4. When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale
*read in August 2008*
If you liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, you'll love this. Told in the voice of nine-year-old Lawrence, this book is charming and hauntingly good. Because Lawrence is nine, his spelling is off and his paragraphs are often filled with run-ons but don't let that deter you. He wonderfully narrates his own story as he and his mother and younger sister Jemima flee from his father (who Mom thinks is dangerously stalking them). But there is more beneath the surface. Travel with the trio as they go from London to Rome and learn what it is like in young Lawrence's mind. You'll fall in love with him, I promise.
*read in November 2008*
This book is quite a tome but in keeping with today's happenstance theme, don't be discouraged! It is part The Kite Runner and part Grey's Anatomy (ok, that part is just for the medical stuff) with a hint of Slumdog Millionaire thrown in for good measure. The story of two brothers, Shiva and Marion, who are borne out of a forbidden union between a nun and a surgeon and pretty much reared in the halls of a missionary hospital in Ethiopia, this book journeys from Africa to India to the U.S. It is beautifully written and its characters are unforgetable. Once you get into it, you won't want to put it down.