Recently purchased: The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders. I’ve heard many great things about this, and after flipping through the book myself in Barnes and Noble, confirmed them to be true. The essays look excellent, and I’m excited to read his tribute to Kurt Vonnegut, which is also included in the book. Also, there’s a fun self interview George Saunders did on this Amazon Blog Post.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. I bought this last spring, when it was a Barnes and Noble Recommends selection. I’ve had good luck with their selections; I’ve never disliked any of them. And I’ve also discovered some of my very favorite books there – including The Thirteenth Tale and The Book Thief. Unfortunately, it sat on my shelves for several months because there’s always too much to read. I was inspired to start it this weekend after seeing that it made the shortlist for one of my favorite book awards – The Man Booker Prize. After finishing it I can definitely see why it made the shortlist – it’s amazing. It’s very short (no pun intended) and practically impossible to put down. It has a very unique point of view – the narrator is telling his story in first person to another person, who we never really meet. He pauses during the retelling of his history to interact with his listener, a man who he has recently met and is dining with. But we only know what the listener is doing through the narrator; the listener never speaks dialogue we can read. The tension builds as we listen in on his story of being a Pakistani who comes to America for college, and then starts a job in New York City, shortly before 9/11. It’s not really a 9/11 novel, but it’s fascinating to read about America and New York from the perspective of someone from the Middle East. The end is stunning and I still think about it, days after finishing.
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. This has been on my reading list ever since I read my first Margaret Atwood book (The Edible Woman) and fell in love with her beautiful sentences. So I’m finally reading it, and as an added bonus I can add it to the list of Booker Prize winning novels that I’ve read. It’s great so far.
(This post was brought over from emilyw.vox.com.)