One day into autumn and the crochet blankets have been broken out already. The weather is perfect for blogging or reading, or blogging about reading.
I used to be a real book worm but since having a little lady in my life I find it hard to stay awake through more that one chapter at a time, because of that I have turned picky. Now I start a book and if I don't love it within the first few pages I give up. Good or bad it means that I only read what I really enjoy and there are no more daVinci Codes in my life.
Here are a few books that have had me fighting off the temptation to sneak page or two at red traffic lights and this is why;
- After watching the movie of Into The Wild I just had to get the book, it is one of those amazing tales - it could be told by an illiterate goat and it would still be fascinating. It's not though, it's told beautifully, peppered with quotes by other amazing writers. A young man finishes Uni, donates all his money and possessions to charity and sets off for the adventure of a lifetime. This not a Vegas, gap year sort of adventure. It's a spiritual journey through the pristine Alaskan landscape. For me watching the movie first just added to the awesomeness of the book, I had Eddie Vedder singing in my head and visions of the Alaskan wilderness I'm not sure I would have been able to create without seeing the movie first.
- The Happiest Refugee is truly the most heartwarming page-turner I have ever read. I bought it for Pac Man last Christmas and read it cover to cover in one sitting when I was supposed to be wrapping gifts. It is hilarious, lovely and full of the most fantastic crazy characters. It's amazing how the tale of a Vietnamese asylum seeker who had so much hardship in his life could be told in a way that is, at times, shoot-a-drink-out-your-nose-funny. I laughed, I cried, I demanded that everyone I know read this book, now I demand you do too.
- Short stories are a narcoleptic (or pregnant) woman's best friend. Vietnamese-Australian Nam Le's The Boat isn't a page-turner, but it's worth the work. The seven separate stories all focus on a single character's journey through a life changing experience. It's desperately sad at times, uncomfortably raw at others and so well written it will make the hairs on the back of your head stand up. It's no wonder it won the Dylan Thomas Prize.
- Don't worry, A Short History of Tractors in the Ukrainian isn't actually about tractors. Well it is a bit but it is more about an elderly man who falls for a younger, manipulative and at times full-fledged psychopathic woman. Because the main characters are more caricature than anything else it isn't a dark read at all. It's more of a rom-com gone wrong, complete with a giant woman who wears pink fluffy stilettoes. It' s not really like anything I have ever read before and I'm glad I chose it out of the mountains of books in my parent's spare room.
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