I rarely have time to read anymore because of uni/studying but I really want to make an effort for I love reading and writing has always been a passion of mine. So in an attempt to get myself reading more often these days, I’m going to try and track my reading progress through my blog 🙂 My goal each month is to read 2 books – and that is somewhat pushing it as I have loads of pharmacy articles to read and memorize. They honestly love piling those on us, urgh. I’m normally stuck reading those on my way to train instead of a book 🙁
So every fortnightly or monthly on a Sunday, I’ll be reviewing the books that I’ve read. I don’t foresee this going well but I’m going to do my best 😀
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes (Goodreads Link)
Author: Jojo Moyes
Title: The Girl You Left Behind
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: – 5/5
Summary: What happened to the girl you left behind?
In 1916 French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to fight at the Front. When her town falls into German hands, his portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything – her family, reputation and life – in the hope of seeing her true love one last time.
Nearly a century later and Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting’s dark and passion-torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened…
In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for the thing they love most – whatever the cost.
The summary piqued my interest, as it was a parallel book – something that after reading ‘Bitter Greens by Kate Forysth’ (my favourite book of 2012) I was very much interested in seeing as a narrative device.
It was a little slow at the beginning but right after the first chapter, I absolutely adored Sophie Lefevre. I mean a woman who disguises a pig as a baby right under the Kommandant while they were being accused of ‘harbouring livestock’ is my kind of woman. As Sophie’s tale drew on, I felt my heart ache at all the troubles she experienced. Set in the early 20th century, it deals with what small towns and what women in France had to deal with during WWII. I quickly devoured each word, until we reached a cliff-hanger and are met with another character, the female lead from the present, Liv.
Part 2 of the story was a little disorientating at first, for I had become invested in Sophie’s story. I had expected to not like Liv, a recent widower but her story was just as equally compelling as Sophie’s had been. Through her, and the painting, we are allowed glimpses of what happened to Sophie. But she doesn’t serve as just a vessel to continue Sophie’s story – no, I found the aching parallels between her life and Sophie’s very cleverly done.
As the story progressed, I was on the edge of my seat, waiting and hoping that both characters would receive their happily ever after. It was a utterly beautiful, compelling novel that I pretty much read in one day.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (GoodReads Link)
Author: Jojo Moyes
Title: Me Before You
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: – 5/5
Summary: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
Quote: “You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”
After reading her previous book, I went looking for other books by the same author. My next book of choice was ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes.
Let me state beforehand that this isn’t a ‘chickflick’, despite what the cover looks like and the summary. It deals with a controversial matter which I won’t state what it is for it may spoil the book. It is a love story though that’s not the focus of the story. It’s more of a coming of age book, an inspirational book.
I found myself captured by this book as well. Lou, the main character, is funny and witty. Will, the male lead, is bitter and sarcastic though understandably due to his condition – he eventually does become quite loveable. I am glad that I didn’t read too much into the reviews or the ending, for I wouldn’t have read the book if I did. And that would have been completely stupid of me 🙂 Because the characters of this book, much like ‘The Girl You Left Behind’ left my heart aching, laughing and smiling. I absolutely loved this book and kept looking at how much I had to go because I didn’t want it to end.
The ending of the book inspired me, as much as it was bittersweet – it left me wanting to widen my horizons and go explore the world.
The questions are somewhat related to the issues brought up on the book – without spoiling too much 😉
- What was the last book you read?
- What is your most important item that you own and why?
- If you knew that your life was going to be changed and that your quality of life was going to be affected, what would you like to do beforehand?
I am currently reading a few books, on and off, but the main one I am reading is a book called “The Day My Brain Exploded,” by an AVM rupture survivor. It’s funny, and written with a lot of humor on an otherwise really dreary topic (if I hadn’t had similar experiences, I may have gotten offended for people with AVMs with how sarcastic and joking he is of the topic of having his brain blowing up, but because I’ve had the same malformation, I can laugh about it because I can relate), and I am generally reading it on my really long commutes from student teaching.
I have also been reading “The Opium Empire” since a year and a half ago… I checked it out in October of 2011, and I still have it… XD
I have a Shelfari account, but I’ve seen people using Goodreads… Is there any significant pros to using Goodreads over Selfari that you are aware of? (This is my account: http://www.shelfari.com/noir/shelf)
I wish I had more time and energy to read books… But I have so many other things to be doing that are so much easier to do, and I never seem to have that chunk of time to just sit somewhere and relax and read… 🙁
So I guess I answered 1… Though if it’s the most recent book I’ve FINISHED reading, it was apparently “Carly’s Voice,” according to Shelfari. I’ve had the book for almost a year now, but I hadn’t gotten to finishing it until just recently. It’s a biography about an extremely extraordinary girl in Canada with very severe Autism, written by her father. She is nonverbal, and communicates using her iPad, but until she was 10 years old, no one knew she had above average intelligences, or that she is very capable of many of the things her doctors deemed impossible… Like ever developing above a 3 year old’s cognitive abilities. She is in “gifted” classes now, and excels in classes.
2. I don’t know what item is most important to me… I would say loved ones but they aren’t items… So I guess my phone I am rarely without, or my laptop. I don’t have too many sentimental things that I can think of off the top of my head, so I guess it’ll just have to be really lame and functional.
3. I would live my life like nothing is going to change, but with more appreciations for little beauties and wonders of life that you take for granted. 🙂 It’s generally working. Kind of. Though I still get frustrated and upset periodically.
That’s really inspiring! I haven’t been reading books much, but I’ll look to you as an example and write about what I read after reading books. The Girl You Left Behind sounds like a really touching story. Did Sophie and Liv receive their happily ever after despite their hardships?
I’m currently reading Emotional Design, a book I have started multiple times but never finished. Since the time I start reading it and the break I take afterwards is long, I end up having to re-read the beginning to refresh my memory. With the prospect of writing about it later and sharing it with others, I might be more motivated to read it.
What was the last book you read? The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie. It was pretty good, but it’s been a week since I’ve read it and the ideas and things in the book have left me already!
What is your most important item that you own and why? My Wacom tablet. I was without it for five months last year, and I was going insane. Never have I been so attached to a material item in my life. It helps the job of being a graphic artist so much easier! I use it constantly throughout the day. It’s what I use to express my artistic side, and it keeps my hands from developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you knew that your life was going to be changed and that your quality of life was going to be affected, what would you like to do beforehand? I would like to visit with everyone I love and care about, write each one of them a letter telling them I love them and why. I would like to read a book (because that would definitely take me out of the moment for at least a while). I would like to go swimming in the ocean… with or without dolphins, not sure yet. I would like the chance to see and appreciate the Aurora Borealis again.
weee! i’m up posting again after i moved over 😀
Humm, funny to say i have different “periods” over the genre of books i read even if i’m mostly into romance or fantasy books. The last book i read is The Black Prism by Brent Weeks, which i’m continuing on it’s second book The blinding knife 😀 I suppose you buy the books or borrow them from the library? Have you tested Kindle? Even if i super love to touch real books and smell the papers, but the light-transportable version to be able to read on your smartphone is way too pratical 🙁 And i hate myself for liking it.
Most important item // unfortunately i think that’d be my macbook. When my harddisk crashed it was almost like my life’s over with all my works. I’ve also lost some of my very long and tedious art pieces 🙁
If my life would change // that depends on what kind of situation. but i’d most probably do what jen does!