I can’t believe it’s been over a year since my last Bookshelf post and that I’ve read so few books in so many months. As an avid bookworm who was getting through at least two books a month, it’s a bit ridiculous. I often find though, if I don’t have another book waiting for me when I’ve finished the last one, I get out of the habit of reading before bed and end up getting absorbed in Instagram or lost in Pinterest (and not winding down enough either) But now that I have finished binge watching seasons one and two of The Crown (and am not-so-patiently waiting for season three!), it’s time to get some books lined up again. Here are my last three reads – and they are really good ones! So good, I actually don’t think I can pick a favourite.
Still Me – Jojo Moyes:
I was beyond excited when I spotted this book on the shelf at Readers Warehouse one Saturday morning. I absolutely loved Me Before You and After You (you can read my reviews here and here) – you definitely need to read the trilogy in order to really appreciate the story. Louisa Clarke (Lou) is back and hits the streets of New York City, ready to start her new life in this bustling metropolis, all while keeping up a long-distance relationship with Ambulance Sam. Lou’s sense of humour is at it’s best as she tries to navigate this new world she finds herself in and attempts to discover who she really is. I love Jojo Moyes’ writing and with every turn of the page she brings the story to life, so much so that you feel you are walking the streets of New York alongside Lou. This funny, poignant and truly beautiful story leaves you wanting more and I so hope Jojo delivers another chapter of Lou!
The Light between Oceans – M.L. Stedman:
This book is so incredibly heart-wrenching and one that stayed with me for a long time. It took me a little while to get into it as the start is quite slow but it gives you a lot of context for what is to come and a few chapters in, I could not put it down. Set on the fictitious island of Janus Rock (I had to Google this ;)), lighthouse-keeper, Tom Sherborne and his wife, Isabel, make a life changing decision to keep a baby who is not their’s – a devastating choice for someone else in a world they had all but forgotten existed. This book is so beautifully written and incredibly captivating, the events that unfold, the impossible decisions and tragic consequences left me questioning my own moral compass. The characters in this book are so compelling that I found myself torn between the two worlds, struggling to pick a side because ultimately, there is no right answer. How can there be when justice for one means the tragic, gut-wrenching loss for the other? Stedman crafted such human characters and beautifully illustrates the relationships making it easy to sympathize with Isabel’s attempts to rationalize her choices as well as Tom’s anguish. In the end, everyone in this story has tough choices to make, including you as the reader which makes this mesmerizing book so incredibly hard to forget.
Winging It – Joanne Jowell
This book had me hooked from the very first page and gave me all the feels. Winging It is the story of ex-international rugby referee, Jonathan Kaplan’s journey to becoming a father to the gorgeous little Kaleb Kaplan – now a crazy cute two-year old – on his own, as single, straight male, via surrogacy. Written by best-selling author, Joanne Jowell, Jonathan shares the long and emotional journey he embarked on in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a father at almost 50 years old. The story is so well written, you could almost mistake it for a novel, with its highs and lows, challenges and triumphs. The story also highlights the huge challenges (and costs) involved in the entire process from egg donor to IVF and surrogacy – so much of which I didn’t know. To me, this story is so incredibly heartwarming and while not everyone shares the same sentiment, when you put everything else aside, you have a dad who has a little boy who is so loved and so wanted. He might not have a mom but he is surrounded by a village (because we all know it takes a village) of people who love and adore him and are helping him live his best life. You don’t need to agree, like or understand Jonathan’s choices, unconventional parenting style or unapologetic nature to see how devoted he is to Kaleb, who will one day be able to read the story of how he came into this world and how his dad was willing to go to the ends of the earth to have him. The journey doesn’t end there though – Jonathan continues to share Kaleb’s adventures and antics around Greenpoint, Cape Town and most recently, Toronto, on his Instagram page @myboykaleb (you are in for a whole lot of cuteness and entertaining captions!)
I’m always looking for new books to read and authors to try so if you have a favourite, let me know 🙂 Have you read any of these books? I’d love to know what you thought!
Happy Monday – fingers crossed Cape Town gets as much rain as we’ve been promised!