What I am reading

selective focus photography of woman holding book

My relationship with reading has always had its up and downs. I have never considered myself as a big reader, as I often feel discouraged by big books and choose cultural magazines over books. However, over the past months, I decided to reconnect with books, and turn my negative memories of “required reading” in school into a pleasant experience.

Now that I have finished two books in less than two months, I can tell you that my new relationship with reading has yet improved ;). Therefore, in this post, I want to share with you what I am currently reading and what I am planning to read in the upcoming months. I hope you will like these book recommendations, and maybe, make you reconnect with reading too! Enjoy!

The Home for Unwanted Girls

Author: Joanna Goodman

The Home for Unwanted Girls is a historical fiction written by Joanna Goodman that depicts a dark period of Quebec history. In the 1950s, the Quebec government decided to label orphanages into mental hospitals as more funding was allowed to psychiatric hospitals. The story follows two stories in parallel. First, the story of Maggie, who becomes pregnant at fifteen and is forced to give her child for adoption. The second story is about her child, Elodie, who experiences the transition from orphan to “mentally ill” by the system. Throughout the reading, the reader also gets to know more about the tension between French and English Canadians, which creates a Romeo and Juliet type of love story.

“Sister Tata’s shoulders are shaking, her head still lowered, her eyes hidden. “What does it mean, ‘mentally rearded’ ?Elodie asks. “It means you’re mentally deficient,” Mother explains. Do you understand? You’re mental patients now.”


Lagom

Author: Anne Thoumieux

Lagom (pronounced LAR-GOM) is a Swedish concept/lifestyle that can be described as neither too much nor too little. It is about finding balance in all aspects of your life: consumption habits, home decor, fashion, beauty and well-being, leisure, and vacation. It is also about not trying to stand out from the crowd in order to have relationships with peers without uneasiness. The author also includes in her book diverse interviews with Swedish citizens or owners of Swedish brands to have their view on the topic. What I love about the book is that the author gives concrete actions to help the reader integrate Lagom into his/her own life. It is a great guide for a balanced and simple life, in the Swedish way!

“(…) And to prevent his neighbor from feeling bad, the Swedish will be careful to stay in the average, not to be overpowering or pretentious.”


21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

21 Lessons for the 21st Century is the third book of Yuval Noah Harari. Israeli historian, Yuval Noah Harari discusses in this book the major challenges the world is facing today. The book is divided into five sections, each evoking debates present in our society. The first part of the book is about the current political situation and ideological battles. It also discusses artificial intelligence and the possible threats. The second part is about how we can face some of the problems that were approached in the first part. The third part is wondering about what we can do to reduce hatred in our world and how we can prevent and deal with wars threats and terrorism. The fourth part is more about how we can distinguish right from wrong in our world. Finally, the last part combines the themes aboard in the previous sections to try to find an answer to one of the most existentialist questions: What is the meaning of life in today’s world? {this summary is based on the introduction of the book}

“One of the greatest fictions of all is to deny the complexity of the world and think in absolute terms.”


Mãn

Author: Kim Thúy

Kim Thúy is one of my favorite authors, not to say my favorite. Born in Vietnam, she is a Canadian writer who shares through her writings her Asian heritage. The first book I read from this author was Ru which narrated her journey as an immigrant in Quebec. Now Mãn explores the relationship the author had with her mother and love in the many ways it can be felt and expressed. It also follows her debuts in a restaurant in Montreal with her husband, where her talent for cooking blossoms. Kim Thuy plays with words in a magnificent way, making her books poetic, and yet, she also gives clear images to the reader.

“Maman and I don’t look like one another. She is short, I am tall. Her complexion is dark, my skin is like a French doll’s. She has a hole in her calf and I have a hole in my heart.”


This is it for the books I am currently reading! As you can see, I like to diversify my reading and combine different genres. Let me know in the comment sections what you are currently reading, I would love to have some suggestions:)

A bientôt!

Juliette

Simplement Juliette
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