There is nothing that compares to waking in the morning to see that a fresh snowfall has blanketed everything overnight; the landscape becomes clean, soft and quiet and glimmers with a magic quality.
If you have been a teenager (or have known a teenager) in the past 12 years, you will already know of John Green and his young adult literary stardom. Not only that, but you will probably have a ranking of your favorite John Green books (mine being: “Looking for Alaska,” “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Paper Towns”).
Devoted fans of Haruki Murakami already know of his love of music. His novels are full of songs and references, and his characters live in a world influenced by music – they frequent record stores buying Beethoven and Miles Davis records, whistle a Rossini melody while making tea, or have Bob Dylan’s “Positively Fourth Street” playing in the background. They notice what song might be playing when they walk into a room and reflect on it, letting memory wash over them.
There was a memorable commercial a few years ago that imagined the start of a work day in a gas-powered office -- a sleepy employee starts up the pull-cord coffee maker with its two-stroke engine; the copy machine chugs away spewing exhaust into the cubicles as employees discreetly cough into their sleeves.
The best books are able to transport you across borders. They put you in another’s shoes for a few moments and allow you to see the world in a new light. In "Tell Me How It Ends," Valeria Luiselli has written a powerful and compassionate narrative about the Americas, about migration and our shared history seen through the eyes of children who have fled the poverty or violence of a homeland to have a chance at not only a better life but, in many cases, at life itself.