While I was in university, I stopped reading for fun. Being forced to read hundreds of pages definitely turned me off. Strangely, I didn’t pick it back up when I graduated. I think part of this was because I found new ways to spend my time – on the computer with Facebook, Instagram, and other websites that allow me to wander mindlessly, wasting time.
Over the past year, I’ve had a desire to step away from my screen. That might seem funny considering I started this blog. But I find writing in here is purposeful and reflective, and allows me to grow personally. I wanted to step away from mindless internet browsing and return to more “slow” activities that cultivate good qualities in myself. Activities like photography, writing, cooking, and reading.
I’ve had a really difficult time getting back into reading. I just don’t know what I like to read anymore! A nasty residue leftover from university is that I want things I read to be educational and will somehow improve my knowledge of something. Those types of books are great, except they don’t really allow me to get lost in a world of characters and imagry.
You know how you can pick up some books and can’t put them down until you’ve read the whole thing? It seems as though you are transported into a character’s life, as though they are a real person. You find yourself thinking about the story, even when you aren’t reading the book? And somehow, even when you’ve finished it, the story lingers with you?
I haven’t read a book like that in a long time.
Two weeks ago that changed! The Halifax Public Libraries have books on display that are “Rapid Reads”, meaning that you only get them for a week. They are usually some of the top-selling books, therefore are super easy to read. Normally I love to browse the bookshelves and pour over titles, trying to pick one that I think I would enjoy. However, having a young baby who just wants to MOVE has put a stop to this practice. On a whim, I decided to check out one of the Rapid Reads and give it a shot.
I briefly read the inside cover of When The Saints, by Sarah Mian, a Canadian author who lives in Queensland, Nova Scotia. This debut book is set in two fictional rural towns in Nova Scotia, and is about a broken, outcast family coming together and learning how to love. I thought it sounded pretty good.
It must have been good, because I finished it in 4 days. 4 DAYS!!! I loved it. The main character, Tabby Saint, is one that I quickly came to love. In terms of family names, she comes from the worst of the worst, she’s a Saint. When she is 14 she is shipped away to a school for troubled girls, and disappears for the better part of a decade. But she has come back to her old town, to settle her demons and help bring her family back together. This book is hilarious, crude, and wonderful. There is a great review in the Toronto Star here. I would recommend this book for sure. I’m really looking forward to more books by Mian.
The second book I read is And The Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier, another Canadian author. Originally written in french and translated to english, it the story of a photographer’s journey to chronicle the great bush-fires that occurred in Northern Ontario during the early part of the 20th century. In her search to speak to and photograph the last remaining survivors, she (the photographer) uncovers the story of a boy who walked through six days of inferno to find the twin girls he loved. Believing him to still be alive, her search takes her to some secluded cabins in the woods of Northern Ontario, where he lived with two old men who “disappeared” many years before. This unlikely party of 3 is later accompanied by an escaped elderly psychiatric patient who has never known life outside of the hospital. It is a wonderful story of tragedy, love, and lost love.I just loved the lyrical nature of the book, and to peek inside the lives of people who would rather stay hidden. An awesome book and excellent read.
I read 2 books in 2 weeks and I am feeling so encouraged. I am going to visit my parents in PEI for a week, and their home is the perfect reading hide-away. I am excited to bring a few books with me – I hope I can curl up and discover new authors that I love!