Monday, December 10, 2012
Island reads 3: a 1000 splendid suns, flat lands, and a trip across America with Steinbeck
It’s a Monday Monday today after some island time – there probably won’t be a lot of reading time for me this week, but that’s okay. For the island, I picked some books to take along, but also came across some chance books in the open book shelfs here. That’s where the first 2 reads are from, and like in the previous island book post, I am adding the first lines:
A Thousand Splendid Suns
This is Khaled Hosseini’s second book – his first was “The Kite Runner”, and like that, this second book also is set in Afghanistan, and tells about the way life turned there in the last 30 years for families, with the main political events woven into it as seen from common citizens: the time of Soviets, the time of the warlords, and the time of the Taliban. Hosseini was born in Kabul, and moved to the US in 1980, and his personal connection and engagement is present throughout the book. It’s a both tragic and gripping read, with a focus especially on mothers and daughters. The first line of it: “Mariam was five years old the first time she heard the word harami.”
I haven’t heard of the Twin by Gerbrand Bakker before – and when I saw the cows and the note “2010 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Winner”, I first thought this is a book from Ireland. Turns out, it’s an international award, Bakker is a Dutch author – and his “Twins” novel is set on a remote farm in the Dutch Platteland, and tells about life there as a farmer, in a melancholic and reflective family story. First line: "I've put father upstairs. I had to park him on a chair first to take the bed apart."
Travels with Charley
The third book is the book that accompanied me on the journey back home, and so glad I had this one waiting - as the flight back was delayed, which brought some unwanted extra-hours of time. John Steinbeck and his travelogue on exploring rural America was a perfect companion for that. When raching 58, after travelling many parts of the world, Steinbeck felt he should do something special and different: rediscovering his homeland. His travel companion is a dog: Charley. It's a great, warm travel memoir, with the focus on the encounters and life, but also on the changing landscape and mood of the different states he crosses. First line: "When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch...."
Together, those island reads also are a prelude for the world reading challenge 2013, here’s more about it, if this sounds interesting to you, you’re very welcome to join:
Reading Challenge 2013:
7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books (Link)
The idea of this reading challenge is to explore the world by books from different continents and countries, and by visiting various world lists while planning the reads, to encounter the one or other unknown angle and fact about our world.
And conected to that theme, a link - i just checked e-books, and there are two that are about different cultures and lanscapes up for free today: a memoir from Iran: Solacers, and a diary about living on a Navajo reservation: E-mail from Kayenta
It's Monday! What are you reading? This blog post is inspired by the blog series "It's Monday! What are you reading?" which is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. participating blogs are listed in this Linky Book List
Previous reading blog entries are collected here: bookshelf: currently reading... there also is a visual bookshelf, just click it to get there: