Goodreads Monday – 04 November

We’re back with another Goodreads Monday, a weekly meme started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s book is The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. I remember seeing this book mentioned on bookstagram once or twice, but I don’t remember adding it to my shelf in March 2019. The Sympathizer is Nguyen’s debut novel and it was also the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It has an incredible 4.00 rating with 59,400+ ratings and 6,808 reviews! Impressive 😲

It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.

Why do I want to read it?

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit it but I actually don’t read a wide variety of diverse books, especially those written about and by Asian authors. This isn’t for any particular reason other than I don’t always make a conscious decision to broaden my reading scope and not because I don’t enjoy diverse books/stories. I lived in Vietnam for around three months several years ago and I’ve visited the country often, so it’s not as if I’m ignorant of the country’s history. That said, sometimes I feel like I take that experience for granted by not pushing myself to learn more and it also applies to my own knowledge and experience relating to other countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia. I’m determined to making a more conscious effort to diversify my reads and this book sounds like a gripping and fascinating story that I look forward to trying!

Have you read The Sympathizer or is it on your TBR too? Let’s chat!

2 thoughts on “Goodreads Monday – 04 November

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