Books Review

5 Books To Read Before You Die

I know everyone’s heard of a bucket list, mostly places to go and things to do before you die. There are many destination books out there listing all the places you should go before you kick the proverbial bucket. The adventures sound amazing but how many people can actually afford the luxury of world travel?
Books can transport you on an amazing adventure to. And if you have a library card they’re free! So, I’m making a far more achievable bucket list. Here are my top recommendations of things to read before you die.

1.The Bible

– Yes really! If you want to be transported to far away lands, see fierce battles and amazing miracles the Bible has all this and more! It’s the ultimate love story, packed with action and adventure, brave heroes and terrifying creatures straight from the pit of hell there’s even a talking donkey! I personally believe the Bible, believe that all of the events therein are fact and base my life on that truth. However, even if you don’t, it’s still worth a read.

2. The Outsiders

– The ultimate coming of age story! This is my favourite book of all time. This is THE book that got me through my teens! This is THE book that inspired me to write. This is THE book that turned me into the bookworm I am today. Before The Outsiders was assigned as mandatory reading in my eighth grade class I’d never read an entire novel cover to cover. I found books, especially books targeted to my age group boring, stupid and entirely un-relatable. Apparently way back in the sixties tween (before the word tween even existed) books weren’t much different and so sixteen year old S.E. Hinton created this masterpiece which is second on my list of books to read before you die.
P.S. You don’t have to be a tween to enjoy it!

3. The Evolution Of Alice

– I won’t spend too much time on this one as I’ve already delved into it’s fabulousness in my previous book review post but I will tell you this book touched me deeply. It has such a unique and incredible mix of harsh and gritty everyday life with a touch of magic thrown in at just the right spots. And I’m a sucker for a really great friendship story.

4. The Sisters Brothers

– Out of all the books I’m recommending here, this one has the most entertainment value. If your looking for a real escape, I mean lose yourself completely in an utterly weird and crazy tale of two brothers on a mysterious mission then this Governor General award-winning book is for you! Patrick DeWitt is the author and I’d love to live just a day in his imagination! Now there’s something for the bucket list!

5. The Opening Sky

– The description of this book did it so little justice that I actually wasn’t interested in reading it at first. Thank goodness that the book I wanted was checked out at the library and this little gem was staring me in the face practically begging me to take it home. So I did and I found myself entirely wrapped up in the every day life of the Glasgow-Fimeser household, their problems and heartbreaks and their ordinary/extraordinary lives. What’s most amazing about this book is the masterful way in which a pretty everyday kind of family is elevated by the masterful writing talent of Joan Thomas. Life in The Wolsely neighbourhood takes on a life of it’s own and even though it takes place in the same city as I’ve lived my whole life, it transported me, not to a far off land but in to the life of an every day family which can be just as interesting.

 

The Evolution Of Alice by David Alexander Robertson

As I’ve said before I’m an avid reader and another thing I’d like to do with these posts is to review one adult and one children’s book per post and this time, I’ll start with an amazing book I just finished called
The Evolution Of Alice by David Alexander Robertson.
I was first intrigued by this book at the 2015 Manitoba book awards, where author David Alexander Robertson won the award for most promising Manitoba writer but upon reading the premise of the novel I decided it
sounded far too sad and put it back on it’s pile. Thankfully, months later when I went to my local library in search of a different novel entirely that ended up being checked out and had a waiting list
of 120 something people (which I’m still on) I stumbled upon this literary gem.
While it was sad yes, heartbreaking at times, it was filled with hope, love and deep unbreakable friendships with an edge of the supernatural like I’d never read before.
Alice lives on the Rez with her three children and life is as good as it can be. Her abusive boyfriend is serving a lengthily jail term, her three daughters are the loves of her life and her best friend Gideon is always there for her.
She is poor but rich in love with her girls and they make their own free fun, frolicking in the large field behind their run down trailer while Alice sits on the tire swing, more often than not with Gideon by her side.
Her daughters never lack for anything. Alice is thrifty, buying children’s books from library sales (which is actually a great way to get great books and magazines on the cheap) and she even manages to splurge on a bacon and egg
breakfast for her children and Gideon every morning. And the description of their family breakfast time was enough to make me want to jump in and gobble it up alongside them and go work it off running around that big field afterward!

But, things aren’t all sunshine and roses for long and an unspeakable tragedy strikes shattering this lovely family seemingly beyond repair. The rest of the book is about picking up the pieces and learning to live again,
however painful it may be. But is about much more than that as well. It’s about trying to do the right thing even when your not quite sure what it is, it’s about change for better or worse, it deals with domestic abuse and
poverty and then there’s that interesting supernatural element that would seem like it would not belong in a book such as this but Robertson weaves it together in such a way that it adds another delicious layer into this wonderful book.
I highly highly highly recommend this book to anyone because there is pretty much something for everyone in it. Also, if book clubs are your thing, The Evolution Of Alice has been selected for this year’s On The Same Page.
Manitoba’s largest book club which holds book giveaways, events in which the author will appear in person and more. You can learn more at http://onthesamepage.ca