have finally made a start on the book reviews, with a handful of my favourite new and classic titles below. Don’t forget to volunteer via the guestbook or email if you want to take part!
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
An amazing book loved by women all over the world, a best seller by word of mouth. The story of Dinah, a woman barely mentioned in the Book of Genesis, it is a beautifully told tale of the time, and a testament to the remarkable women in our past who were often left out of the history books. Unforgettable.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
This was recommended to me by Orlando’s 12-year-old god-daughter Lalah. Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down, but at the same time wanted to read very slowly so that it would not end. A story told by a dead girl who was killed violently is expected to be gruesome or macabre but it is quite the opposite. I would suspect that this book would bring hope and comfort to anybody who has lost a loved one. I was certainly touched by it, and it even made me re-visit my views on the afterlife.
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
What a wonderful book. This is a lovely story of a young Indian boy, Pi, who finds himself shipwrecked with a variety of zoo animals. The tale is gripping throughout, with stories of how he survives each threat, but the twist at the end makes you want to literally turn straight to page one and start reading all over again! It is a book to be enjoyed at so many levels, simply written with a positive message for everybody.
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
This is probably the best book I’ve ever read, and certainly my favourite. With all the furore surrounding this book when it came out, I was put off, but several years later travelling through Mexico I was tempted to pick it up. I couldn’t put it down. I was unprepared for the fact that it was a funny book, a comical story of Gibreel and Saladin who spend the first 40 or so pages having a conversation whilst falling through the sky from a plane crash.
I definitely identified the point at which Rushdie incurred the wrath of the Ayatollah, but instead of horrific blasphemy I saw a committed Muslim poking fun at a religion he loves – something I can identify with having been brought up a Catholic. This book was the start of a long love affair with Rushdie’s writing; I have now read everything he has written and await each new book with enthusiasm.
Can’t recommend it highly enough!
Live from Golgotha by Gore Vidal
Imagine what would happen if TV executives discover the secrets of time travel, and decide to go back in time to do a live TV broadcast of the crucifixion…. This is Gore Vidal at his satirical and hilarious best, and a book that anyone with views on organised religion is bound to find gripping. Throwing curve balls into the story like how the marketers are going to deal with the difficult issue of an overweight Jesus on TV, and the ability to communicate by fax machine with St. Paul, makes the story even more complicated and difficult to follow. But my suggestion is just go with it – it’s high entertainment!