February Book Recommendations: Kamila Shamsie, Emma Glass and a Surprise

These notable books should make it to your reading list this month.

Home Fire

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie.jpgBy Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury)

What is the immigrant experience? Is it the uneasy sense of being an outsider, or the involuntary instinct to hold on to one’s cultural roots and inherited memory? Pakistani-British author Kamila Shamsie’s latest novel weaves a complex web of compulsions and choices that drive an immigrant family in different directions – forward, back and dangerous. In its gripping way, the book – which was longlisted for the Man Booker prize and shortlisted for the Costa prize last year – lays bare the elephant in the room for any South Asian country’s diaspora: Does migration mean an addition or a deletion of one’s identity? Difficult questions in a fluid new world.

Peach

Peach by Emma GlassBy Emma Glass (Bloomsbury)

Written as the stream of consciousness of a teenager who is raped but is unable to share her secret with anyone, Emma Glass’s debut novel has left many stunned with its graphic descriptions of violence. But what is left unsaid is perhaps even more gruesome. Written by a medical professional with a flair for the written word, this novel – novella, really – has made waves for its style and subject. But somewhere, the abstractions leave you unfulfilled and the brutal details appear to cover up for a plot that doesn’t go too far. Even so, it’s engrossing and provocative – worth a read, if only to check what the fuss is all about.

Born to Run

Born to Run by Christopher McDougalBy Christopher McDougall (Hachette India)

If you are a runner, and even if you aren’t, you need to read this book right away. Written by a sports writer who chased the world’s greatest – and most elusive – runners in the Western hemisphere, the Tarahumara tribe of Mexico, for several years to write this book, it leaves you spellbound from the word go. You’ll learn about 100-mile ultra-marathoners, barefoot running, the curse of the sports shoe, and a lowdown of the most legendary race the world has ever seen. Written with all the pace of a thriller and the credibility of an in-depth investigation, it is no wonder this book is one of Amazon’s top 100 books to read in a lifetime. Phenomenal.

Lead photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash. First published in the February 2018 issue of eShe magazine.