You guys. I'm reading The Goldfinch right now and I am loving it! I can't wait to review it on the blog, but it's huge so it might take me awhile. (Yep, I'm definitely over my intimidation of big books.)
For now, I'm continuing on with my book list from the past year. I hope December is brining you lots of time to read!
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini I really love everything Hosseini writes, so I knew I would like his newest novel. This one is again set in the Middle East (although it kind of takes you around the globe) and follows a little boy and his sister as they grow up separated. It's heartbreaking and uplifting in the way Hosseini has mastered, and I really can't say enough good things about it. I will read everything this author writes! (****)
Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle Wow! This book surprised me. First of all, the work that Boyle has done in inner-city Los Angeles is just mind-blowing. His experiences, and how transformative they've been for himself and the kids he serves, were just begging to be written down, and I'm so glad he published Tattoos on the Heart. The theme of unconditional love was evident in every chapter and that mixed with Boyle's quick wit makes this book irresistible. (****)
The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom This book brings me right back to our little bed and breakfast in Doolin, Ireland. I finished this book on our big trip, and while it was the perfect light, entertaining read for vacation, it left me feeling a little corny. I'm not sure that's the right word--the story really did have me wanting to keep reading (a handful of people in Michigan get phone calls from heaven)--but at the end I felt like I had just watched a Hallmark movie. Uplifted but contrived. (***)
Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang Factory Girls opened my eyes to a part of the world I've never really explored. It follows a couple girls who have left their rural Chinese homes to start factory work in southern China. Called migrant workers, these teens are part of a huge population that is continuously growing, right along with the factories that employ them. The story is almost unbelievable and SO incredibly different than any life I've ever known. Note: Chang's style of writing is a bit more journalistic than a typical non-fiction book. It took me a little while to get used to it. (****)
The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon This is a beautifully imagined story (no pun intended!) about three people being brought together in the most unusual, but necessary, circumstances. Like The First Phone Call from Heaven, it was a bit contrived for me, but still an entertaining read. (***)