Booktique

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Booktique

Münir-ViviSoraya
This post was updated on .
This is a thread for all our favourite books.
We can suggest the books we love, stating why we love them, give biographies of our favourite writers etc.
Feel free to post anything you like.

(Only one thing: maybe we shouldn't give full summaries, because we could spoil a good book for someone who hasn't read it)


I can resist anything but temptation..
-Oscar Wilde
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Re: Book Corner

Münir-ViviSoraya
I'll start with one of my favourite books:


The Shadow of the Wind (Spanish: La sombra del viento) is a 2001 novel by Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Plot summary

The novel, set in post–Spanish Civil War Barcelona, concerns a young boy, Daniel Sempere. Just after the war, Daniel's father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of old, forgotten titles lovingly preserved by a select few initiates. According to tradition, everyone initiated to this secret place is allowed to take one book from it, and must protect it for life. Daniel selects a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. That night he takes the book home and reads it, completely engrossed. Daniel then attempts to look for other books by this unknown author, but can find none. All he comes across are stories of a strange man – calling himself Laín Coubert, after a character in the book who happens to be the Devil – who has been seeking out Carax's books for decades, buying them all and burning them.[wiki]

Why I love it: First of all one of the main characters of this book is Barcelona itself, as a city full of secrets. The author has a great gift in creating the right atmosphere, characters that are imperfect but still magical and story-lines that bind together in a haunting way. I could say, it's a book for books and how they can influence a person's soul.
I've read it many times and it never gets old for me.

"Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you."
— Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind)
I can resist anything but temptation..
-Oscar Wilde
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Re: Book Corner

Summer Peri

The God of Small Things



The God of Small Things (1997) is the debut novel of Indian author Arundhati Roy.


It is a story about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins whose lives are destroyed by the "Love Laws" that lay down "who must be loved, and how, and how much". The book is a description of how the small things in life affect people's behavior and their lives. The book won the Booker Prize in 1997.


Ι love it because of the way it describes emotions,and because the main characters are not victims or "abusers",they are both and that make it real!

"You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint the paradise, then in you go."

— Nikos Kazantzakis
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Re: Book Corner

SELIM-newy
Let me post one of my favorite and most recent read books!A Watermelon,a Fish and a Bible written by Christy Lefteri



This novel about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 is told from the viewpoints of three characters: a Greek, a Turk and a Briton.

The Greek is a red-haired woman shunned by her community and whose son is killed in the invasion; the Turk is an invading soldier looking for the Greek woman he loved years before; the Briton was stationed in Cyprus in the Forties and impregnated a Greek woman.

The cruelty and violence of war are vividly portrayed and the atmosphere is redolent with the odours of Greece: lemons, jasmine, coffee, cigarette smoke. But the storytelling is over-the-top, and characters have a habit of launching into stagy dramatic monologues that feel as if they belong in a Dickens novel.
i LOVE THIS FORUM!
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Re: Book Corner

Emmoos-Kerimaholic no.2
I'm really liking this thread. I have so many books I would like to suggest since I'm very much into Arabic, Spanish and Russian literature.



This is one of my favorite books that I read more than once. It's by one of the best Palestinian writers Ibrahim Nasrallah. The book is the second part of a trilogy about Palestine called (Al-malha al-Falistiniyya) which is a parody of the Palestinian situation. I believed the second part is the most creative and engaging part of the series.

What makes this book unique is the voice of the narrator. You do not know who is speaking and why is the voice addressing the main protagonist in the novel. The protagonist, a 6 year old Palestinian boy, grows up as you read the book and becomes a mere solider during the 1948 catastrophe. The book mocks the catastrophe and the means of regaining the land and emphasizes, in a black comedy manner, the Arab soldiers hopelessness and conscious. One way of analyzing the voice of the narrator is to study the narration as another suppressed conscious trying to speak out. There are many different analysis of who is the speaker in the novel but it is written in such a poetic and detailed way that shouldn't be missed out!
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Re: Book Corner

Emmoos-Kerimaholic no.2
In reply to this post by Münir-ViviSoraya
Munir....the book you recommended (The Shadow of the Wind) sounds superb! Please give us more recommendation of Spanish literature! My knowledge of Spanish literature is very much the classics. Do you know new titles that you recommend???
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Re: Book Corner

Emmoos-Kerimaholic no.2
In reply to this post by Münir-ViviSoraya
This is a book that was recommended by my sister. I'm planning to read it next. It's a new title by Emma Donoghue and is called Room.



This review is from Amazon.com:

Amazon Best of the Month, September 2010: In many ways, Jack is a typical 5-year-old. He likes to read books, watch TV, and play games with his Ma. But Jack is different in a big way--he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the tiny space with only his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick. For Jack, Room is the only world he knows, but for Ma, it is a prison in which she has tried to craft a normal life for her son. When their insular world suddenly expands beyond the confines of their four walls, the consequences are piercing and extraordinary. Despite its profoundly disturbing premise, Emma Donoghue's Room is rife with moments of hope and beauty, and the dogged determination to live, even in the most desolate circumstances. A stunning and original novel of survival in captivity, readers who enter Room will leave staggered, as though, like Jack, they are seeing the world for the very first time. --Lynette Mong

http://www.amazon.com/Room-Novel-Emma-Donoghue/dp/0316098337
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Re: Book Corner

Münir-ViviSoraya
Emmoos thank you for your additions!
The shadow of the wind is one of my favourite books, I love it.
If you read it and like it, Carlos Ruiz Zafon has also written "The Angel's Game", that is kind of a prequel.
Now on Spanish literature..
If you like mystery novels Manuel Vázquez Montalbán's books are great.
I also like Latin American literature.
Try some Isabel Allende, she is a goddess..[I will actually post about some of her books in the future]


I can resist anything but temptation..
-Oscar Wilde
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Re: Book Corner

erkan
Administrator


Animal Farm by George Orwell  (1945)

A great and valuable book in which Orwell summarizes with his witty language the world we live in, the social injustice and the human nature through the eyes of animals. A must read.

On Mr. Jones's farm animals are living in a life of sorrow. They work very hard, and given food barely enough for them to survive, and treated badly by the humans. Old Major, the old boar of the farm calls a meeting for the animals. Because he feels that he's going to die soon, he wants to pass his wisdom on to the young animals. In his speech (which you can read here) he talks about a dream that he has. A dream in which all the animals live a life where they are not forced to work but they work because they want to.. A life in which there is plenty of food for everyone. A life they won't be thrown aside when they got old or made food for parazites that are called humans. He even teaches them a revolutionary song called "Beasts of England". It sparks a fire in their animal minds to revolt and seek their rights.

After Old Major's death, the animals do not only revolt against Mr. Jones (owner of the farm), but also take over and start running the farm themselves.

They choose themselves new leaders, Snowball and Napoleon (both pigs). They turn Old Major's adapt into a philosophy and call it Animalism. They work to make Major's dream reality. They teach how to read and write to animals. And many other things they read and learn from the books of humans.

They make their own laws named "Seven Commandments":

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.

This is only the beginning though. Will the animals of the Manor Farm be able to live the life in Old Major's dreams? Can they do what humans couldn't? You will have to read the rest.
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Re: Book Corner

Emmoos-Kerimaholic no.2
In reply to this post by Münir-ViviSoraya
Thanks a million Munir, I added The Shadow of the Wind in my amazon basket and looking forward to finish working on a deadline so I will start reading it. From the reviews on Amazon, it looks like a very interesting book!

Yes, please do post some books by Isabelle Allende. I read one book by her and I think it was not the right choice as it was a bit boring and more of a romance novel. I don't recall the name of the book though.

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Re: Book Corner

Emmoos-Kerimaholic no.2
In reply to this post by erkan
Thanks Erkan for the book! I never read Animal Farm but I did read Nineteen Eighty-Four which was a bit disturbing  I think Animal Farm is one of those novel that can be read in some many different ways! Love these books that carry many interpretations and numerous analysis!
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Re: Book Corner

Emmoos-Kerimaholic no.2
One of my all-time favorite! The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger...I'm sure most of you know the book since it was featured in many films and got entangled with real life incidents.



For those who watched Mil Gibson and Julia Robert's film Conspiracy Theory, I'm sure you must recall the scenes when Gibson had a shelf in his apartment full of different versions of The Catcher in the Rye, and that he was caught by the police when he bought the book again from the bookstore  

Also, The Taxi Driver played by Robert de Niro has a similar plot to the novel. Not to mention the death John Lennon and how a copy of the book was found with the murder  

Funny, the book has nothing to do with crime and it's not even a suspense book! It follows the story of 16 year old Holden Caulfield wasting time in New York when he dropped out of school and did not go home because he was afraid of his parents reaction once they know about his failure in his studies. It's written in the most amazing way, a true narration of a boy lost in a city trying to find himself. Full of funny scenes and black comedy. Must be read by anyone who appreaciates book that grab one's attention from page one!
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Re: Book Corner

erkan
Administrator
In reply to this post by Emmoos-Kerimaholic no.2
Emmoos-Kerimaholic no.2 wrote
Thanks Erkan for the book! I never read Animal Farm but I did read Nineteen Eighty-Four which was a bit disturbing  I think Animal Farm is one of those novel that can be read in some many different ways! Love these books that carry many interpretations and numerous analysis!
What is amazing about these books are that even though they were written in 1940s, what is told in them still applies to our day and they never get old as long as humanity lives on.

I've read 1984 before Animal Farm, it would have been better if I read AF before. 1984 is a bit more serious compared to Animal Farm, longer and harder to read. But they are both so valuable.
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Re: Book Corner

Münir-ViviSoraya
In reply to this post by Emmoos-Kerimaholic no.2
Erkan I read the Animal Farm when I was 16 and it really changed my views on certain things.
Great choice!
Emmoos I love The Catcher in the Rye, Holden is once of the best-written characters ever.
Now I wish we were all in a coffee shop talking about books!lol..
I can resist anything but temptation..
-Oscar Wilde
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Re: Booktique

VURAngeL
In reply to this post by Münir-ViviSoraya
“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate
and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained
to a wall and being tortured. I realized, somehow, through the screaming of my mind, that
even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free:
free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them.
It doesn’t sound like much, I know. But in the flinch and bite
of the chain, when it’s all you’ve got, that freedom is an universe of possibility.
And the choice you make between hating and forgiving,
can become the story of your life”


This is the opening paragraph and one
of the many reasons why I love this book.






Shantaram is the story of a man who, even in a life of violence,
genuinely loves those in his life and the city that became his home, Bombay.
A fictionalized account of the life of author Gregory David Roberts who
escaped an Australian prison and moved to Bombay to spend
almost a decade of his life in the slums and underworld of this city.

The narrator is a man called Lindsay, who escapes an Australian jail
and arrives in Bombay on a fake passport.
Here he befriends taxi driver Prabakar, who finds him a place to live
 in a slum away from the eyes of the law.
This slum is to be the home of Linbaba,
as Lindsay is called, for the next few years.
While he runs a makeshift first-aid center in the slum,
he also engages in criminal activities like smuggling
and counterfeiting, and eventually starts gun-running
to Afghanistan. Lin’s experiences in Bombay range from
 falling in love with the beautiful Karla, who introduces him
to the world of prostitutes, to meeting the motherly
Rukhmabai of Sundargaon, who christens him “Shantaram”,
or man of peace.

Interspersed amid the numerous characters like Rukhmabai,
Prabakar, Karla, and Kader are the sweat and grime,
dirt and squalor, disease and fire and extreme poverty –
all narrated with genuine affection, passion and generosity.
This love and generosity towards the characters and
circumstances is what sets Robert’s work apart.
What could have been a mere narrative of poor people’s lives
is transformed into an extraordinary piece of fiction.

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Re: Book Corner

Emmoos-Kerimaholic no.2
In reply to this post by Münir-ViviSoraya
Münir-ViviSoraya wrote
Erkan I read the Animal Farm when I was 16 and it really changed my views on certain things.
Great choice!
Emmoos I love The Catcher in the Rye, Holden is once of the best-written characters ever.
Now I wish we were all in a coffee shop talking about books!lol..
Hehehe Munir yes indeed! Nothing is better than discussing books while having coffee! Yes I agree, I read the Catcher in the Rye when I was a kid and I totally identified with Holden's lost personality. I love good literature that speaks to you, especially deep literature that can actually show you the way out. There is nothing better in life than identifiying with a book (while having some marron glace LOL) Such a yummi experience!
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Re: Booktique

Emmoos-Kerimaholic no.2
In reply to this post by VURAngeL
Wow nice Angel! I can see that my amazon wish list is expanding thanks to you guys

The book that you recommended reminded me of a book not very similar but along the lines by Herman Hesse called siddhartha




Unlike an Australian going to India and mixing with the people in the slums, this book is the story of a spiritual Budhist journey which is very interesting. Even though I did not really identify with the narrator but I found the journey itself fascinating in the sense that it shows you exactly the phases of life! It is so amazing to look at a life unfolding in front of few in such a detailed manner in less than 200 pages! So maybe you should give this one a go if you haven't read it yet!
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Re: Booktique

VURAngeL
i have been reading a bit about it and It sounds great!
There's apparently even a 1970's film adaptation.
as someone who has undergone a spiritual journey
which lead through dramatic changes
(except while inthis forum where I succumb to peer pressure
from the hellers )
I think I will find it to be very interesting.