Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende. A historical, fiction novel about a woman who discards her role of gender and class to seek her passion. Allende claims that this work was an exploration of feminism. Sex workers play a great part in this novel-- Allende illustrates the comprehensive contrast between the enterprising prostitute and the victims of exploitation.
Just beautiful, so beautiful, it hurts.
WE the Animals by Justin Torres.
Staring at the Sun by Julian Barnes
I had read this book in my mid twenties and enjoyed it. Then it sat on my shelf, then in moving boxes, carried from one apartment to the next, and I slowly forgot about it altogether--though I remembered it was too good to put out on my stoop. So I read it again this summer, two decades later, and have refound the same words, with a whole new life in them. It's damn fine humor with wisdom thrown in.
What should I read next? What books have you relished lately? Leave me a list--here in the comments or contact me privately at Yin.Quan (at) gmail (dot) com.