For today’s post, I decided to show you guys 15 books I found from the little free libraries around Montreal.
In the last year, I discovered a few free libraries around my neighborhood. They have become extremely popular throughout North America, and Montreal is no exception.
I love driving from one to another because you never know what treasures you will find. And I found a few great ones. I also drop some off every now and then, but I mostly pass some of the books I don’t plan on re-reading to friends or work colleagues.
Here is the list of the 15 books I found at the little free libraries around Montreal this summer.
Snow by Orhan Pamuk
To start off the list of the 15 books from the little free libraries around Montreal, I will show you this gem.
I can’t believe I found a 2006 Nobel Prize winner for Literature at the little free library! If you’re not acquainted with the Turkish novelist, he’s one of the best contemporary authors of our times. How writing is lyrical and a pleasure to get lost in.
This particular novel is set in a remote Turkish town, where political Islamism threatens the peaceful secular order the town is used to. The author has a way of painting a clear picture of parts of the Muslim world we know nothing about. A story about power, religion, and life as seen through the eyes of a middle-aged poet who returned back home to Istanbul for his mother’s funeral.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Although I read the book shortly after it was released back in 2012, I never owned my own copy. So imagine my joy when I found this one alongside Dark Places, also by the same author.
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of the super popular book that has its own cult following, as well as the movie based on the book. If you didn’t here’s a super quick synopsis:
Amy, a clever housewife married to Nick, disappears on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary. A police investigation begins, and Nick is the prime suspect. When questioning their friends and family, the police discover that their marriage wasn’t as perfect as it seemed to outsiders. So what happened to Amy?
The book is mind-blowing, and it has so many twists and turns, it’s no wonder it was one of the most popular thrillers of the year. If you haven’t read it yet, I really don’t know what you’re waiting for.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
This is the author’s second novel, and it was published in 2009. Her first one, Sharp Objects, is also a dark tale, just like Dark Places. It is about the Day family massacre as seen by the only survivor, Libby.
Flynn has a way of writing some dark, somber novels filled with unlikable characters. But that’s what most of us like about her style. With Halloween just around the corner, this might be a perfect grim read.
The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
This is one of the best historical fiction books according to Goodreads. The book is set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885. Told by this master storyteller, the story follows Rajkumar, a boy of modest means who ends up creating an empire in the forest. During this invasion, the Royal Family is forced out of their palace, and they find refuge in the forest. There, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman who’s part of the Burmese Queen’s court. Torn apart by circumstances, his love for her makes him go in search of her years later, as a rich man. A tale of political and social chaos in India, Burma, and Malaysia, but mostly about human connection.
Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
This book is told from the perspective of Susie Salmon, a young woman who was murdered in 1973. As she’s adjusting to life in heaven, she watches earthly life go on without her. She sees her friends spreading rumors and speculating about her disappearance. She knows who her killer is, and sees from above how they cover their tracks. Her heart breaks for her family, who are trying hard to keep things together but falling apart with grief—a tale of grief, but one that gives the readers hope, and even some joy.
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
With very mixed reviews, I’m still very glad I stumbled upon this book. Many reviewers said they couldn’t put it down, while others found it pretty bland. I’ll judge for myself, but the story does seem very intriguing.
While vacationing in Bora Bora, Erin and Mark find something in the water during a scuba diving activity. They are faced with a decision: to speak up or keep the secret that could change their lives forever. Through the story, the author challenges the reader to ponder the lies we all tell ourselves, the ideals we might need to abandon, and the hopes we hang on to.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
A young adult novel that was very hyped when it came out Before I Fall was made into a movie. Samantha Kingston dies in a terrible accident on February 12, Cupid Day. What should’ve been a great day becomes a tragedy. But the next day, when she awakes, she gets seven different possible outcomes. No matter what decision she makes, will it change anything? It makes her question herself, and she tries to retaliate against the way she’s been acting toward the people in her life.
Anna K – A Love Story by Jenny Lee
This is a retelling of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina but with a contemporary twist. I’m generally not a fan of retelling stories, but I hear that this one is one of a successful few. It is the story of Anna and Alexia and their young love. As opposite as they can be, they fall for each other, and Anna is forced to decide what she’s willing to sacrifice in order to be with Alexia. It’s funny, I just had a conversation about retelling tales with a fellow bookstagrammer, and I was just saying how I don’t usually find them to be well done. I guess we’ll see how this one panned out.
Unforgettable Summer: So Inn Love and Better Latte Than Never by Catherine Clark
A cute little summer YA rom-com that happens at the Tides Inn, where Liza Mackenzie lands her dream job. She’s trying to fit in with the “in” crowd, but it isn’t really easy. Especially when she gets mixed messages from one of the cutest hotel employees. In the second part, Better Latte than Never, Peggy Fleming Farrell owes her parents money after a series of unfortunate incidents. It isn’t how she was planning to spend her summer, but she’s determined to make the best out of the situation she’s in. Two summertime stories about unforgettable first loves and first jobs.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I watched the movie a couple of years ago, and I thought it was a cute little romance. I had since put the book on my endless to-be-read list but didn’t really pursue it until I happened to see it at one of the little free libraries sometime this summer.
Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman who takes a new job as Will Traynor,s personal assistant. While Lou is an optimistic, happy person, Will is moody and bossy. But her infectious spirit conquers him, and he can’t imagine what his life was like before he met her. A current-day romance that is a perfect distraction when you’re feeling down.
After You by Jojo Moyes
Not long after discovering Me Before You, I also found After You. In the sequel, this time it is Louisa who is forced to return home, and she finds herself missing Will like crazy. But can she move on and find love again, with someone different? Jojo Moyes’ books are not meant to be read as standalone, so it’s best to read them in order. I can’t wait to see if the book is better than the movie, because the movie was pretty darn good. In my opinion, anyway.
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler
Another great find here is from powerhouse Montreal author Mordecai Richler. The book follows Duddy, a third-generation Montreal Jewish man, from his school days to the time he was trying to make ends meet. Hustling four jobs, he learns about living. This is one of Richler’s most acclaimed novels he wrote in 1957. Even today the novel is one of the most celebrated pieces of Canadian literature. It is a true lesson of life he writes with humor and satire.
Run by Ann Patchett
Teddy and Tip Doyle have been raised by their father since their mother’s death. Bernard Doyle is the former mayor of Boston, an ambitious, loving yet possessive person. He hopes that his boys will follow in his footsteps and get into politics. But one stormy night in New England causes an accident, and the stranger and her child cause Bernard to fight to keep them all safe. The events of the book happen in a 24-hour period, and they change Doyle’s life forever.
The Truth About Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell
One of Lisa Jewell’s older novels, it is rated just as highly as her more recent works. Melody Browne’s house burned down when she was nine years old. She also lost her memory on that night. When she turns fifteen, she leaves her parents and goes on to have a baby boy. Now in her thirties, Melody meets with a hypnotist and she starts remembering things from that fateful night, as well as her childhood. Another gripping story from an author who’s well-known for suspenseful thrillers written with an atmospheric style.
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell
A chilly, atmospheric novel from Lisa Jewel starts off slowly, but it grabs your attention as the story progresses. Young mother Tallulah goes out for a much-needed night out with friends, never to return. Fast forward two years and Sophie finds a note stuck on a tree by the school where her boyfriend just started his new job. The note says ‘Dig Here’. Intriguing and unputdownable, I’m looking forward to reading this one.
What do you think of these 15 books from the little free libraries around Montreal? I think they are a nice blend of styles, and I really can’t wait to dig into them.
Montrealers have some pretty decent taste reading-wise, wouldn’t you say?
If you read any of these books, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Until my next treasure hunt, fellow bookworms!