On My Nightstand: June 2017 Reads

On My Nightstand: June 2017 Reads

I have always enjoyed reading, especially in the summer. Ever since I was a child, reading has fuelled my nostalgic side, allowing me to get lost in different times and getting to know captivating characters. At one time, back when I was eight years old, I wanted my future licence plate to read 'BOOKWORM.' I'm cool, I swear. Anyway...with school being finished, warm summer evenings present the perfect opportunity to get lost in a good book. This June, I have managed to read quite a bit, devouring book after book. Once I hop onto the reading train there is no stopping me. Mind you, it has also been raining a lot in Southern Ontario this month (sad face). Due to the weather, nights I would have spent outside have been inside with the company of a book. A blessing in disguise; though I fear my summer tan may suffer because of it. Below are 5 books I have had the great pleasure of reading this month.

Bloom: Navigating Life & Style by Estée Lalonde

Unlike other books of its nature, that are oftentimes a bit fluffy and general, Bloom proved itself to be not just another lifestyle book, but more of a memoir. In Bloom, rawness and honestly shone through as Estée unloaded her past, present, and future, along with sharing her fluid approach to beauty, style, and living with her readers. I have always really loved Estée's YouTube channel, as well as her unique and imaginative approach to creating videos. She's also very funny! Throughout the book, I certainly felt a personal tie to Estée, having made very similar transitions as her in the past, and, of course, through our shared nationality. Moving to England from small-town Canada, being in a long-distance relationship with her partner Aslan for a time, dealing with anxiety, and her integration into and fascination with British culture and people all deeply resonated with me. It's lovely to see a fellow Canuck excelling on the other side of the pond - along with a few other personal things. The book and Estée's story got me very excited to go back to live in the UK in the coming years (and to hopefully excel in my own way, too)! Way to go, Estée!

Miss You by Kate Eberlyn

Channeling some serious David Nicholls vibes (think One Day), this book was a pleasant segue into summer. It is slightly on the longer side to be considered a 'quick read', yet is a wonderfully easy beach read. The book does however deal with some more distressing issues, such as cancer, autism, cheating spouses, and (subsequently) divorce. So for those of you who like a bit of an edge, a happy ending does not come easily in this one. Miss You follows the lives of two drastically different individuals, Tess and Gus, who quite literally miss each other, always nearly meeting, but never really succeeding. Years go by, relationships fall apart, and hardships are faced. You may feel like it all plays out a little too long. However, it all to leads up to a lighthearted and satisfying ending.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

This is the first book I have read by renowned author Haruki Murakami, and he has instantly become a personal favourite of mine. His distinct prose is poignant and takes you on these vivid looks inside a character's mind and their individual worlds. Norwegian Wood is full of longing, lust, and, at times, hope. The story follows the narrator, a young man named Toru Watanabe, who is looking back and remembering his life as a university student in Tokyo. Watanabe recollects his time spent with two dissimilar women, the disturbed Naoko and the excitable Midori. The book contains prominent themes of young adulthood, loss, and sexuality, wrapped up into a beautiful and, at times, heartbreaking story.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Translated from Italian, this book (book one of a four-part series) tells a humbling and coming-of-age story based on the lives of Elena and Lila, two young friends living on the impoverished outskirts of Naples during the 1950s. The book intensely captures small town dynamics, as well as the gossip, sacrifices, and scandal that go along with them. The book follows the two girl's wavering friendship through childhood, adolescence and eventually into early adulthood, capturing two entirely different people with one unbreakable and undeniably loyal bond. The book explores Italian culture and traditions through the eyes of a Italian national - the talented Ferrante. The book, although a bit slow to start, is beautifully written and leaves you wanting to read more.

The Lake House by Kate Morton

There are many things that Kate Morton does exceptionally well in her writing, but if there is one thing in particular it is her ability to craft a gripping mystery. This is the third Kate Morton book I have read. The Australian author always seems to keep me coming back for more. Each sentence she writes is like a little present, oozing with stylistic and wordy greatness. Of the books I have read by Morton, I have found that she loves to write about family dynamics, with plots set in picturesque English locations - oftentimes Cornwall. Additionally, many of her books are often set in the early 20th century, as well as the 21st century, weaving back and forth between eras to create a dense and intriguing plot - but, never confusing. The Lake House, follows the story of Sadie Sparrow, an investigator, and her efforts to uncover the complex secrets and long-unsolved mysteries of the Edevane family. It's an excellent read. Plus, the ending is completely shocking. I'll leave it at that.

I hope you have found a new book to dive into this summer! Have any other great books I should read, or that you want me to review in July? Please leave me a comment down below!

-Meredith

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