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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

5 Books that Define Me (sort of) | BBAW Day 1

Here's a freebie fact about me. I shy away from introducing myself. So I generally find myself conveniently forgetting to take part in Day 1 of blog events like these, or Hour 1 of readathons just to skip the introductions and jump to the fun part of the event. This time however, although I cautiously opened the BBAW post to check today's prompt, I quickly started working on my list, browsing my Goodreads books to see which titles I could relate to on a personal level. And honestly it was tough, but the good kind of tough - the kind that has you gleefully rubbing your palms at the sight of a welcome challenge. But after poring through a much bigger list, I think I finally managed to narrow it down to five titles.

Day 1: Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle.

  1. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: At this point, it is probably clich├ęd to put the Harry Potter books on a favorites list. Of course, almost everyone loves these books. Of course, there is no need to state it explicitly. But these books were a big part of my growing up years that to not mention these books would be to ignore a part of my life. These books have everything I crave for in a good book - strong characters, loyalty and true friendship, teenage spats and dramas, life, and triumphs. When I preordered the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child two days ago, I realized that I missed those days of standing in line, waiting for the book, and then clutching and staring at the book as if I had just won lottery. I remember when the fifth book had just come out, my resolve to "wait a bit" before getting the book weakened instantly. This was followed by hours of going from bookstore to bookstore with my dad to see if anyone had a forgotten copy hiding in the attic (one store did have one last copy). When the sixth came out, my cousin beat me to it and then I had to wait for her to take a break from the reading (In retrospect, I can't believe I was that patient.) And so every one of those seven books has a story - the first makes me think of my brother, the fourth of another cousin (who introduced me to the books), and the last of my aunt who put up with my lazy butt reading in bed for two whole days, not once bothering me to do my chores.

  2. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella: For the better part of two years, when I was in grad school, I read a lot of contemporary women's fiction. And it was during this time that I discovered Sophie Kinsella. Her Shopaholic series was already four or five books in at that point but it was Twenties Girl that I read first. There was much to like here - a ghost, two wonderful and funny women, and so much humor that I often had my stomach in stitches. Although I stopped reading Sophie Kinsella many books later, Twenties Girl would always have a special place here because it was the first book I read about women and by women that was genuinely and hilariously funny.

  3. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: Just like Twenties Girl, Persepolis is credited with introducing me to a whole new genre. When I came across this book (in a friend's collection), the fact that it appeared to be a comic fascinated me. A comic with no superheroes or panels intended to make you laugh. It was going to be years before I learn that it was a graphic memoir that I had just read and therefore didn't know that I could look for more books like it.

  4. The Dinner by Herman Koch: I tend to over analyze everything. When something, anything, happens, I like to wonder why it happened, and if someone is behind it, then I like to wonder why they were driven to it. (I need to start meditating asap so that I can control my wandering mind.) The reason I brought that up is to say that I loved every page of The Dinner because of how much detail the author shares per minute in the story. The entire story spans five courses of dinner during which decisions are made and relationships are soured irrevocably. If anything, this book was written for my overthinking mind.

  5. The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton: If the above books were favorites because I saw something of myself in them, then The Four Ms. Bradwells is a favorite because this story of four high-achieving best friends made me nostalgic for my younger years. I have a soft corner for books about friends. Especially if the setting is a school or college. Partly for nostalgia and partly because I think there are not enough books out there that celebrate friendship. Romance seems to win it every time.

That's my five. What's yours?