I have been thinking of doing this book review for quite sometime now. I opened this section specifically for this reason. As an avid reader, I figured I could share some of the books that made me laugh, ponder on life, learn something new, and so forth. Clearly, I have been slacking on this aspect but better late than never. It’s been said that book lovers never go to bed alone. I can’t tell you the number of times I have woken up with a book strewn carelessly next to me, or somewhere on the floor. I love books, especially books that make me laugh or cry, or do both simultaneously. Listen! I can make a case for books that would appeal to any unsmiling, stone-faced jury and I am confident I would win my case. No hung jury here. Lately, I have been doing my reading on the subway. That’s the best time for me to catch up on my reads during that 30 minute commute. Without further ado, go ahead and save these books on your amazon wish list, or jot it down and take it with you on your next Barnes and Noble stop.
THE DEFINING DECADE (Why your Twenties Matter and how to make the most of them now)
By Meg Jay PhD
I found this book through a Ted Talk by the same author a couple of years ago. We were having a conversation on how our twenties matter and so forth because most of the time, if you are in your twenties and want to work on something, what you tend to hear is, there’s no rush, you have all the time in the world. Truth be told, what you do in your twenties will play a huge role in your later years. So I watched the Ted Talk, loved it!! Bought the book later and absolutely loved it. I definitely recommend this book especially if you are in your twenties trying to figure a few things out. She offers sound advice and explain in details how someone struggling
THE BOOK THIEF By Markus zusak
When a movie comes out based on a book, I usually find myself drawn to the book first because Hollywood has a way of editing someone great details. Plus, I at times think that my imagination is much better. The book thief is one of those movies I watched on a whim. I had stopped by a Redbox, and grabbed it. I was drawn to the story of the little girl, in Nazi Germany who liked books. The fact that she stole books made me want to know more. The movie was beautiful. Later this year, I was reading Biko Zulu’s blog and happened to stumble on his review of the book. I am a huge fan of Biko, his writing is impeccable plus he has a way of putting words so eloquently if he was an artist, he would be a modern day picasso. Long story short, I saw his review, and walked out with it on a random Barnes and Noble store.
I have one word to say about this book. Phenomenal!
I ate it up as if it was a whole bag of chocolate covered raisinets. The book is penned by Markus Zusak, an Australian author who tells an unforgettable story of a nine-year old girl Liesel Meminger, living in Germany during the second world war. Liesel’s brother dies, she steals a book, her mother gives her up for adoption because she is not able to provide for her. Consequently, she moves to a small town in Germany called Molching where she is exposed to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Torn from everything she knows, her adopted father, discovers her love for the written word, then secretly teaches her how to read and write in the basement. Then there is the young man, a Jew, whom they hide in the basement. It’s hard to review a book which is so beautiful written. I have read many books, but I can tell you the few times I have finished reading a book, then immediately started from the beginning. This book right here, is it!
It is astounding, wonderful, vivid, doleful, and beautiful. A story about friendship and loss. It will make your heart sing, it will crawl under your skin, unknowingly might I add. You will ponder on it. You will read someone sentences, then re read them in as much as you want to go on to the next paragraph. It will leave your soul shaken to the core, something the movie sadly couldn't do for me. The narrator of the story is, wait for it… DEATH
I was moved to tears and at times laughter. I highly recommend it.
I also found out that the book is based on the story of the author’s grandmother.
This was my first ready by Markus, I have another of his books on my wishlist. I AM THE MESSENGER. New fan!!
KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL By Anthony Bourdain
I have a crush on Anthony Bourdain! There you have it. My secret is out. This is a very biased book review because I like the man already not only does he travel the world eating his way, he also has one of those personalities that I absolutely love. He calls it as it is. No holds barred with Tony. See how we are first name basis! It’s that serious! And he is a chef. A man who creates culinary delights. What’s not to love!? I had been watching No Reservations and picked up on Parts Unknown when it started airing on CNN. Thanks to Netflix, I can watch reruns to my heart's content. Kitchen Confidential is a memoir where he dishes out the good, the bad, and the really ugly about the restaurant world. Bourdain can not only cook, but he can write is ass off!. I learnt a lot about what goes behind the scenes and what why you need to avoid fish on Monday’s. A really hilarious and entertaining tell all.
THE POWER OF HABIT
I am always fascinated with people who used to do one thing, then completely stop and are doing something totally different. For example, a guy who used to take a smoke break every 30 minutes stopped smoking, changed his life and is now running marathons. The same goes for people who lose weight and dramatically change their lifestyle. What happens and what makes this person stick to his routine? The author, Charles Duhigg makes a case on how people can identify the patterns in their lives and how to change them. He gives examples and concepts of people and businesses that were able to change their habits and become more successful and on a business standpoint, profitable. Another interesting read!
TUESDAY’S WITH MORRIE by Mitch Albom
I glimpsed this book at work, on someone’s desk at work. I din’t think much about it until I stopped at Barnes and Noble later that day. Truth be told, being in New York, I tend to frequent that store often, I usually feel like I am visiting a friend who has something new to teach me. So I am slowly perusing a table full of best selling paperbacks and there surrounded by other big selling names is this tiny eggshell book in red letters staring at me. It can't be a coincidence. I pick it up to figure out what this Morrie guy wants with me. I add the book to the stack of books and magazines I am holding on my arm. I take the escalators up the second floor and find a quiet spot to enjoy my reads. I figure I should start with the tiny book then work on the rest.
I read the first the first few words, turn a page and by the second chapter I already know I have found a gem. I never got to the magazines.
The story is based on the relationship between a teacher and a student. The teacher Morrie is diagnosed with ALS and has just a few months to live. The student who had graduated and somewhat lost contact with his teacher reconnects with the teacher after seeing a Nightline show. He then decides to pay him a visit which turns into regular visits - on Tuesday’s - where the author, Mitch,learns the greatest lessons. This is a powerful book. It’s the first book that comes to mind when someone asks me to recommend a book. It was particularly depressing at times, reading of someone who was about to die, but Morrie’s positive and upbeat personality stayed with him until the end. I kept thinking of the doctor I worked for and his final stages while reading this book. At an age where society dictates everything and consumerism is at an all time high. This books makes you take a step back and appreciate life in general. The story is beautiful, heartfelt and poignant. I give it all the stars I have.
What books are you currently reading?