goddess_jen (goddess_jen) wrote in recommend_books,

several reviews

One good thing about being unemployed - I've finally managed to catch up on some reading. I promised myself I'd read 1 book per week and so far I've managed to keep that promise. I've discovered several lovely books along the way and I'm so excited to read more. (Wow, do I sound geeky or what??)

Week 1: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Suspenseful thriller that blends Dracula fact and folklore, bringing readers to various faraway lands such as Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. Beautiful prose and wonderful descriptions of places that I can only hope to visit in my lifetime.

Week 2: Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Delves into the magical world of Oz and into the life of Elphaba, the famed Wicked Witch of the West. This book is a study of good and evil, a mirror perhaps of our own world, resounding with the nature of politics, philosophy and religion.

Week 3: In Evil Hour by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The story of the transformation of a Colombian town from tranquility into that of violence and paranoia thanks to anonymous lampoons posted on doorways. AND Identity by Milan Kundera. A supposed meditation on the nature of the human sense of self. I don't know if I'm dense but I didn't really get much from this except that it does have some beautiful narrative.

Week 4: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. What it's like to wait for a lifetime. Enough said. Not really a tearjerker but it definitely pulls at the heartstrings.

Week 5: The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder. Another great book by the author of Sophie's World, showing an intense appreciation of the universe's wonders and once again asks meaningful questions about the meaning of life and the universe. Poses the question to all of us if it would have been better not to have been born at all as opposed to living and yet losing it all to death in the end.

Week 6: Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli. Gives a vivid picture of war-stricken Poland during WWII through the eyes of a kind naive orphan. A moving story of survival, hope, and of finding the simplest pleasures even in the midst of war. AND Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera. A beautiful book that shares a little bit of Maori culture. Challenges traditional patriarchal values. Any female who has struggled to rise above discrimmination towards her sex will definitely relate to this. I actually cried when Paikea was reciting her speech. *sniff*

Week 7: The Cryptographer by Tobias Hill. Was called "a supremely elegant and ambiguous thriller." I'm inclined to agree with the statement except for the "thriller" part.

Currently reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Good read so far. :)
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