Wishlist Wednesday | Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

HarperCollins Canada

This week’s Wishlist Wednesday pick is inspired by today’s #BellLetsTalk initiative, which was created to encourage conversations about mental health and work towards ending the stigma around mental illness. I’m so glad that initiatives like this exist because it works to bring people together to support and love each other.

I know I’m not the only one who’s had a loved one confide that they’re suffering from or have suffered from mental illness, including depression and anxiety. It’s hard to know what to do sometimes — do I try to talk to them or do I leave them to figure things out on their own? — but then, I saw this tweet:

I had already had Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive on my radar (I do work for its publisher, after all) but up until this point I hadn’t realized just how important it is for me to read it. It sounds like the perfect life-affirming book to help others — or yourself — in times of darkness.

Have you read Reasons to Stay Alive? Did you participate in the #BellLetsTalk initiative?

Wishlist Wednesday | Canada Reads 2016 Shortlist

This morning, the 15th annual Canada Reads shortlist was announced! If you’re unfamiliar with Canada Reads, it’s basically a “battle of the books” competition. Over the course of 4 days, 5 panelists, moderated by host Wab Kinew, will come together to champion the book that they believe represents this year’s theme — starting over — the most. It’s always fun to watch, and even more fun when you’ve read all of the books!

So, this week, here are the books that I’m adding to my wish list:

  • Birdie by Tracey Lindberg
  • Bone and Bread Saleema Nawaz
  • The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
  • The Hero’s Walk by Anita Rau Badami
  • Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter

Do you watch Canada Reads? Have you read any of the books on the shortlist?

Wishlist Wednesday | The Widow by Fiona Barton

The Widow Fiona Barton Evidence Bag

Okay, okay, so I’m technically cheating as I was a lucky recipient of an advanced copy of this week’s Wishlist Wednesday pick and have already read it, but I’m so excited for you all to read it that I wanted to highlight it in this post!

The book was sent in a really intriguing evidence bag with some case details and a pack of Skittles. Little did I know that I wouldn’t be able to eat the Skittles after reading the book. If you haven’t guessed by now, Fiona Barton’s The Widow is a crime novel — a new-to-me genre that I’m loving immensely.

The book follows a few different characters, but in the center of it all is Jean. For years Jean has been living her life as “the wife of a suspected criminal,” but now, her husband is dead. Will the truth of his crimes finally come out now that he isn’t around to control her? Or is there more to the story than everyone thinks…?

This book was so entertaining and took me no time to read at all. I can’t wait for it to come out!

Are you a fan of crime fiction? Are you interested in The Widow?

Wishlist Wednesday | Landline By Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Source: Goodreads

I’m sure Rainbow Rowell needs no introduction as she is definitely one of the most buzzed about authors on the internet (in my corner, at least)! She is known for her young adult novels Eleanor and Park and Fangirl as well as her adult novel Attachments. I’ve only read Fangirl so far but I recently purchased a copy of Attachments and I can’t wait to read her new adult novel Landline.

As far as I know, Landline is about a couple who is trying desperately to hang onto their marriage. Things are not going so well and Georgie, the main character, wonders if this is it. Until, that is, she finds a way to “communicate with [her husband] in the past.” (Goodreads description) Can this new form of communication help fix this marriage?

Even though I’m not married (or ready to be married any time soon), the idea of falling out of love intrigues me and frightens me, if I’m being honest. I am totally the type who over-analyzes and thinks back to whether I could have done things differently when a relationship ends (or is about to end), so I’m really interested to see how Georgie communicates with her husband in the past as she tries to figure everything out for them. Is the relationship still worth holding on to? Can this give them a second chance? I can’t wait to find out how it all ends!

Are you looking forward to reading Landline? Are you an over-analyzer like me?

Wishlist Wednesday | Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami Book Cover Wishlist Wednesday

Source: Goodreads

I have a confession to make: I have never read anything by Haruki Murakami. I know, I know. I have no idea how I’ve been a reader this long and haven’t read anything by him yet but it’s true. So imagine my delight when I heard that his new novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage has been translated to English and is coming out in August! I think the universe was nudging me, whispering “It’s time…” Murakami’s name aside, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage sounds like a book that I would definitely be interested in. Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage centers on a devastating emotional betrayal and its consequences. Tsukuru Tazaki belongs to a tight-knit group of five friends in high school–three boys and two girls who form a perfect circle they imagine will stay together forever. But when Tsukuru returns home from college in Tokyo, he finds himself inexplicably rebuffed by the group. Something has changed, but nobody, not even his closest friends, will tell him what.

Years later, Tsukuru, now a successful engineer, begins dating an older woman named Sara and confesses to her the shadow this betrayal has cast over his life. Sara urges Tsukuru to try to find his old group and to try to solve the mystery that has haunted him all these years: why did they suddenly turn on him?

On a quest to discover the truth, Tsukuru travels back to meet his old friends–with the exception of Shiro, the group’s most volatile and psychologically unstable member, who he learns was strangled to death in an unsolved murder six years ago. As the dark truth about Shiro reveals itself, Tsukuru must confront the simmering emotional undercurrents that the group had suppressed in order to reach their ideal of perfect friendship. 

Can love overcome isolation? Is it possible to truly reach another person? Can buried emotions ever really stay buried? And will confronting the past allow Tsukuru to finally open himself up to the future?”

Tsukuru sounds like such a complex character with a complicated past. I can’t wait to dive into the book and find out what really happened all those years ago!

Are you a fan of Haruki Murakami or are you new to his works like me? If you’re a fan, do you have any recommendations for me?

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage will be published on August 12th, 2014 in Canada by Random House of Canada.

Wishlist Wednesday | Tic Tac Tome by Willy Yonkers

Tic Tac Tome by Willy Yonkers Book Cover

Source: Goodreads

From Goodreads:

“Think you’re pretty smart? Turn the pages to play your moves and watch as Tic Tac Tome beats you forward, backward, and diagonally. Tic Tac Tome features more than 1,400 pages, hundreds of draws and losses, and just one way for a clever reader to win. No apps, batteries, or touch screens required—Tic Tac Tome is powered by good old-fashioned book smarts. It’s deceptively simple, endlessly addictive, and (nearly) impossible to defeat. Complete with introduction and FAQs for the unfamiliar and unsure, Tic Tac Tome is the smartest book you’ll ever cross.”

Guys, this book by Willy Yonkers claims that it will beat you at Tic-Tac-Toe. What? With no electricity needed, this huge book thinks it can beat you at a game you’ve probably been playing since you could hold a pen. Apparently there’s only one way to beat it in this book. I know that this isn’t the type of literature that I usually review on my blog, but ever since I found out about it I’ve been obsessed with it. It’s not on sale yet, but I’m dying to give it a shot! As I mentioned in my last blog, I have a tendency to be competitive and this sounds like the perfect thing to expend some of that competitive energy on!

Do you think you could beat Tic Tac Tome at Tic-Tac-Toe? Do you think you’ll give it a shot when it comes out? Did you add anything to your wishlist this week?

Tic Tac Tome will be published by Quirk Books on June 10th, 2014.

Wishlist Wednesday | We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart Cover Image

Source: Goodreads

I have been hearing SO many good (and intriguing) things about We Were Liars by E. Lockhart over the week! This book was officially published yesterday and I have yet to hear anyone say something bad about it. Because I haven’t read the book yet and because I don’t think I can top this description, here’s what it’s about (from its Goodreads page):

“A beautiful and distinguished family.

A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.”

Oh man. If that last sentence doesn’t make you want to read the book, I don’t know what will. I am desperately trying to avoid spoilers before I can get my hands on this book and that day can’t come soon enough! I can’t wait to read it.

Have you read We Were Liars? Did you like it? Did you add anything new to your wishlist this week?

Wishlist Wednesday | Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham Book Cover

Source: Goodreads

[Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop hosted by Pen to Paper]

I’m not normally a huge memoir/autobiography reader, but after reading and loving Elaine Lui (Lainey Gossip)’s Listen to the Squawking Chicken, I’m looking forward to reading my next one! When I heard Lena Dunham was writing a book, I was instantly sold. I’m a huge fan of her HBO show Girls and have high hopes for Not That Kind of Girl.

Of the book, Dunham says, “If I can take what I’ve learned in this life and make one treacherous relationship or degrading job easier for you, perhaps even prevent you from becoming temporarily vegan, then every misstep of mine will have been worthwhile. This book contains stories about wonderful nights with terrible boys and terrible days with wonderful friends, about ambition and the two existential crises I had before the age of twenty. About fashion and its many discontents. ” (from the book’s Goodreads page)

Needless to say, I can’t wait to read this book. I think it will be full of Dunham’s trademark humour and wit. And if her work on Girls is any indication, Not That Kind of Girl is going to be insightful, hilarious, and relatable.

Are you as excited for Not That Kind of Girl as I am? Are you a fan of Girls? Did you add anything new to your wishlist this week?

Wishlist Wednesday | The Lowland

The Lowland Jhumpa Lahiri Book Cover

Source: Goodreads

[Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop hosted by Pen to Paper]

It would be hypocritical of me to pledge to read more diversely and not add a few new novels to my wishlist. So today I’ve decided to commit to reading The Lowland by Jumpa Lahiri.

Set in the 1960s, The Lowland is a story of two brothers who are physically similar but end up leading very different lives. One brother, Udayan, stays in India to join a rebellion while Subhash leaves to do scientific research in America. But when something happens to Udayan, Subhash returns home to pick up the pieces.

I have heard a lot about The Lowland and Lahiri over the past few months. I’ve learned that Lahiri is a very talented short story writer, and I’ve heard a lot of praise for this book. Personally, I’m really looking forward to reading this book because I am fascinated by family dynamics and I’m very curious (and nervous) to find out what happens to Udayan in his quest to “eradicate inequality and poverty” (quoted from Goodreads). Besides reading about different cultures and families, I am also very interested in reading books that deal with class issues. Because of this, I think The Lowland is a great place for my project to start! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our immediate surroundings that we often forget that everyone around the world has their problems too. I know that this is a fictional piece of writing but it is important that these other voices be heard and I can’t wait to get started.

Have you read The Lowland or Lahiri’s other works? What are you planning to add to your bookshelf this week?

Wishlist Wednesday | The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch Donna Tartt

Source: Google

[Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop hosted by Pen to Paper]

It’s another Wednesday which means it’s time to add another book to my wishlist! This week I’m adding the popular book The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt to my list.

If you haven’t heard yet, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch just won the Pulitzer prize for fiction the other day and it reminded me how I still need to read this book! It’s a daunting 771 pages, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and determined to avoid being taken in by the city as an orphan, Theo scrambles between nights in friends’ apartments and on the city streets. He becomes entranced by the one thing that reminds him of his mother, a small, mysteriously captivating painting that soon draws Theo into the art underworld.

I’m so intrigued! I definitely look forward to reading this book when I have a little more free time.

Have you read The Goldfinch? What did you think? Did you add anything to your wishlist this week?