I love books. I’m not sure if you can read as many or write as much as I do if you don’t love books. Here are 5 of my favourite books lately, 4 Fiction and 1 Non-Fiction, and why I love them.
1. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The Book: Set in a Pseudo-Venetian Sci-Fi/Fantasy world (whether it’s one or the other isn’t entirely clear, which is part of the charm), Locke is a part of the Gentlemen Bastards, a group of dastardly thieves trained by a fake priest to con the city’s nobility. Locke and his crew are put in a deathly circumstance when multiple conflicting forces begin playing with the lives of Locke, his friends, and all those around him.
Why I Love It: Reading this book, I was astounded by the cleverness of the plot. I was on the edge of my seat, compelled, crying, and laughing. I was consistently confounded by their situations, and amazed by the brilliance of how Locke managed to get out of it. I found it to be a complex and brilliant caper.
Plus, it vividly and beautifully reminded me of the glimpse of medieval Venice that I saw in the Doge. It’s a setting I’ve always wanted to read more of, and in this book I got to (the sequels are also awesome!).
2. Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
The Book: Mehr, half Ambhan and half Amrithi, exists in a social limbo. Her father is a governor of the Ambhan people in Jah Irinah, but she is forced to constantly navigate a hostile social environment with her stepmother. When she is unexpectedly married off to a man in service of the faraway, godlike Maha, she finds herself on the brink of irreversible servitude to an empire that destroyed her people because of a power that she never knew she had.
Why I Love It: An immediate joy for me was the vivid description of the court in Jah Irinah. It was based off of the Mughal Empire in India, and that really showed in the writing. I loved her use of details, like the women’s life, and the latticed windows.
I also loved that Mehr’s strength as a woman and as a character were so strongly based in things she would have learned as a noblewoman of the court. She felt so grounded in time, culture, and place. For example, she’s so aware of her social positioning and the way she speaks with people. I thought that was unique, and also brilliant.
Suri created a beautiful and unique magic for this desert life and atmosphere, and the way that all of this integrated with religious observance was gorgeously done.
3. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
The Book: A contemplative story about Toru Watanabe. This story is about grieving, life, and love. It moves slowly, but it was engrossing and beautiful. Toru is in love with his dead best friend’s girlfriend, and is distracted with another girl, Midori. Between them he is straddled between life and death.
Why I Love It: It’s such a beautiful but tragic look at living, and living when others around us have chosen not to, as well as the emotional impacts of depression. It’s spellbinding and gut-wrenching.
4. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Book: Jude is hard as nails because she has to be. She’s a human in Faerie, and Faerie is tough. In a bid to make her place in Faerie more permanent, she embroils herself in a plot with princes and royalty, but of course, entanglements ensue of Shakespearean proportions (If anything, think Hamlet).
Why I Love It: To start off with, I have loved everything by Holly Black, starting with Tithe back when I was a teen. I love Faerie, I love the grotesque and terrible nature of this unseen world. I love the creeping chemistry between Jude and Cardan (though neither of them are well versed enough in love to be kind to each other). I love the political machinations. I love the racing plot, and I love that no one quite knows how to be good, or if good is worth being.
5. Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary
The Book: This overview of history of the last 1400 years from an Islamic perspective covers things that you didn’t know that you needed to know. From the birth of Assasins (!), to the Islamic stronghold of science and learning, to the decimation of civilization by the Mongols, the destructive colonialism of Europe, and the story of Muhammad, this book has it all.
Why I Love It: It told me so many things that I wanted to know, and explained so much about the world today. It was also written in a clear and engaging narrative that kept me turning the pages. I feel like everyone should read this book.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!
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