While the notion of a bookclub might bring to mind a room of old ladies swapping, sharing and telling each other of the latest books they read, and while I don’t consider myself (that) old, the idea becomes more and more appealing as time goes by. I love to read. I loved at school how during “Library” period the librarian would always recommend a handful of books. I usually read by recommendation, which is fine by me.
Yet an actual book club can get difficult to manage and organise. Herein comes Kirst with the idea of a digital bookclub. The concept is simple. At the end of the month review any book(s) you’ve read, and share the love. A list will be compiled that can go around. It’s pretty wonderful.
So here is what I’ve been reading:
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
I devoured this book. I’ve been recommended to read this on a number of occasions by many different people, and it’s really not something you should put off reading any longer.
Written by the same author of The Kite Runner, it was incredible. I’m not going to give too much away in this, because you need to read this yourself.The story spans a period of 50 or so years, and centres around the stories of Mariam and Laila, and their growing relationship
Initially we meet Mariam, a young girl of her servant mother and her wealthy father. Because she is born out of wedlock, she cannot live with her father and his other wives and children. This alone brings up many complications in her life, her surroundings and her upbringings. Non-the-less, he visits her every week, and they continue a relationship, much to her mother’s wariness. Tragedy strikes her little world, very quickly leading her into a forced marriage with Rasheed.
Next we meet Laila on the night of her birth. We meet Tariq, and their fun, loving and also tragic friendship. We witness Laila’s horrifying childhood in Kabul. The story goes into the history of the time, war, and ho it affected society. Eventually we learn how these two women, of completely separate ages, lifestyles, and ubringings come together to develop such an interesting and intricate way. You’ll love it.
It’s one of those books where so many outrageous things happen, that if it were anything else, or written any worse, it would seem like badly written fan-fiction. But it’s not, at all. And everything comes together so brilliantly despite so much tragedy and heartache. The story involves love: on so many levels. Father and daughter. Mother and child. Romantic love. Marriages with no love. And the complicated yet so beautiful relationships between Mariam and Laila.
I might be a little late to the party on this one, but I think it’s hit my #1 spot, shared by The Time Traveller’s Wife.
Percy Jackson, The Sea of Monstors – Rick Riordan
I’m a big fan of books that get turned into movies, usually it means the book is pretty incredible. I’ll be honest, Greg and I are huge fans of the Percy Jackson movies, so when I saw the box set on sale, I bought it for us. I’ve really always loved Greek Mythology. This is the second book in the series, I read the first a few years ago before the first movie came out and I’m currently reading the 3rd. I definitely think it’s harder to read a book where you know the narrative, though. You lose the “page-turner” element of it.
So, after some Monster drama (including some explosions in the school gym), Percy escapes school with his friend Tyson (who later turns out to be his half brother, and a cyclops). Anyway, terrible things are happening back at Camp Half Blood. Thalia’s tree (Thalia, the daughter of Zeus was turned into a tree years ago, to protect her soul from going to the underworld when she died. This tree now protects the camp) has been poisoned and only the Golden Fleece (which is protected by a giant cyclops) can cure.
Percy then embarks on a quest (even though Clarisse, another camper, is officially on the quest) to the Sea of Monstors, in the Bermuda Triangle to save Grover and capture the Golden Fleece. The cyclops protecting the Fleece has trouble seeing through his eye, and seems to believe Grover is his bride-to-be. It’s a humourous touch.
Along the way they come across some ships, an island spa (where Percy gets turned into a guinea pig, because apparently that what men “really” are), they pass the Siren where Annabeth asks Percy to tie her to the ship so she can hear their song (which tells the listenevr their deepest desires) and they also find Luke, the bad guy from the last book, who’s trying to destroy Camp Halfblood and the Olympians. Eventually, they capture the Golden Fleece and save Thalia’s tree, and as a result, camp halfblood.
The end was my favourite, just like it was in the movie, but it wasn’t as drama filled. But – the book did offer more insight into the goings-on that the movie did. It was a pretty exciting lead up to the next book, which I’m rather enjoying. I hate to say it, but it just wasn’t as exciting as the movie.
It’s been a bit of a mix. I really hope to read a bit faster, more so that I don’t forget what books are about halfway through reading them. I’ve struggled finding books I like recently, I’ve been starting books, not finishing them and putting them on hold. Currently have about 3 of those. I need more time for reading. Hopefully this will help.
Happy reading, guys.
Have you read anything great recently? I’m always looking for new books.