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Winter Reading List: Picks from a Well-Curated To-Read Catalog

I enjoy reading – it may not be obvious, but there’s always a certain joy in peering into another character’s life while appreciating the author’s ability to spin words into tales and emotion. However, the rate at which my to-read list grows always exceeds that of my list of books that I have read, such that I feel a bit sorry for the titles that have been collecting dust on my list of to-read’s. So, in an attempt to bury some of that guilt, I would like to share with all of you a few picks from my well-curated list of books that I would like to pick up (hopefully this Winter season).   

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

My friend was reading this memoir last year, and there was one day when she just went on and on about it. Kalanithi was a young neurosurgeon when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The sudden role reversal forced him to face his own mortality, and to explore more deeply on the meaning and value of life. 

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

The Glass Castle is another memoir, but this time about a young girl growing up in a dysfunctional household. I had to write a commentary on an excerpt that came out of this memoir in an English class once, and the title of the work immediately caught my attention. The section that I had to write about had little to do with any glass castle, but it did give me a glimpse of what the family was like before all of their troubles crashed in on them. Despite the imminent sense of doom that overhung the section that I read, Walls still wrote about the experience with a sort of affectionate regret — a complicated mix of emotions that is hard to put into words. 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This book has been sitting on my shelf for ages, ever since I purchased it online during an International Women’s Day sale. I had heard so much about it growing up, that I thought it was high-time that I actually got to know the famous March sisters. I’m also hoping that it’s a lighter read than some of the other novels that I’ve been handling lately (i.e. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami).

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Here’s a book that I came across and put on my list purely because I thought it would be a cute and comforting read. According to Indigo, The Bookshop on the Corner is a valentine to readers, which makes it a perfect February read. 

 

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

This was recommended to me by a friend, although I have yet to ask him what prompted him to pick this one up himself. History of Wolves is about a teenage girl growing up and trying to find her place to belong. It is a coming-of-age novel and also the debut work of the author. To be honest, the reason this book is on my list is now mostly because I want to know why my friend chose to read this particular novel.

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

I remember seeing this novel sitting on a shelf back at home, and then hearing the title come up again in a discussion about the ethics of cloning at school. The concept is pretty intriguing: a younger sister is born for the sole purpose of being the perfect organ-donor for her sickly older sister. The novel goes on to describe the younger sister’s pursuit of individuality, which (spoiler!) eventually tears her family apart. 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Technically, I have read this novel before — it was a required reading for my French class back in high school. However, it truly is such a thought-provoking read (when you’re not struggling with the vocabulary that is), and I would really like to go back and read it again. At first, The Little Prince sets the stage by questioning the meaning of adulthood, but then the story moves far beyond that and goes on to explore love, friendship, and devotion, all in a wonderfully nostalgic and simple way. I would highly recommend this read, simply because it is so full of good quotes and honest ideas. 

Happy reading and remember to stay warm! 

 

 

Cover photo from: 

https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-teddy-bear-reading-book-33196/​

Body images from: 

Amazon

Michelle is a graduate student at McGill University studying the intersection between diet and cancer. In her free time, she enjoys reading, sampling poutine restaurants, and taking pictures of flowers. 
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