Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cockroach - Rawi Hage

I saw this book at the Winnipeg Airport and as soon as I saw who the author was I knew I had to have it. I had read the first novel by Rawi Hage called DeNiro’s Game when I was living in Turkey. I had borrowed it from a friend who said it was amazing – he was right. I started this one hoping it would be the same.

Amazon.com states, “After trying and failing to kill himself, an unnamed narrator who believes himself to be part cockroach is compelled to attend counseling sessions with an earnest and alluring therapist. As he unspools his personal history—from his apprenticeship with the thief Abou-Roro to the tragic miscalculation that led him to flee his home country—the narrator, reluctant to tell his story (we never learn where the narrator is from, and inconsistencies in his tale cast doubt upon his honesty), scuttles through the stories of others, recounting secrets both confidentially shared and invasively discovered. Unable to support himself on burglary alone, the narrator takes a job as a busboy, but runs into complications after discovering his lover's connection to the restaurant's most prominent customer.”

This book is different from DeNiro’s Game in that it was more of the narrator’s thoughts in the book and less dialogue – and since the narrator is a little bit crazy the thoughts tend to not make much sense sometimes or be really, really aggressive. The narrator is not a very likeable character. He does some things that I found really scary (especially the breaking into homes and stalking people – especially women) and made me look a bit differently at the world. Its always the sign of a good book when it makes you see your surroundings differently – which is strange that it took me a book as I am a social worker and see some really crazy things all the time.

What I really enjoyed about this book was the narrator speaking with his counselor about his past in Lebanon. The things that are common place in Lebanon are so different in Canada. Especially the amount of violence that happens when going through war – and I don’t just mean violence in the country but violence in the home and between people who are friends. There are just so many ways that people live that are foreign to me. I can’t imagine waking up everyday expecting violence and fear. I have read many books that deal with time periods of war but I feel like the current ones hit home even more.

This book was a good read and I would recommend it to people who have some time to go deeply into a novel – and not only be looking for a quick escape.

Rating - 4

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Twenties Girl - Sophie Kinsella

I bought this book in the Edmonton Airport on my way to my excellent vacation in Las Vegas. I started reading it a bit on the way to Vegas but never really got into it until my flight home. I couldn't out it down after I started. I laughed out loud soooo many times that I think I scared the guy next to me (I was also pretty sick so that might have scared him as well).

Amazon.ca says "Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?
When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man."

This was a really fun, girly book. I always love Sophie Kinsella's books but I always tend to forget how much I love them until I read the newest one. They make me feel happy and make me feel like perhaps some sort of true love is out there - even if you have to go through many bad relationships to find it.

Lara would be my favorite character. She was very much like some woman that I know - especially when it came to her craziness surrounding trying to get her boyfriend back. I know tons of women who would easily make their man come back to them if they could - even if it wasn't real feelings on their part. I just loved how this book was written and how Lara changed throughout the novel. This could be one of my favorite Sophie Kinsella books. I could see this making an excellent movie and I hope that we see some more Sophie Kinsella books turned into movies!!

Rating - 4