What I Am Reading Right Now

When I was a kid, I was a voracious reader. I read everywhere — in the car, in bed, while brushing my teeth. My mom was constantly telling me to rest my eyes, especially in the car! (Solid advice, not that I listened.)

Once I got to college, I majored in comparative literature. I suddenly had to read insane amounts for class. My love of reading for fun disappeared, and went dormant for many years. I have had to kick-start it a number of times, and a long honeymoon last year to Italy jump-started my old love of reading that I am happy to say is ongoing.

Here are a few of the books that have inspired me recently.

- The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah. I lived in Alaska for almost four years, and this evocative book brought me back to the quirky, independent, self-sufficient qualities I love so much about Alaskans. It has memorable characters, focusing on a family that moves to the Kenai Peninsula to homestead, and the gripping narrative is a page-turner. The characters from this one stayed with me, and it reminded me of how much of a role place plays in shaping who we are.

- Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. Yes, the movie. But also the book. The protagonist is a guy who lives in and is obsessed with a competition that takes place in virtual reality. Through the intense competition, he learns that it is real life that defines us, not the ones in our head. It's a fast read, with a lot of nerdy references to the 80s. It's a telling metaphor about living life out here in the real world versus the virtual one.

- Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee. One of my goals is to read more by writers of color. This book by Lee told me about a group of people I knew nothing about -- Koreans displaced by the war and living in Japan. The narrative is beautiful, with lots of unexpected plot twists, and features compelling characters. I loved learning about this group of people and how they took on the challenges life put in their path. At time, it is sad, and at times, it is uplifting. I was riveted to the end.

What are you reading right now? Please share your recommendations!

Copyright, All Rights Reserved, Nicole Tsong and Maple Path, 2019

Photos: Chris Danielle; Erika Schultz, Logo: Live Big Co.