Winter Reading: a recommendation
I have been reading many books to review on Amazon for the past few months. As part of their Vine program, I get to read and experience some free titles (often before release) in exchange for posting my reviews on their site. This has been an interesting experience, as I’ve been reading things I wouldn’t normally, trying out new authors and some genres I typically leave untouched. Normally I keep these reading adventures seperate from what I post here, but I recently read a book that was so good I wanted to recommend it and so I’m posting a version of my Amazon review here. You may find this happens again, as I discover things too good to leave buried in the thousands of books on Amazon.
One of my favorite reads this past year was a collection of short stories by Nam Le, “The Boat“, but after reading this collection by Daniyal Mueenuddin– titled “In Other Rooms, Other Wonders“– I feel a literary battle brewing for my top recommendation of the year. Thank goodness I read this after the New Year; I can leave this unresolved for now.
While I had read about Nam Le’s collection before actually reading it, I knew nothing of Mueenuddin’s, entering his stories completely blind, and without expectations–I was rewarded for this blind leap into his world. This collection of stories, all loosely (very loosely) connected, center on the world, or worlds (as the book soon makes clear), of Pakistan. The stories span the last 50 years or so, and make at least one hop to Paris, but they all feel centered and focused on the way people seek happiness, love, and fulfillment at all levels of society.
I highly recommend this collection of stories, although they did leave me feeling heavy-hearted. There is little resolution in these stories, and when there is, it is often disappointment, disillusionment, or death. That said, these stores were precisely written, and beautiful to witness unfolding. This book is perhaps the exact opposite of a good beach read– just perfect for cold winter afternoons.
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