Over the last few months, I’ve had the privilege of reading three truly outstanding books. None are about business or work per se — but all are amazing and worth your time.

Behind the Beautiful ForeversThe first is Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in the Mumbai Undercity. Boo, a New Yorker writer, spent three years observing life in a slum adjacent to the airport in Mumbai, India. She returned with a riveting story that’s centered around a self-immolation and ensuing false accusations, but is ultimately about family, poverty, justice, and being human. This work of non-fiction is as gripping as a classic novel, a book that people will be reading for many years.  (Amazon) (BN.com) (IndieBound)

Instant CityInstant City: Life and Death in Karachi, by NPR journalist Steve Inskeep, hasn’t gotten as much press as Boo’s book — but it’s just as good. Instead of Mumbai, Inskeep takes us to Karachi, Pakistan — and describes how a once-sleepy enclave became a sprawling 13 million person metropolis, rife with violence, terror, and even a little hope. The reporting is so rich and the writing so vivid, you can almost smell the streets. Instant City deserves to be a huge bestseller. (Amazon) (BN.com) (IndieBound).

Then there’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain.Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Here’s the high concept pitch: Catch-22 meets Tom Wolfe . . . for the Iraq War. Billy Lynn is a Army private just back from a  firefight in Iraq, the video of which has gone viral thanks to Fox News and the Internet. Over the course of a Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving football game, Billy encounters all manner of American weirdness. A Hollywood producer, drunken soldiers, rapacious capitalists, an amorous cheerleader, inert and clueless citizens, even Beyonce. This is one of the best novels I’ve read in years. (Amazon) (BN.com) (IndieBound)

2 Responses to “3 outstanding books for your spring reading list”

  1. Ben Knight says:

    Epistemology only has one “I”.

  2. Brian Tillman says:

    Dan, your book choices are always great. Just finished “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”….what an awesome book. Instant City is next, and as soon as my library gets it, Billy Lynn.
    Been a fan since I saw you speak at the Texas Music Educator’s Association a few years back…keep up the good work.
    Cheers,
    Brian

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