An Update on My Reading Goal: Behind the Beautiful Forevers

The most recent book I finished from this list published by the Huffington Post is Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo.

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(Image from amazon.com)

For the first few chapters I thought the book was a novel. I was horrified to discover that the stories of extreme poverty and terrible living conditions are nonfiction. I am aware that these tragedies take place all around the world, but the details Boo shares make them take on a whole new meaning. The book won the National Book Award for nonfiction.

Boo, an investigative journalist, won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2002. The stories are made even more tragic by the fact that the slum sits in the shadow of many high-end hotels and shops.

Although each individual’s story is quite touching, it was difficult to become too engaged with any of the characters because there are so many people involved. Due to this fact, when I was about 75 percent through the book, I started to get quite bored with it. I powered through because I can’t bear to just not finish a book once I’m that far into it.

This has been my least favorite book on the list so far, but it does tell an important tale of poverty in present-day India.

Here is the updated list. The first five books on this list are the ones I had read prior to discovering the list.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
Her by Christa Parravani
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
NW by Zadie Smith
Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
Room by Emma Donoghue
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

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