Pachinko

Pachinko

Rating: 4/5 | I am somewhat torn on this book. I actually had two different friends (who don't know each other at all) tell me that they purposefully slowed down as they approached the end because they didn't want to finish it yet. I did enjoy and appreciate Pachinko, but I didn't quite get to that point. (Click the post to read more.)

Exit West

Exit West

Rating: 5/5 | This book offers a perspective on the refugee crisis happening today. It never mentions the nationality or religion of the characters by name, but these details can be easily inferred. And yes, it uses a magical element—the doors that transport you elsewhere in the world—but it's not a fantasy book. Instead, these magical doors serve as a device by which Hamid emphasizes the experiences of his characters: that "elsewhere" offers hope, but for a refugee, it's hard to feel welcome anywhere. (Click the post to read more.)