The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
This is the book to turn to when you are suddenly no longer impressed by your own reality; when everything seems grey and bleak. When I picked up this book, I found a story of love and magic, the most wonderful imagery and an overwhelming reminder of the poignancy of opposites, of black and white.
Favourite Quote: “It is like realizing someone in a photograph is no longer the same age as they were when it was taken, and they seem farther away because of it.”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephan Chobsky
This story is for anyone who has ever had an existential crisis; for someone who loves music on an almost transcendental level; for someone who finds it impossible to name just one favourite novel; or for you, if you get it when Charlie says he feels infinite.
Favourite Quote: “The outside lights were on, and it was snowing, and it looked like magic. Like we were somewhere else. Like we were someplace better.”
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
When you forget that you already have everything you need, read this book. When you are reminded that there is more to what meets the eye, when you’re stuck at the bottom of your personal wheel of fortune – read this book. When you have a moment, and all the other books on your list are too long or too daunting, read this book.
Favourite Quote: “You must always know what it is that you want.”
Complete Journals of L. M. Montgomery (The PEI Years, 1889-1900):
As I read through her journals, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s writing style reminds me of myself, aged 8, 10, 14, 17: (re)reading Anne’s adventures, and graduating, finding my own Patty’s Place, falling in love. There is almost a feeling of ‘inception’ because suddenly I find myself reading and maturing along with Montgomery – someone who would grow up only to affect my childhood.
Favourite Quote: “What care I if it be ‘wild and improbable’ and ‘lacking in literary art’? I refuse to be any longer hampered by such canons of criticism. The one essential thing I demand of a book is that it should interest me. If it does, I forgive it any and every other fault.”
Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co – Jeremy Mercer
This summer (which was possibly the best one of my life), je suis tombée en amour avec Paris. Extremely cliché I know, yet with my friends, I did much better than just fall in love. We found, like many before us, the famous Shakespeare & Co. bookstore, the star of this story. While reading this memoir I could hear, amidst all of the colourful characters, the trilling of an old piano, low laughter, the clacking of an old typewriter, an occasional snore – and the sounds of pages turning.
Favourite Quote: “In a place like Paris, the air is so thick with dreams they clog the streets and take all the good tables at the cafés. Poets and writers, models and designers, painters and sculptors, actors and directors, lovers and escapists, they flock to the City of Lights.“