If you’re like me, you schedule some downtime during the Christmas holidays to take a stab at some of the books on your reading list. The following books all came with flying recommendations and thus, made it on to my holiday reading list.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I can’t wait to dig into this novel by New York Times bestselling writer Gillian Flynn about the disintegration of a marriage of a golden couple and the subsequent disappearance of perfectionist-wife Amy Dunne on her fifth wedding anniversary in small town Missouri. While all suspect her husband, he vehemently denies any association with it while exhibiting blatantly deceitful behaviour.
The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It by Dr. Marcia Angell
As someone who has rebuffed prescription drugs for over 15 years, this expose of the pharmaceutical industry written by Angell, who spent two decades with The New England Journal of Medicine, caught my eye. Angell reveals that the high cost of prescription drugs (Americans spend $200 billion on them each year) is unnecessary. Profits are not being funnelled back into research, but are instead used to market their products. Further, the powerful pharmaceutical lobby is able to push its agenda through the FDA and medical centres.
Life by Keith Richards
Having been a Rolling Stones fan for the better part of my life, I find Keith Richards’s devil-may-care personality and ability to maintain a long-lasting marriage strangely fascinating. Apparently more lies under his weather-worn looks than a desire to party through life. By all accounts, Life is honest, articulate and revelatory with respect to the guitarist’s dangerous forays into drugs and conveys Richards’s ultimate love: music.
Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
How can you not like a man who states, “If you gave [Jerry] Falwell an enema, he could be buried in a matchbox”? Antitheist Christopher Hitchens, who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and died in December 2011, decided to document his experience with the disease in this book. The book is reported to be an honest, inquisitive yet humorous musing into cancer, which is no less than we would expect from Hitchens.
Home for Christmas: A Family Saga of Rural Canada by John Forrest
I enjoy reading about early 20th century life in Canada since it provides a better perspective from which to view the present. This five-story collection that covers an Ontario family’s Christmases from the depression years to the 1950s seems to fit the bill for my holiday reading. The stories focus on Christmas times in rural life, coping with poverty, war and the ever-inclimate weather.
Happy holidays and happy reading!