Bites with Books: London Edition

Last week, you saw the books that travelled with me to places like Seville, Paris, and Munich.  For five months in 2010-11, I lived in London, so I naturally got a lot of reading done during that period :] I was so lucky to live with a host mom who had an amazing library with practically a zillion books from which to choose (and we had the same taste in literature)!  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I spent most of my time actually reading the books rather than photographing them.  Here are the few visual reminders I have, and below is a list of my fave “books from my London chapter.” :]

ian mcewan enduring love pub
London September 2010: Enduring Love by Ian McEwan (see also one of my all-time faves, Atonement)
journal lunch london
London September 2010: journaling after my first Tate Modern visit
charlie and the chocolate factory
Natural History Museum London November 2010: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl with my fave little reading companion!

Memorable books read in London:

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

  • This HARROWING book explores nature versus nurture: whether we are born who we are or if our upbringing makes us who we are.  It’s from the perspective of a mother whose son is a school shooter.  Seriously thought-provoking.  I’ve never really wanted children, and this book helped to solidify that for at least another decade!  

One Day by David Nicholls

  • I’m gushing thinking of how amazing this book was for me.  Told alternatively from the perspectives of two friends on the same day every year for a few decades, it beautifully illustrates the difficulty of finding your path after university, the beauty in that journey, and the importance of savouring the sweetness of life.  Essential reading for twenty-somethings.  (The movie is fine, but, as usual, the book is WAY better.)

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

  • I love my “armchair travels,” and this book took me to Japan one hundred years ago.  It’s a gorgeously told story of the life of a geisha.  I was so sad when it was over because I didn’t want to leave that beautiful world, though it’s not the happiest.  Also, the movie does a great job of staying true to the original story

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

  • This one was another thought-provoking one.  It examines how our decisions and the secrets that we keep from the ones we love shape our lives.  It’s a story of a doctor who delivers his own twins one night, and when he realizes one has Down Syndrome, makes the decision to send her away and tell his wife that she died at birth.  

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

  • Another armchair travel, but seriously tough.  It tells the story of women’s lives under the Taliban in Afghanistan during the Communist occupation.  Particularly, the lives of two oppressed women married to the same abusive man.  Woof.  That said, it’s an eye-opener and there are some truly beautiful moments of sisterhood and survival.  As a woman, it is horrifying to know what still happens in some countries just because of your gender, and I was left shocked, disturbed, and ultimately deeply thankful for the western culture into which I was born.

Sister by Rosamund Lupton

  • I think this was the first thriller I ever read, and it totally turned me on to them!  A woman goes home to London to solve the disappearance of her sister.  I remember being so haunted by the end, and to this day I remember the last scene vividly (don’t worry, I won’t spoil it)!  A page-turner and a quick read.

Which of these books have you read and what were your thoughts?

xx Katie

PS – Do you have your own “Bites With Books”? Share yours on Instagram using #biteswithbooks and I’ll regram my faves!

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