Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chosen by a Horse and
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

I've just finished reading two really great books (and picked up three more, I'm one of those people). One is a memior by Susan Richards and the other is a hilarious young adult novel by Sherman Alexie. Both are quick and easy reads and neither should be missed.

Chosen by a Horse
By: Susan Richards

This is a heartbreaking and heartwarming memior about finding yourself and learning how to be open to love again. When some neglected horses need new homes, Richards answers the call. When the horse she picks won't load in the trailer, Richards takes the one who will, and so she ends up bringing Lay Me Down into her life. By telling the stories of Lay Me Down, and her other three horses, Richards lets the reader into her life and her journey to find herself again. This book is honest and humourous and it will leave you with tears in her eyes before it's over. Anyone who owns horses, or anyone who has a pet for a family member, will appreciate the relationships Richards has forged with her family, both 2 and 4 legged. This is an excellent read, that really shouldn't be passed by. Richards has also written a follow up book, Chosen Forever, which promises to relay even more stories of the lessons Lay Me Down taught.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
By: Sherman Alexie

I read this book in one night. It is an awesome, funny, laugh-out-loud book that is based on Alexie's own childhood. This story is about a young cartoonist named Junior who lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Junior wants more than a reservation life so he leaves his reservation school to attend the neighboring all white school. Alexie tells Junior's story in a poinant manner, never shying away from the hardships and prejudice that Junior faces, but always with lacing the narrative with compassion and humor. The story is aided by Junior's cartoons, which help illustrate Junior's plight and point of view. Alexie also includes a reader's guide at the end of the book, which makes this book not only a great story, but a great resource. Technically this is a young-adult book, but if you are looking for an insightful, hilarious quick read this is it.

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