For Pretty Much Anyone
All the Light We Cannot See | Anthony Doerr | Historical Fiction/War Novel
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is my absolute favorite novel at the moment. I’m reading it for my book club, and can safely say it’s one of my favorite books to date. One of my favorite things about the book is how effortlessly Doerr sets the scenery for readers- it’s so easy to visualize this book, and that’s important for me when I’m trying to stay engaged with a book. I suppose this book could also be categorized as a love story, but the true romance of the book is the romance of humanity. In the midst of World War II, in Paris, love and tragedy go hand in hand in this impeccable story. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read, and especially history buffs or friends with romantic personalities. Although the book is detailed and vibrant, it’s also easy to read and comprehend. I’m so excited that a multi-part television series is coming out in the future based on this book; a review will definitely have to ensue!
For the Anti-Book Friend
Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America | Linda Tirado | Nonfiction, Poverty
This is a book I was required to read for my multi-disciplinary poverty class last year, and it has still stuck with me in my mind. Similarly to All the Light We Cannot See, this book is easy to read and fast to get through. However, it’s certainly not a dreamy novel- it details a real woman’s story growing up in unbearable poverty in the United States. I recommend this book to everybody, especially my friends who don’t like to read so much. In a lot of ways, it’s more so a collection of essays instead of a book with a beginning, middle, and end. This is a book that requires you to think critically, and really sparks insight over the broken class system in the USA. You may agree or disagree with that, but nonetheless, I believe everyone will have a strong takeaway from Linda Tirado’s story. If anything, I believe reading this book will make anyone a more empathetic person.
For the Science Buff
Rocket Boys / October Sky | Homer H. Hickam, Jr | Memoir, Biography
Before I read the book, I watched the movie October Sky in my 7th-grade class. I remember this movie having such a strong, lasting impact on me, hence why I subsequently decided to read the book. To this day, the book (and the movie) is my favorite comfort story. Rocket Boys, sometimes printed as October Sky in later additions, details Homer Hickam Jr.’s unique upbringing in a small mining town in the 1950s. Although the odds were stacked against him, Homer relentlessly pursued amateur rocketry with the hopes of getting out of Coalwood and going to college. Not only did he get to go to college, he even went on to become a NASA engineer, training astronauts for space. While rocketry and science does play a large role in the book, Homer Hickam has the soul of a storyteller and winds a vibrant, poetic memoir. Even if you’re not into rocketry, I promise you’ll adore this book. And if you are, all the better!
For the Creative Friend
The Me Journal | Shane Windham | Self-questionnaire
I guess this could also be considered a great gift for the anti-book friend, because it’s not really a novel- it’s the story of you. The Me Journal is a self-questionnaire that asks extremely deep, thoughtful questions- many of which I never thought to ask before. It’s also a great conversation starter for meeting new people; I love to flip open to a random page and ask my friends the questions. Interestingly, I’ve never actually filled it out because I know my answers are subject to change over time. I’d rather leave it blank and answer it in my head, than permanently put down a temporary answer, you know? Nonetheless, this is a great book for friends who hate to read, or friends who have an interesting story to tell. Or, it can just be an awesome gift for yourself.
For the Friend Who Loves Politics
Sisters in Law | Linda Hirshman | Biography
In case you couldn’t tell, I’ve been really into historical nonfiction lately. I love to read about American history, because I feel like the best way to change the world is to understand it. I want to have a detailed, thorough, objective understanding of what my country is built on -the good and the bad- so that I may be better informed in how to pave a better future. Sisters in Law is a beautiful biography of two diverse women, Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Sandra was a republican Christian, Ruth a democratic Jew, but together, they stormed the Supreme Court and worked together as a team to demand equality. Even to this day, their impact is visible in society; these two women helped pave the way of justice for abortion, sexual harassment, and discrimination. It’s a fascinating read, and offers a powerful woman’s viewpoint of American politics. 10/10!
Coming up next: Reviewing the Fall 2019 Fab Fit Fun Box: My HONEST Thoughts