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I stumbled on Ms. Patchett by coincidence. I was a teenager and my loving younger brother knew his sister was a bookworm. For my 18th or so birthday, he got me Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I don’t know why or how he chose that particular book.

 

Usually we would take two buses from Lekki Phase II where we lived to Yaba immediately we got our monthly allowance from Dad. Together we would sit with our favorite used books sellers and listen to their recommendations before jointly deciding what books to pick. My brother had picked this one without mine or any bookseller’s input. He told me he liked the title – it sounded musical. I have respected the heck out of my brother’s input since then.

 

Bel Canto is slow at first; so many descriptions of greenery and scenery. But then it gains momentum and suddenly, bam, bam, bam and you are rushing through every page with your heart in your mouth. You have fallen in love with terrorists and the people they are terrorizing. From this book, you get Stockholm syndrome. It is a real something. You find yourself actually rooting for kidnappers to never give up their victims.

 

Since Bel Canto, I have picked up every Ann Patchett book without hesitation. This is why you should too:

  1. Bel Canto: If you are from a developing politically unstable country that has run and still runs the risk of military coups, read this book. It is everything and more.
  2. Run: I don’t understand how Ann Patchett does the thing she does with her characters. They are so well-rounded. You can’t hate any of them, even the ones you should. Run is remarkable and will make you wonder what you are doing with your life.
  3. Commonwealth: Lol. Lol. Lol. That is all.
  4. State of Wonder: This one was a roller coaster ride and worth every second. It will leave you in a state of wonder.
  5. She wrote a tribute to President Obama a few days ago and titled it “The President who Loved”. Can you guys see this woman?
  6. She won the Orange Prize for Bel Canto. Uggggh!
  7. She was named by Time as one of the most influential people in the world in 2012
  8. She is an entrepreneur – She owns an independent bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee (be still my beating heart).
  9. She still blogs.
  10. She adores nature: Just read Bel Canto and State of Wonder. It shines through.
  11. She describes herself as both “adoring and struggling with” her faith. Aren’t we all?
  12. She has a dog hence she is trustworthy.

 

What books are you guys reading? What books are on your reading bucket list?