The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Let’s Talk About Books

There are few things on earth created by  Man that I love more than books (except chocolate). So it probably comes as no surprise that one of my objectives for 2013 was to read more books. Before I was married I read at least one book a week. I was not very picky. I would go to the public library and choose four books, which I then  proceeded to devour with my eyes. So, back then, reading a trashy book was not such a  big deal. But now that I have limited time, I try to be more discerning. I only read books that interest me; books which will leave some mark on me or books which will give me some type of enjoyment. These are the books I read last year:
Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I thought I would enjoy this book a lot   more but certain parts were too slow, especially the “Pray” part. I thought Elizabeth would never leave India and get on with it. With all the rave reviews that this book received, I expected more from it. It’s not a bad book but, dare I say that I found it rather flat and boring? I do not think I would recommend it to anyone. Perhaps the movie was better. I haven’t seen it yet.
Slash by Slash with Anthony Bozza
Slash by Slash with Anthony Bozza
I enjoyed this candid auto-biography of a man who was always a bit of a mystery. From his childhood, to his battle with alcohol and drugs, to his tempestuous relationship with Guns N’ Roses front-man Axl Rose, Slash takes us into the glitzy world of rock ‘n roll. My advice: if you’re not into Guns N’ Roses and eccentric guitarists, don’t bother with it.

The Cellist of Sarajevo - Steven Galloway
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
This book I totally recommend. It is not a story with a complicated plot, with lots of twists and turns. Instead it is a story about everyday life in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. The author paints a skillful picture of three ordinary citizens; of their strength and their frailties; of what war does to a nation and how the simple act of crossing the city for water is fraught with danger. I thought it was a beautiful, thought-provoking book.
Peaches for Monsieur Le Curé
Peaches fo Monsieur le Cure’ by Joanne  Harris
This is the third installment in the series that started with Chocolat. Joanne Harris has a special knack of making the flawed characters of a little village in France come to life. I enjoyed it but it does not have the same magic that Chocolat did.

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
I had been meaning to read this book for a long time but the fact that it was about Afghanistan held me back. I guess you can call it prejudice but, for me, Afghanistan meant the Taliban and that was it. This book opened my eyes to the fact that Afghanistan used to be very different and, if only for that, I am glad I read this book. The story itself is about friendship, betray and redemption.
The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato
The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato
This is a light-hearted book and not what I would call “high literature”. Having said that, the story made for an enjoyable read and there were enough unexpected twists in the plot to pique my curiosity. At the centre of the book is Renaissance Italy and  Botticelli’s famous painting ‘La Primavera’.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
 A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
In my opinion, this book is a tribute to the women of Afghanistan, to those that live and suffer behind the burqa. If you have not read this book, I suggest that you should. It is an eye-opener on the harsh realities of life that, for some, still exist in 21st century. This book taught me not to take the liberties that I have for granted.
So there you have it. It’s not an impressively long list but I aim to do better this year.

11 comments:

  1. It is an impressive list of books that you've read to me, Loree! The only one on your list that I have read was "Eat Pray Love" because it had great reviews and I strongly agree with you. It was not at all what they said. I can tell you, after reading this book, Oprah's suggestions became untrustworthy to me! Because of her status in society, I believe she can make or break a anything!!!

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  2. I tried to read more last year too! And have kicked off this year with more books. I loved Eat Pray Love and The Kite Runner - can I highly highly recommend The Rosie Project? Written by an author right here in Melbourne and it is simply just a beautiful book - I am about to read Walking on Trampoline's next - it has come highly recommended to mexx

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  3. Learned even more about you reading your selections, Loree. There definitely seems to be a connection between what you read and what you post, a thread of quiet awe that runs through your person.

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  4. Dear Loree - all these books look very interesting. "A Thousand Splendid Suns" especially looks good...I need to add this one to my list of things to read this year. Take care and thanks for sharing last year's reads...looking forward to seeing what you uncover this year.

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  5. Eat, Pray, Love, the movie, was really not that good either but it was fun to watch Julia Roberts. What can I say, except that I enjoy watching beautiful people. I hated the Kite Runner, thinking it revealed too much. I think I will try The Cellist of Sarajevo. Thanks for the reviews Loree.

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  6. I didn't read "Eat, Pray, Love," but the movie wasn't very good (and from your description of the book, I had a similar response to the movie, which was, just move things along, please! It was SLOW…) I love Julia Roberts, but even she couldn't fix this one.

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  7. I am a bookworm too ! I couldn't fall asleep without reading first ! I have read so many books in my life, and of all kind.

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  8. I haven't read any of the books you've mentioned. I intended to read while on treatment, but boy I was so wrong. I'm either too tired, too sleepy or to nauseous to read these days. I hope to make up for it when I'm out of the hospital.

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  9. Living in Italy I don't find any Books in English especially in the town I live in. I have to go to Turin to find something in English and then there's very little choice. I don't buy on Internet so as you see I really haven't any choice but to read in Italian , which I don't like at all. I am glad and grateful I can read some newspaper articles in English on Internet.
    BTW thank you Loree for following me on my Photography blog,

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  10. Great reads, Loree, and reviews. My daughter and a friend of hers said the same thing about Eat, Pray, Love, that the India section was really slow.

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  11. I used to read so many books as well. As you might imagine...it is rare that I pick up a book currently because of all of the reading I have to do for "school". The homeschool curriculum we follow is filled with collections of novels that are historically based. I have absolutely loved the many many books that I've read right along with the kids. But, soon, I'll delve into the adult book world again and lose myself in their many stories.

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