November Reads

Happy November! For our Book of the Month we decided to include a couple more options. We are sharing two from Rebecca and two from Ariel that are all different, but reflect our style and personalities. Which Book will you be reading?

ARIEL’S PICKS:

cartwheelCartwheel by Jennifer DuBois:  When Lily Hayes arrives to Buenos Aires, Argentina  for her semester abroad she is enchanted by her surroundings, the sounds and colors of the country and of course her neighbor, Sebastien, whom she begins to date. Her roommate, Katy, is a bit of a bore and when she is found brutally murdered in the room that they share Lily is the prime suspect. The media portrays Lily as careless and provocative, which doesn’t help her case. I don’t think any two readers who read this book will agree if Lily did or did not kill her roommate. Some of the themes of this novel are drawn from the Amanda Knox Trial, the American student accused, convicted, and acquitted of murdering her roommate in Italy. The book is a little slow at first but once you are drawn in you cannot put it down. It is a psychological thriller which has you choosing sides, making you mad at the prosecution as well was the suspect.

namesake

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri: I found out about this book from a Buzzfeed article, something along the lines of, “twenty books you need to read in your 20’s…..”  and I think it’s a really good read, especially from those that come from foreign or working class parents. After Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli are married in Calcutta, India in the 1960’s they settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts to American culture faster than his wife. When their first child is born the task of naming him is a lot harder in America than it would be in India. They are forced to give him a name without the blessing of Ashima’s mother. They named their first son after a  Russian writer that his father adored and believes saved his life. Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd name. The novel follows Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, new world vs. his parents’ heritage, school and heart breaking love affairs. Lahiri’s novel not only defines the power of names that are given to us by our parents, but the expectations they give us as well, and how we often try to defy them, when really it’s our parents who define us.

REBECCA’S PICKS:

Don Miguel

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz: My Zen mother randomly bought me this book and the timing could not have been any more perfect. After finishing this book I found out that other readers felt the same way about it as I did–that it happens to fall in your hands during times when your life needs it the most. The author, Miguel Ruiz, comes from a direct lineage of Toltec Shamans of ancient Mexico and has mastered the spiritual art that his ancestors have passed down to him. Ruiz felt that these wonderful teachings should not just be kept within the family, but are meant to be shared to enlighten the world. The Four Agreements are simple principles that we should practice to create love, balance, and happiness in our lives, as well as to break away from the limitations that we create in our minds. It gives you the freedom to believe in what you want to believe in, along with the spiritual guidance you need for personal growth. This book has been on the Best Sellers’ list for seven years and has been translated into 38 different languages. It’s small enough to keep in your bag at all times and short enough to re-read over and over. I can say that this book is something you can reference at any point in your life, and it will forever come in handy.

Common

One Day It’ll All Make Sense by Common: As the late, great Maya Angelou put it, “A magnificent memoir.” In his biography, Common bares all as he looks back on his life as a young boy growing up on the South Side of Chicago. He reflects on his struggles trying to make a name for himself in the hip-hop community as well as his rise to stardom and what goes on behind the curtains. Throughout his journey he shares with us his personal and spiritual growth from a boy to a man. He covers many topics such as race, divorce, fatherhood, Chicago life, women, his relationship with Ms. Erykah Badu, as well as Kanye West and the late, amazing producer J.Dilla (warning, tear jerker!). This man has a beautiful strong bond with his mother and is proud of it. Each chapter has a designated section where his mother shares her thoughts and opinions which were entertaining, insightful as well as emotional–especially when she speaks about Kanye’s mother, Ms. Donda West. This book was so inspiring because it was so relatable. It didn’t feel like a Hollywood star wrote it. It felt like a close friend was telling you about their life and sharing the ups and downs behind their success. If you thought you loved you some Common before, wait until you fall in love with his mind. *Drools*

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