Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good reads: The Imperfectionists + others

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to read. So I thought I'd start sharing some of my good reads here! I hope to turn this into a regular feature, which would be a great motivation to write about the books I read, as a way to remember them perhaps, and in a way, pay tribute. For I am passionate about a good story. Here are a few good reads I had the pleasure of reading recently.

The Imperfectionists: a compilation of stories, the novel revolves around a team of seemingly ordinary expats who work for a declining English newspaper based in Rome. This book reminded me why I love short stories: short stories are like photographs; just a snippet of the people in them, yet they tell a story, but there's also room for imagination.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, and think anyone who loves the printed medium should give it a try.

Cutting for Stone: where do I even start? This book was a recommendation from my friend Nat {who, not surprisingly also recommended The Imperfectionists!}. In turn, it was recommended to her by a friend, who had said to her, "If I only ever make one reading recommendation to you, this would be it". So I picked it up one day (very convenient since I already owned a copy of it), and just started to read. The book is storytelling at its finest, and the writing is simply lyrical. It read like a song, every word, every sentence was effortless. Like they were meant to be there. I was completely captivated. And the author? He's also a doctor! *Sigh* how can one human being have so much talent?! It's almost unfair. The book is an epic story about twin brothers abandoned at birth, who grew up in Ethiopia at the dawn of the revolution. It's a story about love, and about family. Like all good stories. :)

The Elegance of the Hedgehog: I read this as part of a book club pick and loved it. It's very intelligent and explores some philosophical thoughts through the intertwining story of Renee, who is a middle-aged concierge in an elite Parisian building, and Paloma, who is a very intelligent 12-year old living in the building. Unbeknownst to each other, both are hiding their true selves from a world they deem to be dangerous to be anything other than ordinary. It's a heartwarming read, and thought provoking.

The Hunger Games: YUP I finally gave in to the hype! But boy was it worth it. This is not your typical teen series. Repeat after me: this is not your typical teen series. Why? For one thing, the point of the story is not on the importance of having a boyfriend. Suzanne Collins writes with simplicity but tells a superb story. She weaves a tale of dystopian society where the theme of war is ever present. I think it's a refreshing take, perhaps because it's told from the point of view of a 17 year old girl, on the effects of war. Be warned: the world of The Hunger Games just draws you in, you really cannot put them down once you start! I read the series in a week. M told me he'd never seen me so enamoured by a book before, not even Harry Potter.

1 comment:

Nataliya said...

Great list! I'm glad you enjoyed The Imperfectionists and Cutting for Stone as much as I did. I was also stunned at how well Abraham Verghese writes. And I'm sure The Hunger Games will live up to expectations! :)