If you are still suffering from that food coma of post-Thanksgiving bliss and need a few good books to help decompress after a Black Friday outing, here are three suggestions, books as diverse as the bounty on your dinner plate.
If you enjoyed “Kite Runner” give Khaleed Hosseini’s latest book, “And The Mountains Echoed” a read. Larger in scope than “Kite Runner’” it follows several interwoven characters through their lives, as they journey across the globe, from Kabul to Paris, to Greece, and America. In spite of being confusing at times, with sudden transitions and junctures, Hosseini manages, with his capacious talent for writing, to maintain the story arc throughout. The concept of family becomes intriguing, as does the idea of “home”, and what constitutes one’s cultural heritage. In the modern world, where very few people stay in one place, the lines are becoming blurred, and this idea is explored beautifully, with all the characters impacted, as in real life, by both internal and external forces, that help determine who they become as people.
Poetic and meditative, with a gentle pace, “And The Mountains Echoed” is the perfect book to help you decompress, when you are feeling introspective. Poor a cup of tea, put your feet up, and enjoy.
To reminisce about the summer that went by too quickly, journey through your mind to a luscious summer in the hills of Provence. Paulita Kincer’s charming escapist novel, “The Summer of France” will appeal to readers who envision themselves escaping to the picturesque environs of Southern France. Seemingly part homage to “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “A Year in Provence” types of travel journals, Ms. Kincer’s novel goes further, adding in layers of intrigue and family drama, and even a little hanky-panky…. this is France, after all.
While your turkey soup is bubbling away, dream yourself away to the Cote D’Azur. Escapism, in every sense of the word.
Or, if you would rather escape to a more fantastical world, “The Girl of Fire and Thorns,” by Rae Carson, is a richly imagined fantasy set in a world filled with deceit, romance, fast-paced adventure. Best of all, it sports a complex story-line, and is the first of an equally strong trilogy.
The landscape is grand and sweeping, with terrifying forests, forbidding mountains, and barren deserts.The heroine, Elisa, is refreshing and unexpected, an imperfect, over-eating princess, who sets off to fulfill her destiny, to marry a neighboring land’s king to keep peace across the borders.
Expecting her future husband to be old, fat, and unpleasant, she is pleasantly surprised upon meeting her betrothed, who is equally impressed by the unexpected nature of his mate. But, married life between the two secretive kingdoms is not all comfort and romance, for there is a twist, several twists, in fact.
Elise has something special about her, a faceted magical stone that has been part of her person since birth, but she knows nothing of managing the power that pulses from the Godstone that has the potential to topple kingdoms and turn greedy men to ill deeds. She is challenged at every turn and must dig deeply to find the strength to lead a revolution. The fun continues in books 2 and 3, “The Crown of Embers” and “The Bitter Kingdom”—plenty to get you happily through the weekend.