Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January Booklist

One of my New Year's resolutions was to read two books a month and review them here...I actually read four this month, so I'll review the best two:

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See is a beautiful story about two young sisters born in Shanghai to a wealthy business man and his wife. They live a privileged, modern life (by Chinese standards) until their fate takes a turn for the worse. The are forced to move to America, where they find themselves living a life they never expected. This is a heart-rending story about the bonds of family, the importance of tradition and the plight of immigrants of visible-minority to America before the civil-rights movement (many of the sentiments, I am sad to say, are still entrenched in the hearts of North Americans today.) I love Lisa See, and have read several of her books, I also love historical fiction...I would highly recommend this book, especially if that genre is of interest to you.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova was an incredibly well written story about a brilliant Harvard professor in her early forties who develops early-onset Alzheimer's. The story is written from Alice's point of view, and it chronicles her journey as she tries to identify with her family and herself as her brain, and the life she once knew, deteriorates. It's a story about redefining self-identity, the strength of familial bonds (again) and it offers keen insight into the mindset of someone suffering from Alzheimer's. Once again, I highly recommend this novel...It will certainly make you hold your friends and family a little bit closer. NB: Read with Kleenex close at hand.

I'll be joining the book club at the Oakwood branch of the Toronto Public Library starting in March. I've already read the February book, so I figured I could wait. I've also booked our hotel in Ottawa for Winterlude this year. I can't wait for a weekend of skating on the Rideau, eating beaver tails, speaking French and spending time with good friends....
I'll also be taking a pottery class and starting up with yoga again as soon as my job at Oxford officially ends in three weeks. Not that I'm counting :)

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