For those that don’t know: Amazon has a program called Kindle First. It allows Prime users to select a free eBook from a selection of books that are due to be released the next month. I’ve been using it to diversify my reading habits a bit, since I had gotten into the habit of only reading sci-fi, fantasy, or literary slogs.

Last month, I picked up The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds. It’s your traditional “follow a woman of Asian descent as colonialism / war takes over and she’s forced to adapt” story, but with some nice differences from the usual Amy Tan stuff.

Things I liked:

  1. It was set in Malaysia, which wasn’t a familiar setting for me.
  2. It didn’t fall into a lot of the tropes that are common in other books like this, like the Surprisingly Modern Character or the Tortured Romance / Marriage. It all felt very real and very subtle.
  3. The main character was flawed and awesome. You really felt her change over time, which shifted her flaws into virtues, or virtues into flaws.

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This month, I’m got Nirzona by Abidah El-Khalieqy. Once again, my decision was mostly driven by liking the author’s bio.

So, what did you get? What are you getting this month?