The Book Club

It’s our final edition of the term, and spring break is finally just around the corner for Lawrentians. Though the break itself is only a little over a week in length, it still provides ample time for students and staff alike to relax, unwind and possibly forget all they’ve learned over the past ten weeks. And, of course, it gives everyone a chance to finally catch up on some pleasure reading before the assigned readings for spring term start to pile up. For the final edition of the term, I’m going to talk about some books that I’m hoping to finally get to during spring break. And, who knows, maybe some of the titles will jump out at you and encourage you to read along with me. Or, if nothing here catches your eye, hopefully it’ll at least encourage you to find some different titles that pique your interest. Without further ado, let’s get to the final recommendations for the term. 

The first title on my list is The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec. The work is a mythological retelling, and to those who have been reading the column for a while, you know that fact alone automatically qualifies itself to be on my list of books to read. After all, I’m nothing if not a sucker for mythology. Centered around the characters and mythos of Norse mythology, the tale follows Angrboda, a witch who is on the run from Odin, the king of the gods. As she hides in a remote forest, she meets Loki, and together they fall in love and have a family. But as the years tick by, she slowly senses an impeding danger coming for her and her family and seeks to prevent it at any cost. I’m especially intrigued by this work since it focuses on Norse mythology, rather than the usual Greek mythology, just for a different perspective and array of characters. If you love mythological retellings as much as I do, or at the very least read this article, saw the name “Loki” and immediately pictured Marvel’s handsome antihero, then this book may be for you.  

Another title on my list is Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. Piranesi lives alone in an impossible house, though labyrinth may be a better term for it. The rooms in the house are infinite, an ocean floods the hallways and staircases, and none of the hundreds of statues seem identical in the slightest. The only other being in Piranesi’s life is “The Other,” who appears twice a week to implore Piranesi to help him with researching some great knowledge. Soon, evidence appears of another being living in the house, making Piranesi question everything he ever knew about the house and his purpose in it. I truly don’t know what to expect from this one – at its core, it sounds like a fantastical mystery. If you want a quick, light-hearted fantasy read, then this book might be right up your alley.  

The last title for this week is These Violent Delights by Micah Nemerever, a dark academia work. Paul and Julian meet in college and are unexplainably drawn to one another and end up forming an all-consuming friendship. Yet as Julian’s cruel side starts to show, Paul is desperate to hold on to the one person in his life that he sees as an equal. As tensions – and passions – rise, the two find themselves compelled to commit an act of horrible violence, shining a light on just how dangerous their friendship truly is. Described as a cross between The Secret History and Call Me By Your Name, this book certainly grabbed my interest. Dark academia is one of my other favorite sub-genres, and my expectations are rather high for this one. If you like dark academia – as a subgenre, clothing style or otherwise – and liked books such as The Secret History or If We Were Villains, then maybe you should pick up this book and read along with me.  

That’s all for this term’s recommendations! I’ll be back in the spring with a few more books up my sleeve to recommend. But, for now, I want to wish good luck to all of the Lawrentians who have finals approaching. I hope you all have a wonderful spring break, and, as always, happy reading!