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Monday, Dec 5, 2022

Niche Reads: Novels for Thanksgiving

If you struggle to find time for fun reading, this is the spot for you. Niche Reads recommends novels that relate to academic (or other) interests so you can explore a new book while still feeling productive. Check back each week for more cool books.

As Thanksgiving rolls around, a lot of people have family on their minds. Spending time with family can be wonderful but also stressful, so look below for some novels that explore family relationships.

“Tell Me How To Be” by Neel Patel:

“Tell Me How To Be” follows Akash and his complicated relationship with his family, particularly his mother Renu. Akash, a gay musician, is the black sheep in his family, struggling to find his footing in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Renu, coping with the death of her husband, rekindles a relationship with her first romantic flame.

This story has some heavier themes, but it is ultimately an intimate and beautiful exploration of complex family dynamics. Patel’s writing style is clean and fast-paced, and his characters are rich and nuanced. The dynamic between Akash and Renu is often difficult to read, but it is the emotional centerpiece of this novel.

You should read this book if you are interested in the intersection between sexual and racial identity, if you find stories about art compelling or if you are looking for a shorter read.

“And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini:

This novel follows many threads, but its central pillar is the relationship between Abdullah and Pari, two siblings forced apart when their father finds a way to secure a more comfortable life for Pari. To fully explore the connections between them, the novel takes an expansive approach and examines their many bonds, particularly those stemming from familial relations.

Set mainly in Afghanistan, “And the Mountains Echoed” also visits Paris, Greece and the U.S. It is based around the importance of family connection and how it can connect people in ways they don’t realize.

“And the Mountains Echoed” is a heart-wrenching story of loss and love. Although it is heavy at times, its overarching theme is one of hope.

You should read this book if you like stories that span generations, if you are interested in familial bonds or if you like tearjerkers.

“A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman:

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Ove is a grumpy old man who lives alone in Sweden, spending his days pushing his neighbors away. When a young family moves in next door, however, he finds his solitude challenged and revisits his life story.

“A Man Called Ove” is a story of found family. It emphasizes not just blood relation, but the communities people choose to surround themselves with. It is a heartwarming novel that focuses on looking beyond superficial impressions.

This touching, emotional book is a beautiful and fast read. It’s a perfect book for the Thanksgiving season, and will remind you to be grateful for the people you love.

You should read this book if you like bittersweet stories, if you like the found family trope or if you’re looking for a novel with a positive message.


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