Time to stuff the book bag – for the plane, for the beach, for the backyard chaise. Here’s what we have loved recently, and can recommend.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid is a short, elegant novel that puts you into the hearts and minds of two young people who are forced out of their native land, and live an itinerant existence in today’s modern world. With a dollop of magical realism, and sentences that are like poetry, this is a treat. Here’s the NYTimes review.
Arundhati Roy’s much awaited new novel takes readers back to India and follows in the footsteps of The God of Small Things, which won a Booker Prize in 1997. Here is the NYTimes review.
Lisa See’s latest novel, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, immerses the reader in the rapidly changing culture of China today, while also giving a lesson on the history of tea. An absorbing and satisfying tale, like all of See’s stories, this novel focuses on the strength and resilience of the female spirit. You won’t think about tea the same way again – here’s an excerpt from the LATimes.
Dani Shapiro’s memoir, Hourglass, is a straight-forward and moving description of marriage over the years. Beautifully written and highly personal. Here is an NPR review.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (host of The Daily Show) is best consumed on Audible, for Noah narrates himself and brings his unique story to life. Born in South Africa to a black mother and white father, he straddles two worlds and recounts them with humor and remarkable insight. Here is the NYTimes review.
Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and specifically Song of Myself, is something you might not have thought about since high school, but we promise that to revisit it now is a revelation. It’s difficult and sometimes repetitive, but worth it for a glimpse back at one of the early articulations of the American spirit. Leaves of Grass is still one of the most popular books of poetry sold today.