• Becky Bechhold

These books pair well.


This is a stunning debut novel from Megha Majumdar. A Burning is a taut, propulsive read that I finished in two sittings. The story of three individuals who only want a slightly better- middle class- life in contemporary India.

I highly recommend reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers ,which won the National Book Award in 2012, by Katherine Boo to flesh out the portrait of modern day India as it exists for millions of people there.




Kirkland Hamill pens his memoir in Filthy Beasts. Born into a wealthy family who all but drank up their inheritance, he and his brothers lived for a time in Bermuda with his Mother who barely kept food on the table. Somehow the family continued to frolic and imbibe in all the posh places- Rockaway, Jupiter Island, Mid Ocean Club. La-di-da. La-di-da. The life of the "rich" is not always how they make it appear.

The perils of easy money are reiterated in two of my favorite books- Cheerful Money by New Yorker writer Tad Friend and The Beneficiary by New York Times reporter Janny Scott. These are fun to read books and a counterpoint to the very tragic lives described in the first two books.

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