Recognizing that reading The Arabian Nights is probably going to take 1,001 days, I put it aside today to read Kaui Hart Hemmings' House of Thieves.
I knew nothing about Hemmings, other than the fact that she wrote The Descendants, which I've heard is a good film. Other than that, nada.
After reading the description (I seem to recall that Amazon had it on sale), I was intrigued. The stories (it's a collection of short stories) are set in Hawaii, a place I've never been, but have wanted to visit for some time. Reading the stories was a little like visiting, or more to the point, having a look at the lives of the people living there. These aren't the tourists at the beaches and the bars. It's the stories of the families who live and struggle there.
All of the stories deal with loss and abandonment. Usually the loss, either metaphorically or literally, of a parent, and the effect this has on the spouse or child left behind. The stories are excellently written and very moving. They are particularly good at dealing with the dynamic between a parent (or surrogate parent) and child.
Well worth a read.