Five Favorites is a new feature at the LA Books Examiner in which our favorite authors share and discuss their five favorite books within a category. In this edition, Kaylin McFarren, debut author and community leader, discusses her five favorite and most heartfelt books.
Five Favorite Heartfelt Books by Kaylin McFarren
1) The Help, Kathryn Stockett (Putnam, 2009)
This remarkable story takes place during the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi, where black women raised white children but couldn’t be trusted with the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan returns from college and begins collecting stories from black maids who have been employed by the upper white echelon. The shocking stories these women share give Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Full of heart and history, this book will educate, infuriate and bring tears to the eyes of every person who reads it.
2) Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen (Algonquin, 2007)
Jacob Jankowski, a nursing home resident, recounts the wild and wonderful period he spent with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined during the Great Depression. As a young man, he learns his parents have been killed in a car crash while attending Cornell Veterinary School. With no source of income available, he drops out of school and parlays his expertise with animals into a job with the circus. There he falls in love with Marlena, one of the show’s star performers and although the romance is destined for disaster, the cast of characters in this story are guaranteed to capture your imagination.
3) Cider House Rules, John Irving (Modern Library, 1999)
This is by far my favorite John Irving novel. I was amazed at how he effortlessly broached topics like adoption, abortion, faithfulness, love and discrimination. It doesn’t matter whether you’re liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between. Irving will make you think while giving you a chance to question and refine some of your own views. This engaging story provokes and entertains, and leaves you longing for more.
Read the rest of Kaylin McFarren’s 5 Favorite Heartfelt Books at Frank Mundo’s LA Books Examiner.