Best wishes for the new year!
I was going to write a post yesterday on my best books of 2013, but the company who hosts my blog had a server outage and I couldn’t access my blog for the majority of the day and then…I became obsessed with a knitting project. So, in lieu of doing a best books list this year I’ll share six books, three classics and three contemporary titles, that provided me with a superior reading experience in 2013 and that I highly recommend to you.
The classics: Angel by Elizabeth Taylor, The Mountain Lion by Jean Stafford and Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates.
The contemporaries: Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
Here’s to lots of fabulous books and wonderful conversations in 2014!
Me Before You is not the type of book that I’m usually drawn to. I had seen the multiple glowing reviews and testaments from bloggers and other readers, but it just didn’t appeal to me when it was released last year. So I’m not really sure what drew me to pick it up when I was walking through the stacks a few weeks ago and saw it on the shelf, but I am very glad that I did.
When down-on-her-luck, endearing Lou gets a job as the companion to Will, a paraplegic, she breaks him out of the self-imposed isolation he has been living in. Taking him on adventures, outings, and day trips she manically tries to help him enjoy himself because she’s learned something about his future plans that she can’t accept. As she tries to understand him and his struggles they inevitably grow closer and form a bond that Lou hopes is stronger than Will’s unhappiness with his life.
This is a book that I think many might confuse as a romance, but it isn’t really. It is more a book about life choices, making the most of the days you have here on earth and the question of whether we should have the choice to decide for ourselves when our own days will end.
The characters, especially Lou, are realistic and heartbreaking and life is is portrayed in all of its mundanity and glory. It is funny and sad, absurd and somber – a really perfect contemporary ‘issue’ novel that is much more human that any Jodi Picoult book.
Moyes’ next book, The Girl You Left Behind, comes out in the US tomorrow and I am very much looking forward to reading it.