My name is Anja Spruston, and I’m an Economics undergraduate senior at Northwestern University, where I am also a member of the university’s premiere hip hop company, Fusion. I’ve grown up in Evanston since I was two, and as a leisurely reader, have had an Evanston Public Library card for as long as I can remember. I have read a large stack of books over the course of this past year, but these four have left the biggest impressions on me, and I hope to pass them along to you as well! In my spare time, I work as a waitress at Buffalo Wild Wings and a floor hockey referee at Northwestern.
1) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2003)
If you haven’t read it, you’ve certainly heard of it. A book that most people are familiar with but not enough have read. My new favorite book of all time, I am still thinking about it months later. This book was extremely thought provoking and brought me to tears time and time again. The characters are well formed, and the book is written in a way that pulls you in.
2) Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013)
This book was my most recent read—an assignment for an African-American studies class. The story is about a girl named Imefelu who returns to Nigeria after having been in the United States for over a decade. It’s a fascinating book about blackness and one woman’s struggle with what it means.
3) I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (2013)
I read this fabulous autobiography over the summer in only a few short days. Malala is a seventeen-year-old Pakistani activist who got shot in the head by the Taliban at age fifteen. Her story is inspirational and emotional and especially relevant now that she has become the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Prize.
4) Brain on Fire: A Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (2012)
This was my first read of 2014, and I loved it so much that I read it in one night. Also an autobiography, Susannah recalls the years that she suffered from a rare brain disease. This book is both engaging and educational.