This week, some more books from the “Read Around the World” challenge. (That’s all I’ve been reading these days.)
The Thing Around Your Neck
Goodreads rating: 4.21
An anthology of twelve short stories about Nigerian women and their everyday struggles, the plight of Nigerian immigrants in the States as well as delving into other themes such as warfare, marriage and relationships.
I’m not a big fan of anthologies because, after a while, the stories start sounding very similar and I get very attached to characters. BUT I really enjoyed reading this book. As a third-culture kid, I could relate a lot to the themes of the novel, especially the ones about having an identity crisis. It’s astounding how authors from different backgrounds tackle themes. Adichie’s writing is really raw. There’s a lot of honesty and passion conveyed in her words.
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
Goodreads rating: 4.15
The devastating and moving story of a child soldier amidst the civil war of Sierra Leone.
This book will make you appreciate EVERYTHING you have. We are awfully privileged to live in a (relatively) peaceful country with access to our basic needs and education. And we all do take these things for granted to the point that we start saying things like, “I hate school,” or, “I hate my job.” After you read this book and everything Beah lost, I guarantee you will have a new appreciation for your life.
The House of the Spirits
Goodreads rating: 4.21
The House of the Spirits is an epic novel following three generations of the Trueba family amidst political instability and turmoil. It encapsulates almost every theme you can think of–love, family, friendship, revenge–the list goes on.
The House of the Spirits is a character-driven novel. It’s EXTREMELY slow-paced but it’s a very enjoyable read because you grow up beside characters. And gosh, are there a LOT of characters. This is the sort of book which you have to really savour. The writing is beautiful and sucks you right into the story. (Also, I’ve heard a lot of people call this book a more interesting version of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude so if you liked that book, you’ll probably like this one.)
All of these books are available in the library to borrow so skip the excuses and go borrow them now.