The Waayyy Behind Book Club

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Introducing the Waayyy Behind Book Club! Inspired by a book-crazy friend of mine, I thought I’d post every month about the books I’ve been reading. I am an English Literature Major, so understandably, reading is a particular passion of mine. I read, on average, about one book per week, although sometimes I read more than that, depending on how much free time I have. If I have difficulty sleeping, I reach for a book. If I’m stressed, I reach for a book. If I’m bored, I reach for a book. A lot of reading tends to get done when books become your emotional crutch!

Keep in mind that these will NOT be current reads (hence the name “Waayyy Behind”). I find it far too stressful to keep up with what’s currently popular. The books I list here will be old, out of the news, perhaps even forgotten. They will have been recommended to me by friends. I might have read an interesting article about them, or perhaps I saw them on some kind of “Best of” list.

Feel free to comment on my picks if you’ve read the same book yourself. Or, if a book piques your interest, ask me about it and I’ll be happy to give you an overview. You can even suggest other books to me if you think I might like them. I -love- to talk about books, so all comments are welcome and valued!

Without further ado, the books I’ve read this month are: Influenza by John M Barry, Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto, In an Unspoken Voice by Peter Levine, and Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers.

Influenza was particularly intriguing, as it chronicled the 1918 pandemic. You could tell the author meant some of the events to shock us (The streets were empty because everyone was afraid to go out! People were wearing masks everywhere! People would pick up goods outside of shops rather than enter them! ), but having experienced pretty much the same thing over the last few years, I could only nod, wearily. Their pandemic experience was different from ours in a number of ways, and if you’re curious, I can provide more details.

Anne of Avonlea is the second book in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s famous Anne of Green Gables series. I realized recently that I’ve never read further than the first book, even though I love the main character. So, that’s why this old book suddenly appeared on my reading list this month.

The Namesake, The Lake, and Gaudy Night were books I had read articles about, and heard were very good. Both The Namesake and The Lake have won some awards, and Gaudy Night is considered by many to be the best of Dorothy L Sayers books. (She’s a famous crime novelist from the last century).

I think my favourite book this month was In an Unspoken Voice by Peter Levine. It was a fascinating book about the Polyvagal Theory and how our bodies hold trauma. It even included some exercises you could do to release blocked energy from your own body. I learned a lot. It turns out that thinking or talking about traumatic experiences does little to actually heal them. Self-compassion and a willingness to feel difficult emotions is key.

So, what have you been reading lately? Anything good?

About the Author: Rebecca Wong has a BA in English Literature from the University of Waterloo and has been working in the herbal business since 2000. She studied at the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine under respected authorities Paul Des Rosiers and Vu Le, and graduated from the East West School of Planetary Herbology under Michael Tierra. She received training as a yoga teacher at The Branches in Kitchener/Waterloo, and therapeutic yoga teacher training from the School for Somatic Soulwork under Deniz Aydoslu. She now teaches yoga for anxiety, depression and burnout at Rebecca's Restful Yoga Studio in Toronto.

2 thoughts on “The Waayyy Behind Book Club”

  1. I just found this . 😊🤗I had bought Influenza for my Dad but he leant it to someone and never got it back. I guess I’ll just get it from the library.
    Loved Gaudy Night!! In an Unspoken Voice sounds fascinating!

    1. My little “Book Club” was inspired by you! 🙂 Thanks for your comments. In an Unspoken Voice -was- fascinating! I’m currently taking a course about how to teach yoga to calm the nervous system and heal emotional trauma. So, I’ve been reading more books like that, with the aim of adding the techniques to the yoga classes I teach.

      I’m always interested in the books you’re reading too. 🙂 I just read “Breaking Bread with the Dead”, which I believe you recommended some time back. That was a very thought-provoking book. It felt like I was chatting with an English professor in a cozy chair by a warm fire and having my mind gently expanded. So, thanks for that. 🙂

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