I lived in India for a few months, working for United Press International back when there was a UPI, but I did not begin to grasp what I learned from reading Boo’s new book. There are a lot of people who write about poverty and social justice but few who really spend the time with poor people to understand what their lives are like on a day-to-day basis and the web of obstacles — both self-imposed and external — that prevent them from bettering their lives. Katherine Boo is one of them and she has produced an important and riveting accounting of a Mumbai slum that will stay with you regardless of your interest in India. Boo is a beautiful writer and her book is compulsive reading. Chip McGrath did a profile of her in the Times, which you can read here and for the New York Times review, click here.