Happy Thursday, Savvy Readers!
If you’re like me, your TBR list is endless and your shelf space is limited. So many books, so little time. I’ve compiled a list of books I’ve always meant to read, in the hopes that readers like yourselves can add them to your lists! (And yell at me for reading books other than these).
The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys
Having been a long-time fan of Helen Humphreys, I’m slightly disappointed in myself for not having read this already. James Hunter is an English officer living in a German POW camp. James’ wife, Rose, is home in England and having a passionate affair with another man. James’ sister, Enid, moves in with Rose after a bomb demolishes her flat, and they develop an unlikely friendship in the midst of all the chaos. This book hits so many of the right notes for me:
1) Female friendships
2) WWII historical fiction
3) Strong female characters
Brown by Kamal Al-Solaylee
“To be brown is to be on the cusp of whiteness and on the edge of blackness.” Kamal Al-Solaylee has compiled two years’ worth of worldwide research for this novel filled with stories of migration and racial experiences. Winner of nine awards in 2016 (!!!), including the Governor General’s Literary Award, Brown has claimed amazing success. It’s been in my TBR pile for way too long, and the more I write about it, the more I want to read it!
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Centred around 19-year-old Specialist Billy Lynn, this book takes place over the course of a single day. Billy and his team, Bravo Squad, have become nationwide heroes after footage surfaces of their triumph over Iraq. The Bravo Squad are scheduled to appear in the halftime show at a football game on Thanksgiving Day. While on stage, Billy reflects on the sacrifices he has made for his country and begins to realize what he’s been missing out on.
I saw the movie adaptation of this book, and I loved it! Billy’s emotion and his struggle reached me in a way that most war movies strive for but very few achieve. (Watch the trailer here).
So Big by Edna Ferber
Edna Ferber’s 1925 Pulitzer Prize winning novel takes place in Chicago at the turn of the century and follows Selina Peake DeJong, the daughter of a gambler. The book follows her through her marriage, widowhood, and single parenthood. Despite being published almost a century ago, So Big is still considered a masterpiece written by a woman who critics “did not hesitate to call the greatest American woman novelist of her day.”
The Red Shoes by Rosemary Sullivan
Is there a word that accurately and truly describes the artfulness that is Margaret Atwood? This biography by Rosemary Sullivan focuses on Margaret Atwood’s childhood and early writing career, paying special attention to the generation she grew up in. She is arguably the most famous Canadian author to date, and she is definitely a feminist idol of mine.
(Side note: I met Margaret Atwood once and my life will never be the same. She retweeted a picture of her and I. Fangirling pretty hard over her and this super unique biography.)
La Dolce Vita Cookbook by David Rocco
Confession time: I love Food Network. Too much, maybe. With his shows David Rocco’s Dolce Vita and Donut Showdown, David Rocco has only gotten better since this gorgeous cookbook came out in 2008. He published his second book, Made in Italy, in 2011, followed by Dolce Famiglia in last year. With stunning photography and delicious-sounding recipes, La Dolce Vita Cookbook has definitely earned its spot on my TBR list.
Run With the Hunted by Charles Bukowski
“Somebody asked me: ‘What do you do? How do you write, create?’ You don’t, I told them. You don’t try. That’s very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more.” – Charles Bukowski
I’m a lover of poetry and a lover of cynics. The honesty (and, okay, angst) that Bukowski writes never fails to impress me and to move me. While I’ve read some of his pieces individually, this best-of collection is high up on my “BUY IMMEDIATELY” list.
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
If you went to high school, you probably read (and loved) the classic To Kill a Mockingbird. This novel, published in 2014, was actually the first that Harper Lee submitted to her publishers. (Moment to geek out, please!) Go Set a Watchman is set twenty-some years after To Kill a Mockingbird and follows Scout’s return to Maycomb to visit her father. An update on Scout Finch – where do I sign up?
Changing My Mind by Margaret Trudeau
Can we just take a minute to acknowledge that Margaret Trudeau is a #BOSS? From being the youngest ever First Lady at 22, marrying one Prime Minister and raising another, all while working through her mental illness, Margaret Trudeau’s strength and determination is an inspiration. She went years without proper and treatment until she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Despite intense public scrutiny, Margaret has risen above her illness and is now a national mental health advocate, receiving the Society of Biological Psychiatry Humanitarian Award for her work. (I also met Margaret Trudeau once and she is a beautiful goddess and I am unworthy).
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Did someone say rom-com? This was the book that all of my friends were reading in university. Genetics professor Don Tillman designs a scientific questionnaire to find his perfect match, and stumbles upon Rosie. Rosie is searching for her biological father and enlists Don and his DNA expertise. This book is described as “arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, and it will make you want to drink cocktails.” Cheers to that!
How long is your TBR list? Which of them have you always meant to read? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SavvyReader using #SavvyTBR!
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