August 6, 2020
Summer is always a good opportunity to dig into an interesting book, and with the COVID-19 pandemic still keeping people at home, the Aria Marketing team has had more spare time to read than ever before. As a healthcare PR agency, we read about healthcare news and events on a daily basis, but sometimes it’s good to take a break to explore other topics. As such, we’ve compiled a list of our office’s current recommendations for your staycation or socially-distant beach day.
“The Great Alone”
“I recently read “The Great Alone,” which follows a family moving to Alaska during the 1970s. Although I would hardly call myself a nature girl, I found the premise of living off the grid in the Alaskan wilderness to be extremely interesting. The story has a multitude of strong female characters who help the Albridge family adjust to living with no electricity and winters spent in almost total darkness and also features a love story, a murder, and much more. This is a great book that I found to be suspenseful, heartbreaking at times, and thought-provoking. I would recommend to anyone looking for a new book to read!” – Kahler Buckley, Account Executive
“The story follows Tambu, a young black girl living and growing up in a small, rural, impoverished village in postcolonial Rhodesia (which is part of modern day Zimbabwe). The story plays with the theme of identity (how we establish our own identities), and aptly blends the politics of decolonization with race, class, and gender roles (specifically women’s rights). Unsurprisingly, Tambu struggles with her place in the world, as she is a women in an incredibly misogynistic society. However these challenges are compounded by the consequences of colonialism and the post-colonial impact on her country of origin.
She sees education as her way out of her problems, but in many ways the pursuit of that education presents its own issues. The only education available to her is through the lens of white male colonialism, which inevitably impacts the way she reflects on her origins and upbringing, and how she interacts with, and is viewed by, the two worlds between which she is oscillating. Nervous Conditions refers to the challenges of post-colonialism and how it impacts colonized communities.
I really loved Tambu’s story -- she’s a fierce young woman which makes you want to root for her, and her experiences are also so frustrating and compelling – as the reader you can’t help but feel committed to her journey. I also really enjoyed the author Dangarembga’s writing style. She does not write superfluously, while at the same time writing in a way that is evocative and not at all cliché. 10/10 recommend.” – Cate McGeady, Senior Account Executive
“Behind the Beautiful Forevers”
“I just finished reading “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo. The book details the interconnected lives of a few residents living in a Mumbai slum and how they’re all working to improve their lives. I didn’t realize the book was non-fiction until I was near the end and was incredibly impressed with Boo’s storytelling. It was fascinating to see the different approaches each individual and family unit used to cope with their predicaments.” – Erica Navar, Account Executive
“I’ve been reading a ton since quarantine hit (70 books and counting!), and I’d highly recommend “Beach Read” by Emily Henry. It’s got a spot-on title for summer, plus Beach Read is a really engaging and emotional book. The story centers on two authors; one who writes romance, and the other who writes acclaimed literary fiction, who end up living next to each other one summer while they’re both working through writer’s block. They challenge each other to switch genres for their latest work in progress, and go on a journey together that is enjoyable to read. I was truly sad for this book to end as I didn’t want to give up the story or the characters as Henry did a great job with weaving in some emotional topics, such as grief and remorse, into a heartwarming romance that makes it the perfect summer read.” – Danielle Johns, Account Director
If you have read any of the above books (or if we are missing your new favorite), we want to hear from you! Tweet us @ariamarketing with your thoughts and recommendations.