Sunday, November 21, 2010

Woulda Tell Me a Story?

I’ve just finished reading Somerset Maugham’s magnificent novel The Painted Veil. It had all the elements that I love: character depth and raw emotions that literally made me want to go back home, curl up on the couch and continue devouring the story. But it’s strange that I came across this book; I curiously picked it up at a bookstore abroad after staying in a room the English author had resided in years ago. Another book that I occasionally voice my admiration for is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, a book that was given to me by a friend who was clearing out the clutter in her room. The 920-page book was close to impossible to finish but the intriguing story had the perfect amount of grit, humor, horror and humanity.

I’ve always found myself on some sort of quest for a “good book” I can sink my teeth into; when I told a close friend of mine about my dilemma of not having a solid guide for my reading needs, she cheerfully suggested I read Heather O’Neill’s Lullabies for Little Criminals, “It’s wonderful!” Well I read it and here’s my review: It stinks. Don’t read it. If you’ve bought it, then put on your economical hat and use it as TP. The whole sad story is about a twelve-year old Canadian girl who lives with her dad whose also a 20-something heroin addict. The girl eventually becomes a drug addict herself and a prostitute as well. I don’t mind depressing stories but this book was pure misery. So was Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed, the highly anticipated sequel of her successful Eat. Love. Pray. I’ll just say this: Committed is the only book that I have deliberately left behind on the plane after I finished reading it during my travels this summer. It had the same pointlessness as the movie “Eat. Pray. Love” or as I called it, Eat. Pray. Barf.

I think it’s obvious that I won’t ever purchase a book from with a title like How to Become a Productive Person in 10 Days. I buy books that have a story I can get lost in, a good one with great characters that make me think of them as real, living people and writing that makes me wince, tear up or laugh out loud. Something heavier than a beach read a la The Kite Runner; I wouldn’t call that a good book. Maybe it’s a nice and sweet one like Radisson SAS’ chocolate mousse; however, the mousse is more memorable.

Based on the above, what books have you read (or are reading) that would you recommend?

MP3’s for your ears…

Ella Fitzgerald - Sentimental Journey

Frank Sinatra - It Never Entered My Mind

Pat Boone - All I Do is Dream of You

Elvis Presley - Love Me Tender

at 8:30 AM


  1. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 1:58 AM  
    last time a read a book/story was 3 years ago !

    i simple dont have any time left to read anything. the only reading material i consume right now are study material (case studies and journals) what ever remaining spare time i have i usually waste on tv/internet (fast, compact, stuffed with subliminal advertisement media and information :<). i have in front of me right now 15 books which i have yet to read. i dont know when i will start. :c

    there is one book in my mind right now that i have enjoyed reading. like you said: you start reading and cannot stop till you devour the book completely. it is called 'life of pi' by yann mertel. i hope you like it
  2. Blogger Debee posted at 2:53 PM  
    You should read Junot Diaz's 'The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao' The author has a wonderfully fresh and entertaining style of writing!
  3. Blogger Erzulie posted at 1:16 PM  
    q80thug: read shantaram, i think you'd enjoy it :>

    debee: i'm going to order it right now from amazon. read the review and it sounds great, thank you for the suggestion!
  4. Blogger MBH posted at 6:47 AM  
    This may seem odd, but you should read Alf Laila & Laila (1001 nights). The beauty of it is that there's a certain recursion model to some stories where you get sucked into multiple levels deep before surfacing again, yet the stories are widely different and intriguing.

    It's something to read when bored & not as main material, if you had read it before.

    Since you buy from Amazon, do you get printed books or electronic ones (for the Kindle)?
  5. Anonymous Dioscuri posted at 3:30 AM  
    "A Game of Thrones"

    Nothing compares.
  6. Blogger Erzulie posted at 3:34 AM  
    dioscuri: thank you!
  7. Blogger MBH posted at 7:04 AM  
    This is odd & fun:
  8. Blogger 1001Nights posted at 1:38 AM  
    Missed your blog! I finished reading ROOM recently which I think was nominated for a Booker Prize and after that I read The Help. Both of them were excellent and skillfully written but in entirely different ways. ROOM is written from the viewpoint of a 5-year old who's been living in a room since he was born with his mom. His mom had been raped and kidnapped repeatedly and his father is the kidnapper. The other book, The Help, is beautifully written and I loved the use of metaphors there I mean Erzi u have to read it some of the tashbeehat are incredibly witty. OO salamtich. If you do read them let me know whatchya think.
  9. Blogger 1001Nights posted at 1:44 AM  
    Sorry small correction, ROOM's author didn't win the prize but was shortlisted.
  10. Blogger Erzulie posted at 9:43 AM  
    MBH: sounds like a neat read although i'm not into the whole vampire thing :I

    1001: allah! hello my 1001! ok so ROOM sounds...serious and depressing? is it? i feel that that's a stupid question; a 5-year-old kid who lives with his mom who gets raped and kidnapped. i think that's the definition of depressing. inzain, and The Help. yes that sounds nice :) i think i'm going to order both and see how it goes :)

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