The Reading List—March 2021

With the vaccines rolling out and many more people are being vaccinated, we can now see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. With that said, while we are waiting to be vaccinated (kudos to those who have been vaccinated!), try one of these books during your free time this month. On this list, I could not help but to include the winning book from the Canada Reads 2021 competition and the author also happens to be the Athabasca University 2020-21 Writer-in-Residence.

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead is a novel about a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer. The story is an incredibly well written and shares a unique vision of Indigenous life filled with passion and perseverance. For anyone looking to try something new this month, this is a must read for you!

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People is a novel written by Fredrik Backman and translated by Neil Smith. A very well written, poignant yet charming novel for all fiction and mystery lovers. The story is about a crime that never happened, a bank robber who would have a robbed a bank that suddenly vanishes and eight anxious strangers who meet. This story is a compassionate and funny story filled with wisdom that teaches readers the power of endurance, hope, forgiving and finally, friendship – things that ultimately have the power to save us during the most stressful and unexpected times.

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

For those who have never read a Jodi Picoult book before, this book is a must read. My Sister’s Keeper examines what being a good parent, good sister and a good individual means in life. It explores questions that we would question if it would be ethnic or not and which choice is the best choice, or if there is even such a choice? My Sister’s Keeper was one of my favorite novels to read as it carries a beautiful, touching yet heartbreaking story with unexpected twists. It also delivers a strong message to readers that everyone has their own story and reasons for the choices they make. Unlike most books, this is one of the books I recommend readers to read the book and try the movie. Both the book and movie have different endings, and I think it is very worthwhile to try both!

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

Six Wakes by Mur Laffery is a mix of mystery and science fiction. A great read for those interested in mystery, science fiction or both!

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Calling all non-fiction and memoir fans, this is for you! Paul Kalanithi, the author of this book and at the age of 36 was a neurosurgeon who had almost completed a decade worth of training was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. From working as a neurosurgeon to treating the lives of many patients, and suddenly, he was a patient battling for his own life. A true story about Paul’s journey from a young and naïve medical student and next working and training to become a neurosurgeon at Stanford, to becoming a new father to their child and a patient confronting lung cancer. The book explores many topics including how to live life in the situation when your future is no longer visible and what it means to conceive a child when another life is about go fade. Paul Kalanithi passed away in March of 2015 while writing this book, however, his words in the book live with all readers as a gift, guide, and inspiration to tackle all the challenges we face in life.