I blog only about books I adore. (I wrote about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Shatter Me, although they didn’t agree with me. But, I want to believe that I was not too harsh, because I asked my furry friends to give me a hand.) So, yes, I blog only about books I adore. I gush about them, abuse nice adjectives, shove the books under your nose, and almost arm-twist you into picking up the books.
Sometimes, I read brilliant books, and for reasons that I cannot fathom, I do not write about them. I read Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth, Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter, and Jodi Picoult’s Harvesting the Heart last year. I highlighted myriad passages, I still quote them during discussions, and awarded many, many stars on Goodreads. However, I could not bring myself to gather, and pin down my thoughts. While the logic seems elusive, I thought I should not dish out that treatment to the wonderful books, which one of my friends recommended this month. I am going to try writing a couple of lines.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir:
My blog on Shatter Me made my friend recommend An Ember in the Ashes. She said she loved it, because it let her escape into an another world. I couldn’t say anything better after I read the book. The plot is compelling, the characters are memorable, the story is beautiful, and the dialogues are soulful. There is a sequel, and I look forward to reading it. It is safe to say that if one misses Harry Potter books, Tahir’s can fill the gap. Also, I want to be brave enough, and confess that I found An Ember in the Ashes deeper than Harry Potter. Ouch, did I just say that?
“You’ll never forget them, not even after years. But one day, you’ll go a whole minute without feeling the pain. Then an hour. A day. That’s all you can ask for, really.” His voice drops. “You’ll heal, I promise.”
“Fear can be good, Laia. It can keep you alive. But don’t let it control you. Don’t let it sow doubts within you. When the fear takes over, use the only thing more powerful, more indestructible to fight it: your spirit. Your heart.”
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng:
As soon as I learn that one reads, one of the first questions I pose is, “Are you on Goodreads?” I draw immense pleasure from looking at the shelves, and adding a hundred more to my TBR. When I browsed this friend’s shelf, I found quite a few interesting books. I ordered Everything I Never Told You, Room, and To Sir, With Love without paying a second thought.
Celeste’s book is a gem. It took a while for me to get warmed up to it, but after I invested enough time, I wanted to live with it. This is an important book, and I am glad I chose to read it. Almost every theme that Celeste explored is still relevant. Also, I loved, loved, loved Celeste’s writing, and her impressive eye for details.
“The things that go unsaid are often the things that eat at you — whether because you didn’t get to have your say, or because the other person never got to hear you and really wanted to.”
“It would disappear forever from her memory of Lydia, the way memories of a lost loved one always smooth and simplify themselves, shedding complexities like scales.”
Outline by Rachel Cusk:
I am grateful to friends, who recommend books like Outline. I am more grateful to friends, who recommend books like Outline, and make time to deliver “mini literature classes.” (I heart you, SM!) This novel was everything I wanted to read. The book spoke to me. Will you forgive me if I employ a cliche here? The book spoke to me… like literally. Outline is about everything that we often discuss. Love, loss, friendship, relationships, marriage, identity, values, writing, success, failure… To grasp the finer aspects, and meditate more, I want to read this book again. I also intend to read Cusk’s memoir Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation.
“What Ryan had learned from this is that your failures keep returning to you, while your successes are something you always have to convince yourself of.”
“As it happened, I was no longer interested in literature as a form of snobbery or even self-definition. I had no desire to prove that one book was better than another; in fact, if I read something I admired, I found myself increasingly disinclined to mention it at all. What I knew personally to be true had come to seem unrelated to the process of persuading others. I did not, any longer, want to persuade anyone of anything.”
“It was impossible, I said in response to his question, to give the reasons why the marriage had ended: among other things a marriage is a system of belief, a story, and though it manifests itself in things that are real enough, the impulse that drives it is ultimately mysterious. What was real, in the end, was the loss of the house, which had become the geographical location for things that had gone absent and which represented, I supposed, the hope that they might one day return. To move from the house was to declare, in a way, that we had stopped waiting.”
What kind of books do you read secretly? I would love to know. 🙂