Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Joy of Reading!

I've always had a love affair with reading!  I remember being in grade 2 and reading chapter books.  There were no pictures, just I, an 8 year old and my imagination.  Wow, that was a big deal!  As a teenager, I would spend my summer months lying on a blanket in the backyard between the apple trees, from morning until late afternoon, reading and allowing myself to be transported to another time and place.  Mind you, my teenage reads were mainly Harlequin and British Romance Novels, set in the early 1900's.   

Ever since I've become a "computaholic", spending way too much time online, surfing the web and watching web TV, I've put my reading on the back-burner.

Last month, I decided to reclaim some of my "simple pleasures" in life; one of them being reading.  By rearranging my priorities, I managed to read a whopping 6 books this month.  I'd forgotten what a pleasure it is to read, read and read...I love it!

I didn't spend any time choosing the titles, as I've decided to finally get through all the unread books on my shelf.  Pick a book - any book on the top shelf.   Here's my 6 selections:

Eat Pray and Love

This was my third attempt at reading this book.  Everyone keeps talking about how great this books is, but I struggle getting through it.  Twice I started the book and got stuck in Italy.  Then I was told that I have to get past Italy.  So, this time I made it past Italy and into India, but I still wasn't that impressed.  Not until I got to Bali did I think it got a bit more interesting.  I know millions of people really enjoyed this one, but I'm not one of them.  My girlfriend tells me I'm too analytical, which stands in my way of enjoying the book.   Perhaps, different strokes for different folks.

Between Two Worlds

I bought this books a few years back when I was into autobiographies.  I know that most people put a lot of thought into purchasing their book titles, but I'm not one them.  I go for the smörgåsbord, a little bit of everything.  If it appeals to me, I'll give it a try! 
The book is about Zainab Salbis recollection of growing up in Iraq under Saddam Hussein's control.  Salbi's father was Saddam Hussein's personal airplane pilot, and as such the whole family was trapped in a highly controlled life style and in constant fear of Saddam Hussein.  This is a very captivating story that gave me a glimpse of life in Iraq, before and during Saddam Hussein's regime.  Great story that I'd recommend others to read.

 The Geometry of Sisters

I believe this book is "courtesy of the bookshelf" at the yacht club.   The story is about three sets of sisters, with a bond so strong that each one cannot properly live without her sister.  I only read this book about two weeks ago, and I can barely remember the content.  That tells me a lot; not too much substance in this one.  It's what I'll call a "cheesy fiction".  Easy afternoon read, but not very memorable.  Glad I got it for free!

 The Moonlit Cage

My girlfriend lent me this book months ago, and it came highly recommended.  It's been on my bookshelf ever since, but March was its lucky day!  This is a beautifully written novel that is hard to forget.  The author transports you back in time and place.It's about a young  Muslim girl,  Daryâ,  who struggles for independence during the 1850s Afghanistan.  Daryâ embarks upon the journey of a lifetime, from Bombay to the heart of the British empire, London.

This was a very easy read.  I really enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book and could barely put it down, but the last part, played out in England, just didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the book.  The book had a very predictable cheesy ending.  I'd give this one a 7 out of 10..

Water for Elephants

This is my book-club's choice for March.   I truly enjoyed this story.  Jacob Jankowski, a law student, receives news that his parents were killed in a car accident and suffers a breakdown.  He leaves school just short of graduation and jumps on a train in the middle of the night to find himself on a circus train.  And thus the story begins.
Water for Elephants is about circus life during the Great Depression.  The author paints a very vivid picture of all the characters and it's difficult not to care for them.  With its unique stetting, this books brought me to a time and place that is long forgotten..Highly recommended.
I'm looking forward to the movie release next month.  I hope it measures up.

 Skumtimmen (Echos from the Dead)

I read this book in Swedish.  It's Johan Tehorin's debut book, and it's one of the best crime fiction novels I've read in a while.  It's a very gripping story of a mother's search for the truth.  On a thick foggy late summer-day, in the 1970's, a 6-year old boy vanishes without a trace.  Police, family and friends search for weeks, without any results.  20 years later, the boys mother, Julia, receives a phone call from her father Gerlof.  He has received an anonymous package containing the boy's sandal.  And thus the story unfolds.   This book kept me guessing until the end.

This book is translated under the title "Echos from the Dead". 

Swedish crime writers are invading the market:

My next read is Sweden's best selling novel of 2010, Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann.  

I'm looking forward to reading this book as it's supposed to be full of humor with an eccentric main character.

This book is currently not available  in English but many countries are in the process of translating.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are wise to continue reading in different languages.

    There was a recent study where it was proved that bilingual people are less likely to be debilitated by Alzheimers.

    Your reading list is impressive!