The Boat People by: Sharon Bala
A book attempting to tackle a difficult and culturally relevant topic based on a true story of refugees seeking asylum. I chose to read this in an effort to understand the issues surrounding refugees and the countries they flee to. The story comes from both the angle of political realities within the process of the immigration systems as well as the emotional angle of those seeking a better life and all they must endure upon arrival to a new country. In many ways, this book barely scrapes the surface of all the complexities, but it is thought provoking.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by: Sherman Alexie
Wow! I loved this book. I do need to warn you, though, this story is heartbreaking and hilarious simultaneously. You will be so attached to the main character and feel your heart torn out and stomped on multiple times, but you will find yourself cheering on this boy as he works to break away from the life he was destined to live on the reservation. This book is filed under young adult with plenty of bad language and adult situational content.
Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk by: Kathleen Rooney
On the last day of 1984, Lillian Boxfish age 85 decides to talk a walk through Manhattan, the city of her youth. As Lillian walks she is confronted with memories of her life in the city as a advertising guru, married life, motherhood, divorce and more. Although the story moves along somewhat sluggishly, the writing provided an authentic character that I actually would love to meet in real life.
Educated by: Tara Westover
A memoir of a woman who was raised in a survivalist family in the remote mountains of Idaho and never formally educated as a child. Tara Westover works alongside her midwife/healer mother and junkyard/salvager father and endures a violent brother and harsh conditions. Tara began to educate herself and got herself far enough to be admitted to Brigham Young University against the wishes of her parents. This is a heartbreaking story of a girl who craves knowledge, but struggled with the fierce loyalty she feels toward her family. It is an excellent window into the realities of how other people live-even here in the U.S.