Aaaand we’re back with the monthly book recommendations!
VERY GOOD LIVES By J. K. Rowling (Goodreads)
In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, VERY GOOD LIVES offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?
Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force.
I’ve made it pretty clear that I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and also a very, very huge J. K. Rowling fan. This book, which discusses Harry Potter, talks about Queen Jo’s pre-HP life and gives some great life lessons is also something I am a mega-huge super-fan of. (It also includes one of my all-time favourite quotes, so bonus.) VERY GOOD LIVES helped me, a person who has a habit of seeing failure as weakness, understand myself a lot better. Also, this book is super cute. The typography and illustrations inside are adorable. Do yourself a favour and pick up this book next time you’re in a bookstore. I guarantee you’ll like it.
THE LIGHTENING THIEF by Rick Riordan (Goodreads)
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
I’m a huge PERCY JACKSON nerd. Okay, I’m really just a huge Greek Mythology nerd. And so this book series is the ultimate for me: Greek Mythology; a snarky, sarcastic narrator; badass female characters; and also, did I mention the sarcasm? Percy Jackson is great. He’s sarcastic, funny, and will go to the ends of the earth to save the world—and his mom. Also, ANNABETH CHASE. ANNABETH CHASE, GUYS.
You may lose your sanity on these books, but it’s worth it.
LIFE OF PI by Yann Martel (Goodreads)
After the sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a wounded zebra, an orangutan—and a 450-pound royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and beloved works of fiction in recent years.
My friend loaned me this book last summer. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf until a few weeks ago, when my English teacher told us to bring in novels to read in the first 15 minutes of class.
I’m not quite sure what I expected from LIFE OF PI—until reading it, I knew exactly three things about it: the main character was named Pi, there was a tiger, and both of them were shipwrecked—but whatever it was, it wasn’t what I got. And I didn’t mind it. LIFE OF PI was weird and crazy and real and to be honest, I finished the book thinking that Pi was an actual person and everything that happened in the book was real. It was crazy.
Pi was a wonderful main character. He was witty, sharp and had the ultimate will to survive. The thing he had going on with polytheism was something I’ve never heard of, and never knew I wanted to. He was unlike every other narrator I’ve read and from this whirlwind journey, I learned a lot.
What books did you read this month? 🙂