Books I Read This Month - May 2012

Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger
By the author of one of my favourite books, The Traveller’s Wife, this novel takes place in a flat in England, a place that two young twin girls inherited from their aunt when she passed away, who was also a twin, to the girls’ mother. The twins had grown up in America, and this flat in England is the first place they’ve lived away from home. Their aunt’s past quickly intrigues them, as do their neighbours, two men who have a connection with their family’s history. A beautifully written gothic fairy-tale, this story sucks you in so you can’t stop reading. Elegant and mysterious, readers of Niffenegger’s previous work will enjoy this story, as well as those who like the gothic genre.

Quo Vadis – Henryk Sienkiewicz
This is the book I read to fill in the gap of the A to Z Challenge for the letter Q. You can find the post here. 

A Briefer History of Time – Stephen Hawking
Because A Brief History of Time was already checked out of the library. Here’s something you perhaps did not know about me: I am fascinated by cosmology. Yeah, I’m sure everyone gets curious about the universe when looking up at the stars, but I am a serious cosmological hobbyist. I read books like this. The Big Bang, The Big Crunch, the concepts of both infinity and of nothing, the prospect of time travel, I am almost as obsessed with this stuff as I am with British comedy. Perhaps I will post something about this fascination of mine sometime in the future, but for now I will just suggest reading this book and tell you that Stephen Hawking is one of my personal heroes.

Astrid & Veronika – Linda Olsson
A young writer, Veronika, moves to Sweden from New Zealand so she can finish writing her novel, but when she meets an old woman, Astrid, her sorrowful past begins to catch up with her. This novel illustrates a moving cross-generational friendship between two women dealing with troubled pasts. Some aspects may distress readers, but even when the writing gets a bit sentimental, it is never pretentious, and it is inspiring throughout.

Sonata for Miriam – Linda Olsson
The second novel of the author above, Sonata for Miriam also delves into the idea of one’s troubled past preventing one from moving on. A composer who recently lost his teenage daughter discovers that his parents had a dark secret in Poland in the years leading up to WWII. Olsson effectively weaves the journey of searching for the answers to his parents’ mystery with the conflicts that the character is dealing with in the present with the death of his daughter and the prospect of confronting his ex-wife. These two main plot lines meld together to form a detailed picture of the character, bringing past and present together in order to reveal the future. Like Olsson’s previous novel, it can be overly sentimental at times, but that does not detract from the moving relationships between the characters. 


  1. "I will just suggest reading this book..."

    I don't know if it's true, but they say this is one of the least-read massive sellers in history. :)

    I did read a good chunk of it a while back, but can't say I retained most of it. Alas!

  2. "They say this is one of the least-read massive sellers in history."

    That makes sense... Everyone is interested enough to buy it, but quite interested enough to read it... The best thing about this book is that it takes astro-physics and cosmology and makes it easy for the common reader to understand. Anyone who wants to expand their knowledge on this subject but doesn't think they'd be able to grasp the concepts will be in awe at Stephen Hawking's books!

  3. Thanks for these recommendations! I've always been interested in Hawking, but I didn't realize his books were accessible for the regular reader.

    I would love to read a post by you about the content of that, btw, if you decide to write it.

    1. Hawking's books are definitely accessible for the regular reader.

      Also, I am definitely planning on writing a post about the content of the book, as well as a series of four posts on the sci-fi genre. I'm glad you're interested. Thanks. :)