Tag: recent history

Review: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

You’ll have heard of this book because of the awards it won in 2020, including the Booker Prize.  This story of a young boy growing up with an alcoholic mother in 1980s Glasgow is worth the read.  It’s dark, but once I finished it,… Continue Reading “Review: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart”

Review: Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery by Rosalie Knecht

I loved the first book by Knecht, Who is Vera Kelly? so I was very happy to receive a review copy of its sequel. These books combine a couple of things I really love – a complicated main character, a mystery, and the history… Continue Reading “Review: Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery by Rosalie Knecht”

Review: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers was heartbreaking, but so good and very worth reading.  I realize that reading a book about the AIDS crisis in the 80s isn’t a light read, but I feel like it’s really important to understand.  It’s also a book for anyone… Continue Reading “Review: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai”

Review: The Glass Diplomat by S. R. Wilsher

I was recently in Chile and heard and saw a lot related to the Pinochet regime.  We were told the country is still very divided amongst people who lived through that era.  So S. R. Wilsher’s book, The Glass Diplomat, was particularly interesting. The… Continue Reading “Review: The Glass Diplomat by S. R. Wilsher”

Review of Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic

This book wasn’t what I expected but I appreciated Stefanovic’s unique perspective.  I especially liked that this book gave me a much better understanding of what happened in Serbia in the 1990’s, with a focus more on the politics of Slobodan Milosevic’s reign.  I’ve… Continue Reading “Review of Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic”

Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener

I was excited to read this novel about Budapest by Jessica Keener.  Annie and Will are a young American couple who take a leap of faith and move to Budapest with their infant child.  Will has a business venture which he’s struggling to get… Continue Reading “Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener”

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Sympathizer is a first novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which won last year’s Pulitzer Prize for literature.  It’s a fascinating look at the Vietnam War and its aftermath from the perspective of the Vietnamese.  Right away it makes you realize how much Americans… Continue Reading “The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen”

The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

I read this book for the Read Around the World challenge, where a specific country is selected for each month.  May’s selection was Colombia.  Vasquez is a noted author in Colombia, having won numerous awards, primarily for this novel and for The Informants.  He… Continue Reading “The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez”

The Long Drop by Denise Mina

This was a really interesting novel about a real-life serial killer in Scotland in the 1950’s.  I say interesting because it wasn’t quite like anything else I’ve read.  It’s not a mystery or a thriller, or a true crime novel.  It’s a little closer… Continue Reading “The Long Drop by Denise Mina”

The Last Days of Café Leila by Donia Bijan

Part of my Reading All Around the World Challenge, this is a book written by a chef in the U.S. who was born in Iran.  Café Leila tells the story of an Iranian family that experiences terrifying changes in the country after the revolution… Continue Reading “The Last Days of Café Leila by Donia Bijan”

The Terranauts by T. C. Boyle

I love T.C. Boyle because he takes really interesting true life events and people, and he always spins them into a fascinating story.  I learn a ton from his books because he makes real events so memorable.  At times he takes his characters a… Continue Reading “The Terranauts by T. C. Boyle”

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

I want to say I loved this book, but it was a little difficult for me to relate to, even though it’s well written and has important themes.  Still, maybe this isn’t the kind of book you love.  It’s more a book you read… Continue Reading “Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat”

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