I am super lucky because every three-four years, I miraculously convince Elle magazine to let me review books for them. I reviewed 14 books for them and loved every single minute of the process. Elle’s editors are amazing at picking the books for me to review and they are all fabulous. Elle asked me to vote for my favorite book out of the ones I had reviewed for them; the book I chose was:
Lima Nights by Marie Arana – Disturbing subject matter (older man, underage girl) but elegantly written, beautifully crafted storyline that somehow suspends judgement in its lyrical wording.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Tells the story of being hired help in a small town; eye opening with absolutely riveting characters and plot line.
The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge – All about neuroplasticity and how we can train our brains to do almost anything and change our patterns for the better; also an interesting insight into how our brains can get used to almost anything (good or bad).
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – Explains the hidden patterns in every day life and what makes some people great and others struggle constantly. The book was incredibly eye opening and I referred to it in conversation many, many times in 2009.
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks – Details the plague affecting a small town in the 1600s; excellent research and beautiful writing despite a tragic subject matter.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer – Despite its slightly schmaltzy set up, an engaging look into what happened in the Channel Islands during World War II told from a variety of fictionarl character’s viewpoints through letters. Likable characters and broadly drawn villains make it easy to follow along and root for our heroine.
The Piano Teacher by Janice Lee– Tells the story of two love affairs of one main character, set 10 years apart and gives depth to the story by exploring the occupation of Hong Kong by the Japanese.
And, in case you missed it the above: Honolulu by Alan Brennert –Tells the story of ‘picture brides’ who left Korea to move to Hawaii to have a new life in the early 1900s. Heavy on the research and excellent in character development.