Friday Five

Happy Friday to all of our faithful Fellowers! As you all know, I am an avid reader of all things fiction. From the critically acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning to the buzz-worthy Target top picks, you name it, I’ll read it. Occasionally, I’ll dabble in non-fiction. It’s rare. I’m trying to do better. These next five are primarily among the latter half. Don’t judge. It’s summer and I’m pursuing my Masters degree. I like to keep it light and easy on the weekends.

1. Girl on the Train:

Paula Hawkins

For those of you that read and thoroughly enjoyed Gone Girl, pick this one up as well. Disturbia is in full-force. It’s fairly short and a definite page–turner. The book is a mystery/thriller that has your mind (and heart) racing until the very end. I could not put this one down. Literally. I read it in one night, permanently glued to the couch until I was finished.

*Bonus: Emily Blunt stars in the movie version expected to release in October. Be an honorable bookworm. Don’t cheat. Read it before the movie comes out.

2. Station Eleven:

Emily St. John Mandel 

I have recently discovered that most of my favorite fiction books fall in the apocalyptic category. I’m as alarmed by my fascination of this phenomenon as you are. Apparently, I’m a very dark and twisted human being under all of my girly, bubbly exterior. This book combines the past, present, and future in a way that forces you to confront all of your emotions and beliefs about humanity. Plus, there is a Shakespearian theme that travels underneath the main plot of the story. Guys. It’s just so beautifully written. I can’t say enough about this evocative, existential, and elegant novel. Please read ASAP.

*Extra: Potential movie or TV show in the making. Still TBD.

3. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child:

J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne  

Honestly, not a favorite. It just felt shameful as a Harry Potter fan to not include this in the list. If you are a true Pothead, you will read this to fulfill your duty as a rightful Muggle. Honestly, if you haven’t read it already I’m already suspicious of your true fandom and we probably can’t be friends. I will warn you to not get your hopes up. AND, whatever you do, do not compare it to the originals. You will be disappointed. Selfishly, I want y’all to read it too so I don’t feel as guilty that I wasn’t in love with the play. I refused to believe that the magic was lost on me because I am now an adult. Mischief managed.

4. Big Little Lies:

Liane Moriarty

If any of you are as obsessed with Reese Witherspoon as I am, then you already know about this book and author. Reese can’t quit Liane. I like to compare this book to the Real Housewives on Bravo. It’s all fake smiles, posh parties, and expensive outfits until shit hits the fan. Big Little Lies walks the fine line between classy and trashy. Much like the Real Housewives, you can’t keep yourself from watching the shit show unfold. You quickly form love-hate relationships with all of the characters and find yourself laughing hysterically at inappropriate times. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy the ride. You won’t regret it.

*P.S. Reese Witherspoon adored this book so much, that she decided to make it into a TV show. Catch it on HBO next year. You know I’ll be watching J

5. Swansong 1945: A Collective Diary of the Last Days of the Third Reich

Walter Kempowski

When I said I occasionally dabble in non-fiction, I was mostly referring to anything related to the Holocaust. My sisters and I have held a joint interest in this time period since we were children. I found this gem in Powell’s Bookstore, also known as the mecca for book-lovers, in Portland last year. Kempowski managed to piece together journal entries, diary posts, and random scraps from WWII to tell an intriguing story. The writings chronicle four important dates: Hitler’s birthday, Meeting at the Elbe, Hitler’s suicide, and the German surrender. The unique set-up can make it difficult to read at times, but the autobiographical accounts of average citizens, soldiers, and even Hitler himself was captivating. The insight gained from the perspective of these individuals is definitely worth the challenge. You don’t need to be a history buff to appreciate Swansong.

Go make your parents’ proud and read something. Let me know what you think of my picks in the comments! I’m happy to have a literary debate.

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