- The Spirit Catches you and you fall down
By Anne Fadiman
- Play to the End
By Robert Goddard
- In the Woods
By Tana French
- The Professor and the Madman
By Simon Winchester
- The Other Boleyn Girl
By Philippa Gregory
I read The Spirit Catches you and you Fall Down many years ago and it has remained my favorite book since then. It is the story of a Hmong family with a child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. The medical staff in Merced and her family both want what is best for Lia but cultural and language differences combine to make this difficult to accomplish. Fadiman explores the Hmong culture and ours with empathy and it is a book that makes you think deep and hard about respect and understanding. It won several book awards and is now required reading in many medical schools.
Then there is Erik Larsen whose nonfiction books cover true crime and the Chicago World’s Fair in The Devil and the White City, Gun Violence in Lethal Passage in which he follows the “life” of a weapon used by a teenager who shot several rounds of ammunition at his Virginia high school, in Isaac’s Storm he explores how the seaside town of Galveston, Texas was ravished by a hurricane that killed over six thousand people and why.. he includes the politics surrounding the delayed reports of the storms arrival as well as the science of hurricanes and the devastating effects the storm had on the area. His books are varied and always interesting and well written.
Simon Winchester is another favorite author who has several, varied nonfiction titles. The first I read was The Devil and the Madman about the writing of the Oxford English dictionary. The title gives you an idea of what the book is going to reveal, never the less Simon Winchester makes you want to read every word. He also has written about the annihilation of Krakatoa in 1883 the volcano set off a tsunami that reportedly killed 35 thousand people. Check out his other books as he has written on varied topics.
I do like to read stand alone mysteries … no series for me. Lately I have enjoyed Play to the End by Robert Goddard and In The Woods by Tana French, both books are suspenseful, well written page turners.