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Bella Gentry

  • Articles, Books,

    New Year, New Book Recommendations


    Over winter break, I have really enjoyed getting back into reading. It had been so nice to cozy up in a comfy chair with a warm blanket and dive into a great book. Both of the books I read this break, Educated and A Man Called Ove, were phenomenal and extremely interesting. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to read more books over 2021, then I highly recommend that you give these books a try!


    • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

         A Man Called Ove is about a grumpy old man who recently lost both his wife and his job. He feels extremely purposeless and lonely, leading him to attempt suicide in order to see his wife again. However, his new neighbors, a young and cheerful family with two daughters, along with others keep disrupting him by asking him for help with their problems. As Ove assists those around him, he builds relationships that end up transforming his life. Additionally, Ove’s past is unraveled throughout the book, which might lead you to empathize with and even care for this grumpy old man.

         I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and following along with Ove’s journey. Backman created a truly magnificent narrative, and he presented it in an even more magnificent fashion. I have never really taken note of how an author wrote a story before, but A Man Called Ove definitely stood out to me in this department. Despite the serious and sorrowful plot, the story is written in a lighthearted and comical way that keeps you turning the page. If you are looking for a heartwarming yet deep story that explores love and the effects that grief can have on people, then A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is the perfect story for you. Plus, there is already a Swedish movie adaptation of the book, and an English adaptation starring Tom Hanks is planned to be released in 2022.


    • Educated by Tara Westover

         I wouldn’t be surprised if you had already heard of this book before, seeing as it has become wildly popular throughout the world. Educated is a memoir, and it follows the life of Tara Westover, who was raised in a survivalist family that lived on a mountain away from mainstream society. The family was constantly preparing for The End Days, and Tara’s father thought that the government had been taken over by a secret organization, such as the Illuminati. This meant that Tara’s family stayed as far away from any government-supported establishments as possible, such as hospitals and public schools. Tara almost never saw a doctor, and she never attended school until she turned seventeen, when she got herself into Brigham Young University after self-studying for the ACT. From there, the story follows her amazing journey to Cambridge and Harvard.

         This book is the most interesting story I’ve ever read. From learning about her family’s lifestyle to following her journey from no education to Harvard University, I was constantly shocked and left wanting more. Additionally, Westover writes her story in such a way that she never bashes any person in her story. Instead, she tries to understand things from their perspective, which makes the story much more well-rounded. However, this book does include scenes where Tara is physically abused by one of her brothers, so be aware of that if you get distressed or triggered by those types of things. Overall, this story was truly remarkable and something I’ll never forget. No matter what type of book genre you are into, I highly recommend giving Educated by Tara Westover a try.


    I hope that you found some books that you are interested in reading! You should be able to find both of these books in any public library or bookstore. Happy reading!

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