Evoking Emotion

One of the things that I love most about books is their ability to evoke emotion. It’s amazing how simple words on a page can make us feel an entire range of emotion: fear, anger, sadness, happiness—the list goes on and on. As I continue to read one hundred books to celebrate Lethbridge Public Library’s one hundredth anniversary, I have encountered books that have triggered a number of these emotions. This week I have chosen to share some of the most emotion provoking books I have read so far this year.

The Art of Racing in the Rain—Garth Stein. One of my favourite books this year to date. It follows a family as a father attempts to pursue his dreams when his wife is suddenly stricken with cancer. It is unique in that it is written from the perspective of the family dog. Of course, as we all know, any book involving pets is going to pull at your heart strings.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things—Iain Reid. This was recommended by a co-worker. It’s a psychological thriller where a young woman is trapped in a blizzard along with her new boyfriend after meeting his creepy family for the first time. I was left in a state of rising fear as the book unfolded.

The Circle—Dave Eggers. A movie adaptation of this book came out a couple of years ago. Mae Holland has gone to work for The Circle, a fictional social media giant. The only problem is that The Circle feels that they should control all aspects of society and their employees are expected to buy into this totalitarian mission. I could feel my anxiety level rising as Mae struggles with how she fits into The Circle.

Apron Strings—Jan Wong. An autobiographical journey as the author travels across France, Italy, and China with her grown son, Sam. The two are learning how everyday families eat, how they make meals, what ingredients they use, and how they cook. It is a charming, heartfelt journey across two continents where you are introduced to some amazing people. As a bonus, the recipes of many the dishes that Jan and Sam eat are included.

The Escape Room—Megan Goldin. Coming soon to the library, much of this book takes place in an elevator. Four co-workers are stuck in an elevator, brought together under the impression they are there for a team building exercise. Things begin with a simple instruction: try to stay alive. This one covers a wide range of emotion—hope, anger, and much more. It will definitely keep readers entranced as they are left guessing how things will end.

I hope you’re enjoying this trip through the library stacks and are discovering books to add to your own literary journey.