Saturday, February 09, 2008

2K7RL, Part III

The Reading List is back!

11. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress- Dai SiJie
I received this book as a gift (thanks, Colleen!). A bittersweet story told from the perspective of a cultured city youth who is sent to the countryside to be “re-educated” by the noble peasantry and hard labour. His real education comes in the dual forms of a secret box of Western novels and the young lady of the title.

When I was a university student I read a couple of first-hand accounts of the Cultural Revolution (one of which, “Born Red,” was also a gift from Colleen), neither of which was in any way sentimental. Rather, they were personal stories of mass insanity and human tragedy.

12. Murakami Haruki Yellow Pages (1)- Kato Norihiro
Kato, University prof and Murakami freak, has employed countless students and hours in this impressive effort to dissect Haruki’s first four full length works: Hear the Sound of the Wind; 1973 Pinball; A Wild Sheep Chase; and The End of the World and Hard-boiled Wonderland. I don't know if this is available in English, but if it is and you love Murakami as I do. then buy this book.

13. In Spite of the Gods (The Strange Rise of Modern India)- Edward Luce
Luce, former India correspondent to the Financial Times, writes about India from a great insider-outsider perspective. He’s married to an Indian woman and has a clear affection for his subject, yet his ultimate status as outsider gives him an objectivity that would be difficult for a native. I’m still getting a lot of milage out of the amazing facts I picked up in this book.

14. The Idea of India- Sunil Khilnani
I first read this when the book was published back around 2000. I was at that time, unfortunately, too ignorant of modern Indian to appreciate it. This is definitely a book for people who already possess a fair degree of knowledge regarding Indian political history.

15. Enduring Love- Ian McEwan
Right from the opening line, McEwan’s status as a master craftsman is evident. The novel begins with a tragedy, and slowly builds With a work like this under his belt, how Amsterdam ever won the Booker Prize is really beyond me. Almost as good as Atonement (which, btw, is an excellent book club-book.)


Blogger jain said...

Well, as you know, I could NOT get into Atonement but I hear the movie's good. I lent the book to a friend and I told her if she read it I would try it again.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Sheila said...

I'm currently reading Vernon God Little, another Booker Prize recipient. It's told in the voice of a 15 year old kid in small town Texas, narrating the events following a high school shooting. It's great tragio-comedy.

11:43 PM  

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