Mar 18, 2014

Will you be able to pick just one?

One more time, we have a wonderful selection of books from which to pick. We can select just one, but make sure to swell your "to-read" list with all of them!

Send us your pick by Friday, and we will have a winner by next week.

Ghana Must Goby Taiye Selasi - sent by Jorge

Selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013 by the Wall Street Journal and The Economist, the book has been sold in 16 countries as of 2014.
 “Ghana Must Go” comes with a bagload of prepublication praise. For once, the brouhaha is well deserved. Ms Selasi has an eye for the perfect detail: a baby’s toenails “like dewdrops”, a woman sleeps “like a cocoyam. A thing without senses…unplugged from the world.” As a writer she has a keen sense of the baggage of childhood and an unforgettable voice on the page. Miss out on “Ghana Must Go” and you will miss one of the best new novels of the season.

Shantaramby Gregory David Roberts - sent by Rika
I'm choosing off my bookcase because I haven't been able to get copies of some of your titles.
Help me finish this book!

Crime and punishment, passion and loyalty, betrayal and redemption are only a few of the ingredients in Shantaram, a massive, over-the-top, mostly autobiographical novel. Shantaram is the name given Mr. Lindsay, or Linbaba, the larger-than-life hero. It means "man of God's peace," which is what the Indian people know of Lin. What they do not know is that prior to his arrival in Bombay he escaped from an Australian prison where he had begun serving a 19-year sentence. He served two years and leaped over the wall. He was imprisoned for a string of armed robberies peformed to support his heroin addiction, which started when his marriage fell apart and he lost custody of his daughter. All of that is enough for several lifetimes, but for Greg Roberts, that's only the beginning.
A 4.5 out of 5 stars book - Amazon reviews.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstressby Dai Sijie - sent by Arantxa M.

The tale takes place in China during the harsh days of the Cultural Revolution, when millions of young people were sent to the countryside for "reeducation." The two teenage boys in Sijie's novel fail to escape this fate, but lonely and frightened as they are in the rural mountain village to which they've been exiled, they find themselves transformed when they uncover a forbidden treasure trove: a suitcase filled with Western literary classics. Hugo, Stendhal, Dumas, Flaubert, Dickens, and especially Balzac become the boys' secret companions, firing their imaginations and giving their lives new meaning. The books become the motivation and the sweet reward for everything they do: They lead them into danger but also help them out of scrapes. And the books also become the vehicle by which one of the boys, Luo, woos a beautiful seamstress who lives on the other side of the mountain. Ultimately, the secret books become the catalyst for Sijie's provocative and unexpected ending.

The strange case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson - sent by Rocio H.

I see we don't pay much attention to horror in this club, so maybe, the time has come to read under the blankets!!!!

The young Robert Louis Stevenson suffered from repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day he worked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleys of old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produced a story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, so he promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote it again. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published as a "shilling shocker" in 1886, and became an instant classic. In the first six months, 40,000 copies were sold.

In True Blood, by Truman Capote - sent by Monica De la Paz

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

Mar 13, 2014

The African by Le Clezio

Hi cookiest,
I have enjoyed the book, but in different ways as I was advancing on its pages.
I find the first half of the book as a nostalgic description of the mostly nice memories the author has from his childhood in Nigeria. The manner how he describes that time of his life and the feelings he had to the land and people there made me remember my own chilhood in a place closer to Africa in several senses than many of the people I met as a child would admit now. This part is mostly about the boy and the view, through his candid eyes, of the world (the people, the animals, the landscapes) that was in front of him.
But then, almost suddenly, we start to learn about the African, about war, loneliness, the unfairness and unjustices of the colonialism and how all of them left a deep scar in the personality of the writer's father. That changed the life of the family too, and Le Clezio masterly uses the book to try to learn, to try to justify, to try to forgive his own father while at the same time criticizes the behaviour of the colonial powers and the greed of its people in Africa, the absurdity of the war and the everyday fight against death that we can still find in many developing countries. Instead of the child, we hear now the voice of the adult, the man trying to understand his father in an uncomprehensible world.
I find this book amazing because the author deals with all that social, psicological, antropological and even political complexity easily, in a quite short book, seemingly without any effort, as talking to a good friend while drinking a cup of tea. But the memories, the sentiments and the realities described are far from simple, far from easy to write about.
I think I will read more books that came out from your typewriter, monsieur Le Clezio.

Mar 2, 2014

The African, second half

In the second half of the book, we read a more intimate part of the story. Le Clezio talks about his father, his personality, his relationships with his children, with the people he works. He searches for the causes of what made his father an unhappy man, unable to show love for his children, and he blames the war. What else is there? Do you agree with this vision?