My reading spree continues even as, or because of, my baby troubles.
1. Love In The Time Of Cholera
: I had tried to read this one several times and gave up. Then out of lack of anything else to read, I picked it up again. And suddenly I was captivated… mostly by the beauty of the writing. Or maybe I had grown up and didn’t think that a romance between old people was an unappetizing read. It kind of gets a bit smutty in the middle but throughout the writing is gorgeous. I can see why it’s on the must-read lists of modern literature. And it turns out my lit prof in uni was not playing cruel joke on us by this as possibly the only work of modern literature to have a happy ending. Read it for that reason only if nothing else!
And then I seem to be a on a bit of a non-fiction spree. Both these were awesome:
2. Imperial Life in the Emerald City
by Rajiv Chandrasekaran: Watching the debacle that was the Iraq war and that is the current situation in that country, I often find myself shaking my head at the stupidity and wastefulness of it all. This book chronicles just how stupid and tragic the whole thing was. My curiosity got piqued after watching Green Zone
, the movie based on the book, but in typical Hollywood style the movie posits itself as a thriller. While much attention in the news has focused military missteps in Iraq, this book reveals the administrative ones.And boy, were they huge – such as hiring a 24-year-old who had never worked in finance to reboot Iraq’s stock exchange. Reading this book, the chaos in Iraq and the reasons for it become maddeningly clear.
3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack
s by Rebecca Skloot: I had never heard of Hela cells before coming across this book but when I read the blurb I was fascinated. The cancer cells of a poor black woman were taken without her knowledge and used to grow cell cultures that have made possible a huge portion of the advances of medical science today. Skloot gives us a portrait of Henrietta the woman, hitherto ignored and unsung. The book raises many ethical issues – one of the biggest ironies is that Henrietta’s children barely have the money to see a doctor themselves although their mother’s cells are responsible for most of the medicine they can’t buy.
I’ve never been much of a non-fiction person but Beautiful Thing showed me that it needed be boring and can tell a personal story. In both the above books, the author’s voice is very prominent – Chandrasekaran worked as a journalist in Iraq for several years and Skloot spend years pursuing and then getting to know Henrietta’s family – and this is why they work for me.
Finally, I discovered a new detective series that is easy to get a hold of
4. One for the Money
by Janet Evanovich: I like the wry tone of the protagonist Stephanie Plum and that there’s suspense without being too grissly.
So what have you been reading lately?