Bellingham & Vancouver Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer Mikaela Ruth »

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the casual vacancy & other book club reads

I love my book club for three (main) reasons: it consists of some truly lovely girls whom I get to call friends, we eat the most delicious assortment of food at our monthly meetings, and it has introduced to me some of my all time favourite books. I’d like to start blogging a quick review of each, so I’m starting off today by catching up on a few recent reads and/or favourites…

The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles: I loved, loved this book. It quickly drew me in and had me hooked until the end, lost in the world of the strong, witty and relatable main character, Katey. I adored the style of writing and the feel of New York in the 1930’s that it depicted. It’s an altogether fun, worthy read and will have you craving a dirty martini…

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling: It took until about the halfway mark for me to begin enjoying this book.¬†As it carried on, I became more attached to it and by the end, when I was fighting back tears, I was glad to have read it. Still, only pick up this book if you have lots of time on your hands to read it! The characters are many and detailed and a guide would have been handy and made for quicker reading. It has to be said that JK Rowling is an extremely talented writer just based on the fact that she could weave all of these characters and their lives together (is there even a main character? We didn’t think so.) Though a couple of us agreed that we got tired of hearing of teenage boys’ fantasies and selfish ways. Overall, the story is believable and not full of fluff, which I appreciate in a book, and honestly, any book that has me reaching for a kleenex is decent in my eyes.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave: We read this one earlier last year and it remains a favourite of mine. The writing style of Chris Cleave hooked me from the start with his unique descriptions and vivid storytelling. He flips between the point of view of Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee, and Sarah, an English woman with a young son, Charlie, who is completely funny and lovable and stole my heart. It is intense and heartbreaking at times and endearing at others, a book that I would highly recommend and yes, kleenex will be required.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: To continue with my apparent theme of crying, this one…had me sobbing as the book drew to a close. So you know it’s a good one! I admit I wasn’t a fan at first, with the narrator of the story being “Death” and the beginning quite dark and morbid. But as you follow Liesel, a German foster girl, and her life during World War II, you realize it’s not a dark story at all. I think I can say every one of us in our book club loved this book…and I think you would, too.


  • Jasmine Star - January 18, 2013 - 12:43 pm

    So MANY of my favs…love it!ReplyCancel

  • Kim Spears - January 18, 2013 - 7:12 pm

    I LOVED Little Bee !!! The descriptions totally had me hooked :)ReplyCancel

  • Whitney Lane Arnett - January 18, 2013 - 8:51 pm

    I bought little bee the last time I was on a flight and forgot it on my seat in the airport
    :( I will have to pick up another copy!ReplyCancel

  • Andie - May 21, 2013 - 11:58 am

    Reading Alanna’s article I had to do some reminiscing of our book club – so I hopped right onto your blog knowing you have “documented” some of it along the way. Thankful for these posts to “remember” with. Now back to naming our book club…how have we not done this yet…or do we call it something without knowing…

  • Pm - June 13, 2013 - 10:03 am

    Where did you get the pillow!? Love it and your photography skills!ReplyCancel

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