My Favorite Books (for Now) - February 2020

Something you may not know about me is that I am a pretty avid reader.  I love nothing more than to dive into a book that I cannot put down and have even been known to wake up in the middle of the night just to read a good book (may just be middle age!?).  Over the years, I have become choosy about writing styles.  Rich character development is key and I loath books that feel trite or too simple, preferring instead to envelope myself into the multitude of layers that a really great author produces even if it may be a difficult subject matter.  

My ideal book sucks me in because of either the depth of its characters (I like to imagine myself in their circumstances so that I feel that I am an extension of them.) or the depth of the authors prose.  While I enjoy being purely entertained when reading, it is also important for me to feel as though I am increasing my knowledge by actually learning something, either about a region, an ethnicity or culture throughout the journey of a book. Below are 3 books that I love and highly recommend.  (I am not going to pretend to be a legit book reviewer so will dispel with any wordy descriptions other than a simple reason why I liked it and a thumbs up!)

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Amazing!  The author spent 19 years in prison and then escaped.  He spent 10 of his fugitive years in Bombay and this book is about his experiences and adventures and will not disappoint.  This guy is crazy and amazing.  I not only fell in love with the book but also with him!  I want to have him over for dinner.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

This is “a big-hearted novel” and was an unexpected discovery for me.  Because I am of the ilk that our country has out PC’d ourselves to death I was concerned this book might be a rant about immigration and inequality in our country so I was pleasantly surprised and consequently, really enjoyed this novel the and way the author has done a wonderful job in simply illuminating (one example) of the immigrant experience in America.  It was a real eye opener for me and showed me aspects of immigration and our country that I had never contemplated . . . What exactly is the American dream and is it really all it’s cracked up to be?!  I would definitely add this to your must-read list.

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

I share a lot of books with my mom as she is always game to try new ones.  One day she called me and was so excited that she had ‘just picked up a book off a bargain table’ and found that it was a great read.  It was shortly after “When the Crawdads Sing” hit the market and while we each enjoyed ‘Crawdads’, we both found this book to be so much more intriguing and interesting with great character development.  The author drew me in so well that I felt like I could actually feel the protagonists’ emotions and made me feel like I was walking with her throughout her journey.  I could actually feel her pain and disappointments.  This is a super easy yet multi layered novel.  A great read!

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