Today is National Book Lovers Day, so I decided to go over to my Shelfari page to reminisce on the books I’ve read recently. Here are the books I rated 5 stars (“I loved it”):
The Alchemist by Paul Coelho – This book just makes you put your path in life in perspective. It’s a book I probably need to read quarterly to remind myself that just because you can’t see the happy outcome doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Desert Flower by Waris Dirie – I prefer fiction, but I love a good autobiography. This book is about a Somalian nomad/runaway who becomes a supermodel and human rights ambassador. Very inspirational story.
Catfish Alley by Lynne Bryant – I almost didn’t read this one because it was a recommendation for those who loved The Help, which I didn’t love because of the rose-colored perspective of the author. This book was refreshingly balanced, though. Set in the Mississippi Delta, the characters, both black and white, really explore what it meant to live in Mississippi back in the day without a save-a-race white heroine. Matter of fact, there were many mutual benefits to the relationships created in this story.
Ninth Ward by Jewel Parker Rhodes – I actually picked up this book to see if I wanted to give it to my niece and ended up captivated. Written for younger audiences, its main character is a little girl who lives in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans with her elderly guardian, who has visions of Hurricane Katrina. This book illustrates how strong love can be and how strong kids can be.
32 Candles by Ernessa Carter – This is a book that is kind of like those old Rikki Lake “You bullied me in high school… well look at me now” episodes. It was a quick read, and I enjoyed the characters. It was lighthearted but reminded me that some people (like me) have to struggle to find their voice sometimes.
Makeda by Randall Robinson – This one piqued my interest in all things ancestral and African. This story of a boy in the 70s whose blind grandmother has dreams about her past lives set in places she’d never know about if they really weren’t her past lives had (has) me doing all kinds of research. It’s intriguing to read more about African culture, and this is a great intro if you never really delved into it.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Okay, if you don’t know what this one is, you’ve been hiding under a rock. The movie was good, but the book was even better. I read it at lightning speed. I read the whole series, but book #1 was just superb. It was gruesome, yes, but it really makes you go hmmm and think about what a “civilization” is or means.
I may come back tomorrow if time allows to highlight a few books I rated 4 stars (“I really liked it”). In the meantime, how many of these books have you read? Do any of them strike your fancy? What have been your favorite books in the last year?