What’s the most serious book you’ve read recently?
(I figure it’s easier than asking your most serious book ever, because, well, it’s recent!)

There were a few contenders for this particular title, looking back at my ten most recent reads. I considered The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan and Right of Thirst by Frank Huyler, and then I glanced at the list again, and the answer became clear. The most serious book I’ve read recently is The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it’s the story of a Pakistani man who went to Princeton, then began an entry-level position at a top New York consulting firm in the months immediately preceding September 11. Following the terrorist attacks, he slowly finds himself becoming more and more disillusioned with the United States and their treatment of Arab-Americans in the post-attack period, and he returns to Pakistan. He is telling this to a stranger he meets while in Pakistan. The stranger is clearly an American, and I spent most of the novel with a feeling of unease, waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s certainly a serious read, and I’d recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

What about you? What serious books have you read recently? For other responses, please click on the Booking Through Thursday logo above.

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