When I was a kid, I was a voracious reader. I read everywhere — in the car, in bed, while brushing my teeth. My mom was constantly telling me to rest my eyes, especially in the car! (Solid advice, not that I listened.)
Once I got to college, I majored in comparative literature. I suddenly had to read insane amounts for class. My love of reading for fun disappeared, and went dormant for many years. I have had to kick-start it a number of times, and a long honeymoon last year to Italy jump-started my old love of reading that I am happy to say is ongoing.
Here are a few of the books that have inspired me recently.
I lived in Alaska for almost four years, and this evocative book brought me back to the quirky, independent, self-sufficient qualities I love so much about Alaskans. It has memorable characters, focusing on a family that moves to the Kenai Peninsula to homestead, and the gripping narrative is a page-turner. The characters from this one stayed with me, and it reminded me of how much of a role place plays in shaping who we are.
Yes, the movie. But also the book. The protagonist is a guy who lives in and is obsessed with a competition that takes place in virtual reality. Through the intense competition, he learns that it is real life that defines us, not the ones in our head. It’s a fast read, with a lot of nerdy references to the 80s. It’s a telling metaphor about living life out here in the real world versus the virtual one.
Min Jin Lee
One of my goals is to read more by writers of color. This book by Lee told me about a group of people I knew nothing about — Koreans displaced by the war and living in Japan. The narrative is beautiful, with lots of unexpected plot twists, and features compelling characters. I loved learning about this group of people and how they took on the challenges life put in their path. At time, it is sad, and at times, it is uplifting. I was riveted to the end.
What are you reading right now? Please share your recommendations!