Monday, June 20

Books I love... by Jean

Written by Jean

1. The life of Pi - by Yann Martel

I can’t believe I was ever reluctant to read this book. It is quite possibly one of the best I’ve read.

Let me start by saying the writing is superb, each image perfectly formed by the literary genius that is Yann Martel. More than that, the story line is magical. We follow the journey of 16-year-old Pi and his zookeeping family as they emigrate from India to Canada. Only they never arrive. Instead, an edge-of-seat adventure begins when the boat sinks, leaving Pi to face nature, to learn what it means to be human, to discover what it means to have faith. A dichotomous relationship is formed with a seasick Tiger named Richard Parker, who stays with Pi throughout the journey. Although mystical, Life of Pi leaves you with insight into things that are very real, forcing you to question your own beliefs and the purpose of it all.

2. One Day - by David Nicholls

It's one of those books that people either love or hate. And I love it. I don't want to give too much away but must say that David Nicholls has created a Modern classic.

One Day is not your average love story, it's no "Love in the Time of Cholera", instead it offers an honest look at the relationship between Emma and Dexter, its key protagonists. The book covers the same day for 20 years, and we watch as the two struggle to understand their feelings for each other. They seem to live in parallel worlds, but Nicholls writes in a way that makes you eagerly await the intersections. The characters are rich and the writing, although at times humorous, has a sad undertone. One Day is about fate, compromise and loneliness. And it's beautiful. Truly beautiful.

3. Like Water for Chocolate - by Laura Esquivel

Many of you may have read this one because it came out ages ago, but I have recently re-read it and re-fallen in love with it.

A book for all the romantics out there, Like Water for Chocolate will win you over. It’s about all things hedonistic, written like you’re hearing it from an old friend. Each section begins with a Mexican recipe, followed by the happenings on a Mexican ranch. Mama Elena rules the lives of her three daughters, and Tita, her youngest is forbidden to marry the man of her dreams. She begins to cook and transfers all her emotions onto her dishes. This in turn, affects anyone who eats the dishes. This book is totally addictive, and very easy to read. A definite YES if you haven’t read it already.

4. The Year of Magical Thinking - by Joan Didion

This is probably the most ‘serious’ of the lot. But such a wonderful read. Joan Didion writes about the grief of losing her husband, which if you have ever lost someone, will affect you profoundly. She writes intelligently with special consideration placed on style throughout.

I was not fully aware of the grieving process before reading this book. It opens with the death of her husband (John) and begins to rehash the past, their relationship, the birth of their daughter, the little things she took for granted and didn’t. It’s also not as sad as you think, in fact Joan discovers things about their relationship through death that she wouldn’t have in life. It’s worthy of the awards. Beautiful book.

Please note: "Books I love..." is a new series. Each week an awesome, book-loving lady will share a few of her favourite books with us.

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