Reading Tips for September

1 Sep

Wehey, happy first of September everyone 😀 It’s slowly starting to turn into autumn, and I got the urge to share some reading tips. I absolutely love reading, and it’s extra cosy to curl up with a nice book now that the evenings are getting darker and the weather isn’t always that great anymore (although it’s quite nice and sunny here at the moment).

At the moment I’m rereading the A Song of Ice and Fire-series, and after that I’m planning to start the new Khaled Hosseini novel, And the Mountains Echoed, which I’m really looking forward to! I loved his two previous books, so I have big expectations for this one. But back to my tips, these are some of the books I have read recently and enjoyed, and that I recommend to all of you 🙂

The Bastard of IstanbulThe Bastard of Istanbul – Elif Shafak

Amazon says:
Populated with vibrant characters, The Bastard of Istanbul is the story of two families, one Turkish and one Armenian American, and their struggle to forge their unique identities against the backdrop of Turkey’s violent history. Filled with humor and understanding, this exuberant, dramatic novel is about memory and forgetting, about the tension between the need to examine the past and the desire to erase it.

My opinion:
What I really enjoyed about this book was the many diverse characters, they were all so different and interesting to read about. The interaction between them all is very well written, and since their personalities are so varied their stories never get boring or monotone. This is a very character driven novel, the story itself is not so unique and special, but that doesn’t matter. There are also many beautiful descriptions, and the reader also learns quite a bit about Turkish and Armenian history, while also following family life different places in the US and in Istanbul, the latter is where most of the story takes it’s place.

Something I also really apprectiated about this novel was how it balanced the realistic and believable, which always kept it entertaining.

Secret DaughterSecret Daughter – Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Booklist says:
In her engaging debut, Gowda weaves together two compelling stories. In India in 1984, destitute Kavita secretly carries her newborn daughter to an orphanage, knowing her husband, Jasu, would do away with the baby just as he had with their firstborn daughter. In their social stratum, girls are considered worthless because they can’t perform physical labor, and their dowries are exorbitant. That same year in San Francisco, two doctors, Somer and Krishnan, she from San Diego, he from Bombay, suffer their second miscarriage and consider adoption. They adopt Asha, a 10-month-old Indian girl from a Bombay orphanage. Yes, it’s Kavita’s daughter.

My opinion:
I really loved this book! It’s a very light read, with such an engaging story and believable characters. I felt that I was with them in India when I was reading this book, it’s descriptions about a varied and huge culture are so good, while it also feels like a realistic portrayal, showing all sides of a society, nothing is black and white.

A big theme in this novel is the relationship between parents and children, and I think the author does a great job portraying many complex feelings when it comes to losing a child, longing, love, complicated family relations, identity and similar themes.

One thing that disappointed me just a bit was that the language tended to be a bit repetitive, there wasn’t much variety, although I have a suspicion that the fault could lie in the Norwegian translation. I might read it again in English to see if I’m correct 😉

The Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

Amazon says:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

My opinion:
This book is so sweet! And I do not mean overly sweet or cliché, which I do not think it is at all. A lot of it’s sweetness comes from the main character, Charlie, and in the way he tells his story through his quite unique point of view. There are several sad and provocative moments throughout the book, men hope is always shining through, which resulted me being in a really good mood when I finished reading, in spite of some depressing revelations.

In many ways this is a typical coming-of-age novel, about the young people on the outside finding friendship, discovering yourself and try new things, but there is such a warmth in this novel which really separated it from the rest, in my opinion. It’s a really nice read, even if you’re quite a bit older than the characters in the book.

31 songs31 Songs – Nick Hornby

Amazon says:
“All I have to say about these songs is that I love them, and want to sing along to them, and force other people to listen to them, and get cross when these other people don’t like them as much as I do”—Nick Hornby

Songs, songwriters, and why and how they get under our skin…31 Songs is Nick Hornby’s labor of love. A shrewd, funny, and completely unique collection of musings on pop music, why it’s good, what makes us listen and love it, and the ways in which it attaches itself to our lives—all with the beat of a perfectly mastered mix tape.

My opinion:
Lastly, I’d like to recommend some non-fiction, this is more like a list in book form, by one of my favorite writers; Nick Hornby. This is a book that’s great to have lying around (put it in the bathroom 😉 ), to just pick up and read a bit at the time, and you don’t have to do it front to back.

The reason I like this so much is simply because I love and care so much about music, and I find it interesting to read what Hornby writes about his relationship with these 31 carefully selected songs, and it makes me think about which tunes have been especially important in my own life. And furthermore he has great taste, so I was quite inspired by looking at his list.

Nick Horny has a very witty writing style, so even though there’s no real story to follow here, it’s absolutely interesting and entertaining reading.

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