If you are looking for an adventure, look no further. Readers can walk every step of the Amazon River with Ed Stafford in his skillful account of his two and a half year, Guinness World Record winning hike down the entire length of the Amazon River. Stafford brings neglected issues to attention, such as the deforestation of the Amazon and the resulting pressures of survival for indigenous peoples. Through Stafford’s excellent travel narrative, readers too can experience these tribulations as well as the grueling demands of raw, untouched nature. Stafford leaves readers with an undeniable sense of how much of the world there really is left to see.
A truly remarkable novel has the capability of being translated from its original language and still being completely and utterly bewitching. The Art of Healing Heartbeats is one of these novels. Originally written in German, this novel captures the complexity of love, loss, and life in an artfully simple tale. Julia embarks on a journey to Burma in hopes of finding her father after his disappearance, but instead she encounters a man and his story of MiMi and Tin Win. The story of their love, compassion, and hope not only gives Julia the answers about her father that she seeks, but also changes her view on life forever. Sendker creates a story so powerful that readers will think back to it time and again.
Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden wraps one up like a warm blanket and a cup of tea. Morton gracefully whisks readers through time and place with the intimately intertwined lives of four unforgettable women. These women magically capture the reader’s attention and won’t let go until long after their story has come to an end. It is up to Cassandra to unveil the truth of a well hidden family secret, and in the process, discover her own truth as well. The mystery woven throughout this novel prompts a battle between wanting to savor the prose at hand and the desire to race to the finish.
Junot Diaz launches readers into the swagger-filled, Spanish-speaking streets of Paterson, New Jersey and into the raw lives of Oscar and his family. Oscar’s inability to obtain the machismo “DR” boy reputation or his dream of becoming the next Tolkien are only a fraction of the unrelenting struggles that this family encounters due to the mysterious and evil fuku. This hauntingly real novel captures the intense, but often overlooked, meaning that gender, class, and race carry in our lives through only a few deeply unforgettable characters.
If you would consider yourself a book lover in any way, shape, or form, then Judging a Book by it’s Lover by Lauren Leto is an absolute must read. Leto connects to readers across the board by describing everything from the feeling one gets upon entering a bookstore to how to stereotype readers by their favorite author. Her witty sense of humor and expansive knowledge of literature combine to create a fun read that any book lover can relate to.