It's actually been a really long time since I read a novel. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but there's something about non-fiction memoirs that grip me in a way that only a perfectly chosen novel can. Here are the ones I've been reading lately:
Without You, There Is No Us - THIS BOOK! I don't care what you have lined up for your next read, drop everything and make it this. Suki Kim manages to perfectly balance facts with heart to offer an insight into a university for North Korea's elite sons. It is at times funny, bittersweet and surprising and captures a moment in time that is completely closed off to us.
Wild: A Journey From Lost to Found - I didn't watch the film of this book, starring Reese Witherspoon, because I just couldn't figure out how a whole movie could be made about a hike. But I picked up the book at the airport and I get it now. Yes, the book is about a hike, but the author, Cheryl Strayed, weaves in experiences from her past, creating an untangle-able picture of her life so far and, actually, it's the parts about the hiking that grip me in a sort of subtle, quiet way. This one is great for reading in the bath or before bed with a nice candle.
Marching Powder - my friend Che recommended this book to me and it is likely something from another world. It follows the experiences of a British prisoner, Thomas McFadden, in the infamous San Pedro prison in La Paz, Bolivia, where prisoners have to buy their own cells and can move their families into the prison with them, open restaurants and run businesses. Thomas McFadden himself was featured in Lonely Planet for giving tours of the prison! It is totally bizarre - would you voluntarily take a tour around a third world prison!?