Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reading is like living a double life

I love to read. Most of my middle school and high school summers I spent under an apple tree on an old coat (serving as a mat) in my grandma's garden. I actually don't read, I "watch" what happens with the main characters in the books. "Watching" is possible if the book is well written, of course.
Here are the latest of my "second life" journeys:

1) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand - I have been reading it almost constantly since last September and just finished it - the slowest read of my life, but also, one of the most mind-opening, thought provoking, implacable in language, full of discoveries. About life, goals, happiness and love. Simply one of the best books I ever read.
2) Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - I always thought that it would be very interesting to travel in time, but after I watching "Back to the Future" I realized that we could alter our present if we do something in the past. The author of this book explores a different idea: what if nothing can be changed in the past or future, and you can only watch what happens, you don't have the control over "when" you are traveling: how are you supposed to live your live, have a family when you are time traveling?... Interesting!

3) Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee - a story about a foreigner fitting into American culture, Wall Street and figuring out how much of her own Korean culture she should really reject and how much IS she really different from her family. The storyline is not that twisted, but if not for life's wisdom, this book is a good read for its language and the way the story is presented. In the introduction of this book I read that the author is a fan of Russian classics and uses traditional to Russian literature way of unveiling the story - in each scene the reader learns about his and hers feelings and thoughts. No wonder I liked the book so much!

4) Anna Gavalda's "I wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere", "Someone I loved" and "35 kilos of hope" - this new french author's creations remind me the ones from my favorite Russian author Victoria Tokareva - simple truth of life through the finest lace of the language.

What are yours latest best reads?


Vitaliy Prokopets said...

I would love to read Atlas Shrugged. Philosophy can be exciting to read, especially in a form of a novel. Although objectivism is not a philosophy of life that I adhere to, I think it would be interesting to see how it plays out in the reality of the characters. Thanks for the recommendation!

Elena said...

You are very welcome, Vitaliy! I must say that even this book is supposed to be based on objectivism, I really can not say that there was much about it there. To me this novel was really about what should be valued in life, how the real love feels and what kind of moral principles are real. Truly haven't read anything that reach in language and meaning in a long time.