Reading, for leisure, is about as delicious as it gets. With a pot of Tea, some dappled sun, and the barely-noticed sound of birds or rustling leaves, make it even sweeter.
When a few clients had reached out wondering what I’ve been reading lately, it made sense to put the list together and share it with Ceremonie’s community.
This list is not exhaustive, nor are the titles listed in any particular order. These books are also not all new / recent. (It should also go without saying that I am receivng no commission or other form of benefit other than the pure pleasure of sharing what I have enjoyed). I also provide some commentary here and there, but I also hesitate to overshare, as the reader truly makes the experience themself.
Many of these titles can be found at your local library.
- Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri
Slow-paced, detailed, honest, full of feeling, nearly-plotless but far from pointless.
- Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
Achingly beautiful, raw and intimate, poetry dressed as a novel, grieving yet I felt cleansed and lighter after reading. There is no single word in this book that is a filler; each word is precious and necessary. Likely my most cherished read of 2022.
- All The Quiet Places by Brian Thomas Isaac
Set in BC, Canada, a story of the loss of culture and the landscape of home, told through an Indigenous (Syilx) narrator.
- Second Place by Rachel Cusk
Precise, exacting words, around the different types of humans, hopes, expectations, and let downs. Also loved her use of the title, and its various meanings, throughout the novel.
- Afterlife by Julia Alvarez
This book asks us what our role is in creating and maintaining family and community? How do we stay connected to loved ones who have passed? Nuanced, funny, yet sharply painful at times.
- Ordinary Monsters by J. M. Miro
Historical paranormal – fantasy, where the characters have powers that make them vulnerable. Plot heavy, with themes of trust, belonging, and loyalty; and where truth and deception are questioned and redefined.
- This is How We Love by Lisa Moore
The complexities of biological and chosen family and how love is more than one thing. An alinear story told by multiple characters.
- The Right to Sex by Amia Srinivasan
The author / philosopher invites all our skeletons out of the closet, and the issues and politics of sex that have been long avoided, even by “progressives” are laid bare. Consent, preference, racial and other forms of discrimination, accountability, freedom, monetization, and, of course, pleasure and power, are all explored.
- Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
I regret not reading this book sooner. I discovered that Taiwanese and Korean culture (mother-daughter relationships, food, etc) share many similarities. Honest, relatable, moving in ways I did not expect. I also admire how the author wrestles and honours the racial complexities and responsibilities of a having a biracial identity, and comparing her book to Two Trees Make A Forest by Jessica Lee (whom, IMHO, uses her Chinese surname as a convenient device to imply proximity to Taiwanese culture), Zauner models what integrity can look like.