Books transport you to another place and time. You get to travel the world without leaving home. You can live a thousand lives by reading books.

My sister is an avid reader. She probably reads 5 books a week. We make many trips to the library.

Books that transport you by Colleen Kanna, Photo of my sister carrying her Ottawa Library book bag filled with books borrowed from the library.

She’s been a positive influence on me. I’ve gotten back into reading more. And by more, I don’t mean reading a few pages every night before I drift off to sleep. I mean actually sitting down during the day and reading 100 pages at a time.

So what have I enjoyed lately? Well my favourite genres are contemporary fiction and romance. And not the Harlequin romance novels my mom used to read. But smart, well written novels with diverse true-to-life characters in all their messiness. Stories that make you feel all the feels and stick with you.

Here’s what I’ve read over the last month or so:

I picked up Such a Fun Age at the library on the spur of the moment. I had no expectations and once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. Young woman writers like Kiley Reid bring to life issues of race, class, power, and privilege through fictional characters. The writing is fresh, real, insightful and sits with you.

Books transport you by Colleen Kanna, Photo of the book, Such a Fun Time by Kiley Reid

Are you familiar with Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice? She’s a neuroscientist who writes contemporary fiction. This one is Every Note Played. It’s the story of a world renowned concert pianist who is struck with ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s powerful and poignant and had me in tears by the end. Lisa’s writing sheds light on people living with neurological disorders and diseases that are often misunderstood, feared, or ignored by society.

Books that transport you by Colleen Kanna, Photo of the book, Every Note Played by Lisa Genova.

Christina Lauren is the pen name for Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. They are long-time friends and writing partners. They have co-authored 19 New York Times bestselling novels. Their genre is Young Adult and Adult Fiction which I would call Romance. I’ve read quite a few of their books and most recently, Something Wilder. It’s a story about a romantic relationship but with adventure and danger, intrigue and a mystery to solve. Think Romancing the Stone, the 1984 movie with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. The first chapter starts out in small town Laramie, Wyoming. If this sounds familiar, it’s because I recently wrote an article on The Black 14 which is a real life story that takes place in Laramie, Wyoming back in the late 60’s.

Photo of the book, Something Wilder by Christina Lauren.

My sister also read Something Wilder and liked it, and she typically reads mysteries. I love that Christina and Lauren are besties and write novels together. How fun is that?

The last book I’ll recommend is Life’s too Short by Abby Jimenez. Coincidently, this novel also has an underlying theme of ALS, not as predominant as Every Note Played but still there and enlightening. I like how this story brought to life the worst and the best of families. How people can travel to dark places and how they can also recover. Not only is Abby a bestselling author, she also founded Nadia Cakes and has won numerous Food Network competitions.

Photo of the book, Life's Too Short by Abby Jimenez.

So what have you read recently that swallowed you up heart and soul? Share in the comments.

Until next time,

~ Colleen

Colleen Kanna

I’m a recovering Chartered Accountant and Breast Cancer Champion turned Fashion Designer. My COKANNA Canadian-made bamboo clothing is all about comfort and style. Giving back to the community is important to me so I support local breast cancer organizations who treat the whole person and not just the disease.