As part of a new series here on Top Shelf Text, I'll be occasionally posting reader recommendations from the other avid readers in my life. There's nothing better than a conversation about great books, and lately I've had a few of my readers give me great recommendations. If you're interested in sharing a reader recommendation, send me a quick e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more details!
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Our first reader recommendation comes from my dad (you may remember him from this post) who spotted a book that interested him way back in February and decided to give it a shot. He finished the book a while ago, but brought it up again considering all that has been going on in the news over the past two weeks. If you've been following the story of child immigrants and the border crisis, this book should be on your to-read list-- I've bumped it up to the top of mine!
The Devil's Highway: A True Story written by Luis Alberto Urrea provides a unique and relevant perspective on the perils of illegal border crossing between Mexico and the US in the Arizona desert. This is an account of 26 men that pay relatively big money to unknowingly risk their lives in search of better prospects across the border. Their hired guides, or coyotes, lead them on a wandering death march through the desert and ultimately it falls upon the US Border Patrol to attempt to rescue and then prosecute the handful of survivors. The parallels between this story and current events in Texas makes this a compelling read and provides insight into the US border policy that, as this author would have it, does little to reduce illegal immigration and actually contributes to immigrant deaths. I rate this book a 5 on the relevance scale.