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Anne Lamott: Traveling Mercies

My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another. Like lily pad, round and green, these places summoned and then held me up while I grew. Each prepared me for the next leaf on which I would land, in … Continue reading

My Book Towers are demolished (in a good way)

The truth is this, when I moved to my current place in January 2009 I pretty much spent a year before, selling out my Textbooks and books that I don’t want to keep. By then I was quite chuffed that I have kept book hoarding to a minimum, and my books were half of that … Continue reading

Nicole Krauss: The History of Love

“I often wonder who will be the last person to see me alive. If I had to bet, I’d bet on the delivery boy from the Chinese take-out. I order in four nights out of seven. Whenever he comes I make a big production of finding my wallet. He stands in the door holding the … Continue reading

Milan Kundera: Identity

Milan Kundera is up there on my favourite author list with his The Unbearable Lightness of Being. When I saw “Identity” on the library shelf, it takes a superhuman’s willpower not to resist the temptation to pick this one up. It is only 152 pages and because I wish to explore the depth of the novel, … Continue reading

Anne Enright: The Gathering

The novel traces the narrator’s inner journey, setting out to derive meaning from past and present events, and takes place in Ireland and England. Its title refers to the funeral of Liam Hegarty, an alcoholic who committed suicide in the sea at Brighton. His mother and eight of the nine surviving Hegarty children gather in … Continue reading

Banana Yoshimoto: Asleep

Picking up Yoshimoto’s novel to read is like a quick bite. Like a Mars bar or a Snicker bar. It gets chewed on very quickly, you will probably like it and then you crave for the next one, but they will never fill you up or make you think about the last wonderful meal you … Continue reading

The Weight and the Weightlessness

As summer is drawing to a close, I felt a sudden weight on my shoulder thinking about the months ahead of wintery cold and perhaps snow, and the weight that I have to carry by wearing more layers of clothing and reflecting about another year drawing to an end. Hence, I’m combining two novellas reviews … Continue reading

The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif

Ahdaf Soueif’s The Map of Love is a family saga, a story that draws its readers into two different eras in the complex, troubled history of modern Egypt. The story begins in 1997 in New York. There Isabel Parkman discovers an old trunk full of documents, some in English, some in Arabic, in her dying … Continue reading

Changeling by Kenzaburo Oe

Changeling is published in the USA 3 months earlier than UK. As you can see, the cover of the UK edition is beautiful, with sort of transfer sheet for baking with dotted yellow flowers as outer flap and the vertical title, a typical layout of the kanji characters seen in far eastern novels (In the background … Continue reading

After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Opening paragraph: Eyes mark the shape of the city. Through the eyes of a high-flying night bird, we take in the scene from midair. In our broad sweep, the city looks like a single gigantic creature –or more like a single collective entity created by many intertwining organisms. Countless arteries stretch to the ends of … Continue reading

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Mockingjay
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City


JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)