The Lost City of Z | Brazil

The point of this book is the journey that you take with both Colonel Fawcett and David Grann, the journey through both the jungle and the avenues of the mind.

The Alchemist | Brazil

Any book that combines following dreams, love, suffering, and God without being sappy is worth reading.

All the Light We Cannot See | WWII

There’s more to light or truth than what we can physically see; that light is almost a tangible essence that lifts us up. Indeed, there’s light all around that can make us our better selves if we let it. It’s a light that Marie-Laure, blind as she was, could see, while Werner, with all this brilliance and knowledge, was blind to until the very end:

Madame Bovary | France

People are awful, which is what Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert leads you to believe. Which is why I’m planning to lambaste this book on my blog today. Which is why, if you are a fan of French literature or—more specifically—Madame Bovary, you should avoid this post like the plague. I’m too riled up to be nice. Overview: Emma Bovary…

The Elegance of the Hedgehog | France

This book shows a cross-section of life within a modern city with an ancient class structure, proving that no matter how enlightened we are, we still tend to view others—and ourselves—along lines drawn in the sand centuries ago.

Italy: A History | Italy

The modern world owes a great debt to Italy: It gave us Latin (a common language) and Roman law; it gave us a Renaissance of classical thought; it gave us some of the most beloved works of art. It gives us pasta and mozzarella (which alone should earn our eternal gratitude).

Romeo and Juliet | Italy

Perversely, it’s my tirade in the form of a review, that makes me think this book is worth reading. Anything that brings out so much emotion and provokes so much thought is worth the effort.

A Passage to India | India

I know that Forster was painting a picture of the racial tension between the English and Indians—a picture, I might point out, that didn’t turn every Englishman into a villain and every Indian into a martyr (both races had their good and bad points)—but it just wasn’t a picture that really captured my imagination.

Number the Stars | WWII

I could say something here about the beauty of Lois Lowry’s prose, the poetry in her writing, the depth in her characters. All good reasons to enjoy a book. But I’ll just go with this: it’s true and important.

India: A History | India

From about 1000 B.C. t0 1700 A.D., India history is a disjointed creature containing unpronounceable names and a multitude of different kingdoms and dynasties.