lead – Brené Brown
May was Brené Brown month for Human Kind Book Club and Dare to Lead was my third Brené Brown book, and possibly the most relevant and applicable to my life. Dare to Lead takes all of the lessons built in her earlier works and puts them into practice with an emphasis on leadership and business. I think that focus scared a few people off of this book, but after discussing it at the HKBC meet up, it was clear that those who did read it, but are not in a typical office setting, still were able to find some incredible takeaways and applications. Do not be scared of the ‘business focus’ of this book. If this will be your first Brené Brown book, I strongly recommend watching to her Ted Talk and her Netflix special first to get a sense of her strategies. 4.5 Stars only for being slightly repetitive in some chapters to her other books. I would have loved some fresh examples.
Also, thanks you to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of Dare to Lead, Rising Strong and Braving the Wilderness in the lead up to our May meet up.
Normal People – Sally Rooney
Normal People was the second book I stared on vacation this month, thanks to the recommendation of the staff at my favourite local bookstore, Bookstore 1 Sarasota. I’ve heard many mixed reviews for Rooney’s second novel, but I personally adored this book. It spoke to me on a deeply personal level, relating pretty closely to both of the main characters. My heart hurt for the both of them. Something I truly love in an author is the ability to take a seemingly suspense-less plot and turn a story about every day life into something unforgettable. I was completely immersed in the lives of these characters. 5/5 absolutely loved, but understand it won’t be for everyone.
A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
A Gentleman in Moscow was the third book I picked up on vacation this month, but unlike The Kite Runner and Normal People, it took me considerably longer to read. I enjoyed the descriptive narrative and the historical context, but truthfully I found it underwhelming. Just as the plot would begin to get interesting, the next chapter would jump ahead 3 to 5 years, and I was left with constant and painfully simple resolutions. There were aspects of this book that I did enjoy however, so I’m content with a 3/5 rating. I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend to a friend, but wouldn’t advise against it either.
Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
When Heather Reisman and Reese Witherspoon both tell you to read a book, you better head down to Indigo and pick it up. I’ve had my eye on Little Fires Everywhere for over a year now, but finally picked it up this month. It was just as good as the reviews claimed it to be. Dramatic yet simple, poetic and blunt. I coming of age story with elements of secrecy, betrayal, young love and above all, motherhood. This one won’t take you long if you’re looking for a dock read this summer.
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