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Team YCL's 2019 Book List

Here at the YCL studio, we are avid book lovers. We love to share our thoughts on books we are currently reading and tend to swap the ones we love on a regular basis. As a yearly tradition, we have chosen to share our favourite books for the year. Below is a selection of our favourites from 2019.

The Binding

By Bridget Collins

Team YCL Rating: *****

“Memories,’ she said, at last. ‘Not people, Emmett. We take memories and bind them. Whatever people can’t bear to remember. Whatever they can’t live with. We take those memories and put them where they can’t do any harm. That’s all books are."

A beautiful fantasy story about how books are people's unwanted memories captured and binding inside the pages. Reading another person's book is considered highly immoral & can be deemed illegal, due to the sacred contents belonging to another, so they can be sold on the black market for large amount of money. Despite The books darker content, it moves through a beautiful love story and was very moving and captivating. Took me around one third of the way through it before I started to enjoy it.

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

By Holly Ringland

Team YCL Rating: ****

“Alice would always remember this day as the one that changed her life irrevocably, even though it would take her the next twenty years to understand: life is lived forward but only understood backward. You can't see the landscape you're in while you're in it.”

A book that connects back to the power of flowers and nature. A beautiful story about a young girl lost, finding her way back to herself again through freeing herself from fear & listening to the way Mother Earth communicates with us.

The Woman in the Window

By A.J. Finn

Team YCL Rating: ****

“You can hear someone’s secrets and their fears and their wants, but remember that these exist alongside other people’s secrets and fears, people living in the same room.”

The Woman in a Window was a great book that kept me intrigued, guessing and turning pages until the very end. A J Finn creates a collection of colourful and interesting characters and by telling the story from Anna's perspective, Finn has allowed readers to dive deeply into the complicated tangle of her mind, and as she begins to question her own sanity, so does the reader. If you love a good murder mystery with a surprising plot twist this book is to you!

All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr

Team YCL Rating: ****

“Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”

This novel follows the journeys of a blind French girl and intelligent German boy who find their own beauty of life during the World War. Their thought provoking stories are meshed together in a touching and beautifully written plot that sees them connect even though their lives are worlds apart. This book is captivating and both heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

By Khaled Hosseni

Team YCL Rating: *****

“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls."

A book that came to me crossing Rajasthan, India earlier this year. A thousand splendid suns; a book I had been contemplating purchasing a few days prior but talked myself out of it as it would weigh my already heavy backpack down. However within a few days in the hallway of an abandon hotel in Jaisalmer a man named Robert from the US offered me a book to read as he was finished, and ready to give it to communal reading. One of the brightest smiles I’ve seen as he breifly told me his impression on this heartaching story of the Afghan women. His smile was contagiatious and carried straight on to me, I devoured the story as I traveled the west coast of India. I’m not sure if it was the circumstances that brought this book to me or simply the story itself, either way I think about this book often and it will always remind me of how very fortunate I am.

Into the Wild

By Jon Krakauer

Team YCL Rating: ****

"It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found."

A stripped down story where the majority of us just lay tucked in bed with our vicarious thoughts. As the title entails a true story, that has been around for awhile now; Into the raw and wicked wild where many of us dare to jump into. Connection between man and nature, something I believe many of us try to achieve, a chase for something new.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

By Taylor Jenkins Reid

Team YCL Rating: *****

“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is 'you're safe with me'- that's intimacy.”

I recently read "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" and found it incredibly intriguing and captivating. Based in the 1950s, Evelyn is an ageing starlet whom offers her story and darkest secrets to an inexperienced writer for a reason unbeknownst to the writer herself. This is unfolded at a later date of course. The novel follows Evelyn's relationships with each of her seven husbands, the true love of her life and so much more is uncovered along the way.

Talking to Strangers

By Malcolm Gladwell

Team YCL Rating: ****

“To assume the best about another is the trait that has created modern society. Those occasions when our trusting nature gets violated are tragic. But the alternative—to abandon trust as a defense against predation and deception—is worse.”

"Talking to Strangers" is an exploration of the assumptions and mistakes we make when dealing with strangers. Although this may sound like quite a bland topic, Gladwell has created an intriguing and compelling story that makes you question many previous events and criminal cases in history. He covers stories and history which encourages us to examine our own behaviour, judgements and thought processes.

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