‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi
Summary: A thirty-six-year-old a neurosurgeon named Paul Kalanithi is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. From here, questions about what it means to live, coincide with preventing patients from dying.
Why? This book caught my eye when it first came out and was heavily promoted at my local Waterstones. After reading the synopsis I was completely in awe of not only the story but the concept as it was a question that had played on my mind finally being answered. As we all know, doctors can make the most difficult of patients, but what must it be like to save lives daily but not be able to save your own? I hope it gives as much insight as promised from its glowing reviews and I hope to enjoy it asap.
‘The Vegetarian’ by Han Kang
Summary: Yeong-hye is overcome with the strong desire to stop eating meat. Then plants. She eventually lives solely on water and slowly begins to dissipate in front of her families eyes due to her beliefs.
Why? At the beginning of 2016, I decided to become a pescetarian, mostly to see how it would make me feel rather than for ethical reasons. This novel I came across when searching for a list of Korean authors and the plot stood out to me. With vegetarianism and veganism gaining more popularity in the West I was interested in how extreme dietary restrictions would affect those in the East, especially in Korean culture. Furthermore, I am curious to read the narrative of one who believes in the sentiment nature of plants.
‘Girls on Fire’ by Robin Wasserman
Summary: Hannah and Lacey have a violent and destructive friendship that terrorises the town they live in. After a local suicide brings angelic Hannah together with the devilish Lacey, they reek havoc on all those that stand in their way. But what secret threatens to tear them apart?
Why? To finally have a thriller in my life! Yes, the plot is provoking and promises a lot of stylised demolition but the twist I feel is the female friendship being the central one. That carelessness that comes with youth mixed in with a taste for the sinful is a unique take on what is means to be young. Rather than drugs and sex, violence is a topic usually reserved for male protagonists, I enjoy the challenge to stereotypes.The hype for this book is pretty immense so, Bonnie and Bonnie anyone?
‘A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz’ by Goran Rosenberg
Summary: On the 2nd of August 1947 a young man survived the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz, and the inhumane slave camps during the final months of Nazi Germany. Now he must cope with not only his experiences but his new life. Goran Rosenberg reflects on his own childhood while narrating his father’s story. A moving and yet haunting novel about not only human depravity but also hope once it’s over.
Why? As much as the subject matter is unappealing, to say the least, it is highly fascinating. The idea of Auschwitz is incomprehensible to most of us, therefore, an insight from the perspective of one who has come into close contact with the horror would be the closest one can get to comprehension. Therefore, my desire to read this is both from a historical fascination and a desire for a human connection to a distant tragedy.
What books do you have on your wish list? Comment below to let me know!
Side photo credit: ‘Summer Reading 2012’ by UCI UC Irvine