Happy spring break! Whether you are travelling somewhere warm and tropical or staying home and hanging out, spring break is the perfect time to finally start reading that book that’s been taunting you from your bookshelf for the past two years… On the other hand, if your bookshelf is rather empty these days, not to worry; check out the books Team Options is reading this spring for some literary inspiration.
Katherine, Educational Consultant: “I am currently reading Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. It’s based on the true story of a Memphis-based adoption organization who kidnapped/stole and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country. The story goes back to 1939, when a young girl named Rill Foss and her siblings are taken from their shanty boat home on the Mississippi River; in the adoption organization, Rill tries to keep her siblings together in the hope of returning home. The story moves back and forth from the past to the present, where we meet Avery Stafford, who has an encounter with an elderly woman who has her questioning her grandmother’s past. An enjoyable read for spring break.”
Melinda, Educational Consultant and President, “I am three-quarters of the way through This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel. It’s a touching story of gender identity and growing up. It’s about families and the difficult decisions they face. The book is a great reminder that there is no parenting handbook, and that as parents, we do the best we can and work through both the wins and the consequences of our decisions. This book and its humanity will stay with me long after I finish its last page.”
Melodie, South Surrey Office Manager: “I just finished reading Alison Weir’s Isabella: She-Wolf of France, Queen of England, a historical account of my husband’s 19th great-grandmother (I bought it from my favourite bookstore, Stillman Books, in White Rock). It is so fascinating and dramatic that it reads like fiction. Weir is a gifted writer, and she provides documentation and balance to the written records of a medieval queen’s amazing life. I think they should make a movie series about her life; Isabella’s story is Game of Thrones worthy!”
Alyssa, Writing Coach and Educational Consultant: “I’m just finishing Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, a novel following the lives of six friends attending college in Vermont. The novel starts with the murder of one of the main characters by the rest of the group, and readers spend the rest of the book unwinding the tale of how these friends ended up killers. Tartt weaves a story of intrigue, beauty, and fate—all set on a small college campus. What’s more, the writing is dappled with allusions and quotations that any literary or classics buff will love.”
Marisa, Writing Coach: “I recently read Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, a book so interesting and richly detailed that I just might reread it this spring break! Kimmerer is a biologist and an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and she brings these identities to bear on her discussion of the natural world. I’m far from a scientist, but her prose is both accessible and lyrical, communicating the science with precision and nature’s beauty with reverent attention. So often the conversation around climate change feels fatalistic and depressing, but this book articulates a path forward, one build on reciprocity and geared towards sustainability.”
Amanda, Educational Consultant: “I am reading Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. I always love his books: they seem to turn conventional wisdom on its head and make you think of things in a different way. In this book, he explores how we naturally default to truth, and while this has had some disastrous consequences, it’s actually what keeps us human. I also love his podcast Revisionist History, which is a great way to pass the time on a car-ride.”
Megan, Writing Coach: “I’ve spent the last few months tackling Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I have to admit that this is my second attempt to get through the 1500-page novel. Now that I’m nearing the end, I can honestly say that it has been well-worth the read! Tolstoy engages the reader in both the intimate lives of the main characters and the wider movements of Russia’s war against Napoleon. My main critique of the novel is the somewhat flat, stereotypical representation of the female characters. Nonetheless, don’t be deterred by the length because War and Peace is a brilliant read.”