Not sure what book to pick up next? K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library’s Assistant Director Cara Perrion has got you covered. Whether you’re an avid reader or picking up a book for the first time in years, these picks will help readers of all ages find the next adventure to get lost in.
The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
“What defines a family isn’t blood but the secrets they share” is one of the many quotable lines from Abraham Verghese’s latest novel, The Covenant of Water. This epic tale is set in Kerala on South India’s tropical Malabar Coast and spans three generations of family as they struggle to keep traditions without revealing secrets from the past. Verghese artistically layers the storylines and intertwines characters, creating a theatrical experience for the reader. Along with the themes of tradition, grief, love, legacy, and the gift of sacrifice, this story also explores topics such as colonialism, addiction, and discrimination. Reading this descriptive novel is deeply informative as well as culturally enriching. Inspired by people and places in his own life, Verghese elevates the geography and the people of Kerala and pays homage to past generations who struggled for a better life for future generations. This is a long epic tale that is more than a story — it’s a work of art.
The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder by David Grann
The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder by David Grann is one of the best in the narrative nonfiction genre, which basically means it’s a well-researched nonfiction that is written as if it’s a fictional tale. Grann’s latest work is a maritime scandal filled with chilling characters motivated by greed and survival. What is different from other historical nonfiction is that Grann doesn’t just give you the details of events, he also describes the human behavior and emotion behind the events. This book is based on the British war vessel HMS The Wager that was sent on a secret mission to capture a Spanish “treasure-filled galleon” and claim the riches for England. Through bad leadership and life-threatening storms this mission failed, leaving over 30 castaways marooned for months off the coast of Patagonia. The near-starved crew built a new flimsy vessel and sailed over 2500 miles of stormy seas to finally reach civilization. They were seen as war heroes until six months later, when another group of the marooned crew showed up and their stories did not match. This is where mystery and murder come into the story. Grann gives us historical information with the zest of a courtroom drama. He keeps the story moving at a fast pace as it is filled with deception, murder, and tyranny. The reader will notice there is a subtle hint of questioning the worth of “empire” and the ravages of “colonialism” that will keep you thinking about this book long after the last page. This book is filled with action and drama and will challenge the stereotype of the historical nonfiction genre. //