Thursday, August 29, 2013

Books: Stiff, And The Mountains Echoed, Interpreter of Maladies

Stiff by Mary Roach

You've been dying to learn about cadavers? (pun intended) This is the book for you! Mary Roach writes a hilarious and informative account of what happens to bodies that are donated to science. She includes the history of how people went from grave robbing to get subjects to study to having science labs at school where future and current surgeons learn the latest techniques. There are many laugh-out-loud moments where she includes personal narratives about things she smelled and people she met along the way. I've already added her other books to my to-read list, including Bonk, her book about sex. Informative! 4/5 stars. 

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini 

Confession: I haven't read Hosseini's other two books. I know, I should. Anyway, I started with this, his third novel. Starting in Afghanistan in 1952, a family is torn apart and their story is told over the coming decades by various narrators, including their uncle, a Greek plastic surgeon volunteering in Kabul and a few others. At a few moments I was sort of confused by the way the story was told but in the end it all comes together and weaves a beautiful story of love and family. Hosseini really is an excellent writer and I would definitely recommend this book. 4/5 stars. 

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Mindy Kaling recommended this book. She says its her favorite book, so I decided to pick it up. From Amazon: "Navigating between the Indian traditions they've inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri's elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations." She starts the book with the story of an Indian-American couple dealing with the still-birth of their first child and just writes these incredibly touching, and so real, anecdotes of life. I am normally not a huge fan of short stories as the character development is much more challenging and it seems like the stories just isn't as good, but Lahiri does such a excellent job. I've thought about a few of the characters in the book since finishing it last week. Its a quick read and just a really solid book. 4/5 stars. 

1 comment:

Bowman Carlson said...

So, remember when I was curious about Lahiri's name? I was also reading a book by her and that's why it sounded familiar. Unaccustomed Earth. Interesting collection of stories about immigrants and children of immigrants to the US.