It’s been quite a while since my previous blog post. To be quite honest, I was having a hard time thinking of what to write. I do have a couple of ideas in mind, but writing it in a way where I can connect myself to my readers is no easy task.

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Begin Again (2015)

The quote above is from the movie Begin Again (must-watch!!). And while it’s true that songs are one’s guilty pleasure,  I also believe that the same goes for what they read. Reading a good book transports you to a different time and place. The author lets you become a part of the story, share empathy with the characters, and experience life in a different view. You can never be the same person again after you finish reading a good book.

I started reading novels when I was in high school. I remember my friend lending me her copy of Paulo Coehlo’s  The Fifth Mountain, and didn’t like it. I’m not sure why exactly, but it wasn’t my cup of tea that time. Then in college, another friend recommended me to read Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games Trilogy, and that’s when I started to get hooked. In the beginning, I read a lot of dystopian books, then eventually, romance (I know, I know LOL).  Lately, I’ve been fond of reading mystery, and world war stories. That’s another thing about reading, you start with a bunch of genre, and as you grow older, your interest becomes broader, and reading a different genre of a book for the first time will have you surprised.

I created The Happy Reading List to share books I enjoyed reading, and to encourage my blog readers to keep reading, too, until they find a book they would love to read over and over again. As a reader, recommending  books we grow to love is like sharing a piece of our soul.

 

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1. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Details:  translated in English by Jay Rubin, published on September 12, 2000

Genres: Fiction, Asian Literature, Drama, Romance

Must read if you like: Never Let Me Go, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Review: This is the very first book I’ve read that’s written by Murakami. I’ve had this stored on my phone for a very long time, and it’s only recently that I’ve decided to give it a shot.

The story is about Toru, a young college student living a mundane life, and Naoko, an ex-girlfriend of Toru’s bestfriend whom commited suicide. Bounded by the tragic event, they both find themselves needing each other to survive. It’s a perfect coming-of-age story about life, loss, and love.

 

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2. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Details: Winner of Pulitzer Prize (Fiction) in 2015, published on May 6, 2014

Genre: Fiction, Historical, World War

Must read if you like: Life After Life, The Diary of a Young Girl

Review: A heart-breaking story on how a war can affect one’s life. This book is 530-pages long, but it didn’t bore me a bit. I become so engrossed to the characters. There were times that I had to stop reading because some events are intense, and just let the scenes sink in, then continue reading again.

The story is told on two point of views– one from a blind French named Marie-Laure who lives with her father, a “Master of Thousand Keys” in the Museum of Natural History, and the other side is told by a German soldier, named Werner. The story unfolds a powerful message about how human kindness surpasses all hatred.

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3. The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins

Details: Winner of Goodreads Choice Award (Mystery and Thriller) 2015, published on January 13, 2015

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Must read if you like: Gone Girl, The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo

Review: Another book written on multiple POVs, this book is about Rachel who takes the train every day and night, and how she always observe, from where she sits in the train, a couple living in one of the suburban houses. One day, she woke up bloody, and injured, but do not remember anything. There’s a news about a missing person, named Megan, only to realize that she’s the same person Rachel sees in one of the suburban house when riding the train.

The thing about reading mystery or thriller books is that you are always at the edge of your seat, and you are perpetually suspicious to all the characters in the book. While The Girl on the Train may not be one of the best mystery novels, this book is still worth the time to read if you’re new to the mystery genre.

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4. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Details: published on November 4, 2014

Genre: Non-fiction, Feminism, Poetry

Must read if you like: The Color Purple, Love and Misadventures

Review: This book is a collection of poetry and prose that talks about loving one’s self and feminism. It’s divided into four chapters that explores different themes, such as abuse, desire, and love.  Just last week, I went to Fully Booked, and found out that Milk and Honey is on their top-picks list, too!

What I like about the book is its honesty. It depicts that life is complex, and we will always deal with hardship sooner or later, but it also encourages the readers, especially women, that life is a choice, and it can get better.

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5. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Details: Winner of Goodreads Choice Award (Young Adult) 2015, published on January 6, 2015

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Romance

Must read if you like: The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You, Eleanor and Park

Review: I will always be a sucker for romance. The story is about Finch, a boy in constant thought of wanting to die, and Violet, a girl haunted by her sister’s death, yearning to escape, and start a new life in a new environment. The two got paired up on a school project, and ends up forming a good relationship.

I couldn’t thank my friend enough ( Hey, Diosa!) for suggesting this book to me. The first few chapters of the book were slow, and the characters’ problems weren’t that much appealing to me at first, but as Violet and Finch embarks on their school project journey, boy, did I feel like a hopeless romantic high-schooler again!

 

Leave a comment below, and share your top picks for this week! Feel free to make a happy reading list on your blog, too. Comment below, so I could also check your list.


Images courtesy of Google and Goodreads