[Book of the Month] Shantaram

MbM_BookOfTheMonth_Feb-2014The weekend is finally here folks! I hope you all have a fantastic one whatever your plans.

So one of the books I downloaded earlier in the week when discovering the kindle app, was Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, which I had in fact started last year whilst away on a rural retreat in Wales but never got round to finishing it. I’ve chosen it to be my book for the month of February – only appropriate seeing as we’re heading to India soon.

In a nutshell, it’s about an Australian convict who flees to India (much of the story is stemmed from real events that occurred to the author himself) and the book is commended for its vivid portrayal of the chaotic and turbulent underground life in Bombay where the male protagonist endures and experiences. It’s been a hit and miss for some readers so I’m determined to come up with my own verdict…..that is of course if I actually manage to finish the book this time! :)

So, what are you currently reading? xx

“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realised, somehow, through the screaming of my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn’t sound like much, I know. But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when it’s all you’ve got, that freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice you make between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.” ― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram

[Book of the Month] Hyperbole and a Half

MbM_Loves-Books_Jan-1One of my resolutions this year was to read more; actually I do read a lot but since taking on the PhD three years ago, 90% of my reading list is work-related and anything outside that would be accounted for only during holidays or while commuting – even that is limited! It’s the one thing I do love and have loved. It’s the one time I can completely loose myself into the depths of enthralling pieces of story-telling; the one time I can be transported from reality into another world (it always helps having an imaginative mind!). Quite sad really, that reading anything other than research material has to be ‘squeezed in’ which is why I’ve got to find a way to set aside time and read more. I did in fact sign up to a bloggers Book Club last autumn and failed miserably to attend the first few meet ups due to work commitments (and being away too!) so this year is a new start and my target is one book per month – it sounds pathetic I know but that’s what happens when you’re overworked with very little spare time to read!

So anyway, this month’s book is Hyperbole And a Half by Allie Brosh which was in fact selected as the book to read for the next Book Club meet-up. You may have already heard of it as it has taken by storm across the US and made its way over here, but if you haven’t I can honestly say it’s been a refreshingly good read. It’s witty, whimsical, satirical, and as the title in itself suggests, outrageously imaginative and delusional too! The book is a compilation of Allie’s popular webcomics you find on her blog (also titled the same) where she narrates the various events in her life through images she drew in paintbrush…..yep, Paintbrush! I have to hand it to her, although intentionally crude and child-like, her cartoons are pure genius and definitely adds to the hilarity of the stories.

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What I love most about the book, or her style of writing, is that it’s brutally honest (okay, it’s somewhat exaggerated in places but that’s just down to her wildly imaginative mind) and straightforwardness about her encounters, experiences and challenges in life, not to mention the way she over analyses and battles with her every thought that results in further mayhem……..something I can totally relate to! ;) The best rib-tickling stories for me were ‘God of Cake’, the introduction of the ‘Simple Dog’, ‘The Hot Sauce Debacle’ and ‘This is why I’ll never be an Adult’…..whether it’s because I’m able to share in most of her far-fetched ideologies, thoughts and insanity, I’m not sure but it definitely got me cracking up. So, while it may be more for the nerdy, creative and ludicrously imaginative type I would still urge you all to give her work a go as there’s bound to be something that will hit your funny bone! If you’re not sure about buying the book then definitely start by reading the stories over on her blog.

I probably would not have come across Allie Brosh’s work myself so I’m delighted that it was recommended by the bookclubbers…..can’t wait to catch up with them this weekend and hear everyone else’s thoughts on it. Happy Reading! xx

MbM_Loves-Books_Jan-5  [Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

PS. If you are a blogger in London or Edinburgh and fancy joining the Bloggers Book Club, you can find out all the details needed to sign up here.