Rating: from 1-10 (1 meaning boring, 10 meaning good)
5. The Woman in the Window by A.J Finn
Dr. Anna Fox, a child psychologist, is diagnosed with a phobia called agoraphobic, which means that she fears going outside and prefers the comfort of her home. It is a psychological thriller that leaves acclaimed authors like Stephen King and Gillian Flynn turning the pages. The story focuses on Dr. Fox as she struggles to understand the mystery of what happened that night at the Russell families’ house. If you want a good page turning thriller with a sophisticated and psychological twist, then I recommend reading Finn’s first book: The Woman in the Window.
4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Though I was focused on reading this novel for my HM 101 class, I found the story of Lacks to be very impactful. Henrietta Lacks is the creator of HeLa cells, one of the most crucial and important pieces for scientific research. The reason that HeLa cells are so important is because of their ability to replicate at an enormously fast rate, making the cells virtually immortal. For half a century, HeLa cells have been used to improve the lives of humans through scientific research and medicine. The reason the Polio vaccine was created: HeLa cells. The reason that NASA was able to land on the moon: HeLa Cells. The reason that human medicine and immunology has improved over the last century at an enormously fast rate: HeLa cells. But there is a medical mistake in the creation of the HeLa cells:Lacks’ cells were taken without her permission. The lab at John Hopkins where the cells were grown and pushed forth to countless other labs were illegally taken from her body. The family of Henrietta Lacks never understood the impact of their mother’s cells nor their given compensation from her cell line, which makes millions of dollars off of scientific research. In this book you will learn about other injustices done on the African American community in the name of scientific research such as the Tuskegee syphilis study. Many ethical issues come up in the name of science and the continuation of taking cells from patients without their permission to create another immortal cell line for medical research.
3. The Firm by John Grisham
One of John Grisham’s most famous fictional law books, which lately became a movie starring Tom Cruise. This book tells the tale of a young Havard Law grad, Mitchell McDeere, who is hired to become an associate for a small law firm located in Memphis, Tennessee. McDeere soon finds that the happy and wonderful life the firm has set up for him in Memphis is too good to be true when he discovers a secret that could be the end of his short lived law career.
2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Though most of you might know this title based on the Hulu miniseries drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, it is a riveting coming of age story that begins with an explosive ending (quite literally). The book focuses on two different women (Elena Richardson and Mia Warren) who are at odds when it comes to motherhood, adolescence, race, rules, and right and wrong. This difference in characterization surfaces when there is a custody battle for a young chinese-american baby trying to be adopted by a friend of the Richardsons. While the Richardsons support their family friends, Mia is determined to have the baby’s biological mother appointed guardianship. The author creates a town that pays homage to the nuclear families in their suburban communities. A carefully crafted town that exploits the not so perfect reality within the white house with the white picket fence of the Richardsons. Ng brings forth the struggles of trying to be a perfectionist and the reality of trying to have it all. Little Fires Everywhere is an explosive tale on the life of motherhood, the struggle of following the rules, and the weight of having secrets.
1. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
This is one of my favorite historical fiction books and truly one of the best retelling of a traumatic event that occurred in our nations’ history. The book has two different storylines focused around the lives of two different characters: Yale, a young gay man who is working in Chicago as an office developer in the art world, and Fiona, the sister of Yale’s friend who died because of AIDS related complications. The narrations of the characters’ storylines occur in two different decades. Yale’s narration is during the peak of the Chicago AIDS crisis in 1985. Fiona’s storyline happens during 2015 after the aftermath of the epidemic. But, while Yale is seeing all his friends succumb to the disease, Fiona on the other hand is trying to find her missing daughter. It is a riveting tale and Makkai is not only able to bring forth the raw emotions and turmoil of the AIDS epidemic to life, but is also the aftermath of the events.
Though the characters are fictional, their stories are based on the actual events.