Monday, July 19, 2010

Holidays over :(

So, back from holidays.  Very refreshing.  Thankful for lovely time with my family.  Loads of washing on the line.  Time for a deep breath before the onslaught of another crazy semester of ... well ... I'm trying to not think about it too hard!

I did have a great time reading (surprise, surprise, I hear you cry!) while we were away.

Favourite book.  'So much for that' by Lionel Shriver.  (I reviewed her earlier  book a few weeks ago).  This is a totally different story to Kevin but I still really enjoyed it.  It's the story of a couple in their early 50's.  The husband has been saving up all his working life for an early retirement.  His wife is diagnosed with a fatal cancer and the aggressive treatment required to prolong her life uses up all his savings.  It is a complex relational story, but gives a depressing insight into the way the American health system works.   Shriver writes with a very black humour but writes in a way that reflects the reality of life.  The husband watches his savings disappear to discover at the end of the treatment that his wife's life has only been lengthened by a few months.  It does raise a lot of questions about the value of life.

Second favourite book.  'The White Tiger' by Aravind Adiga.  Set in modern day India, this is the story of Balram who works for a rich man driving him around Delhi.  You find out from the beginning of the book that the driver has murdered his boss.  The story is the about the lead up to the murder and the aftermath.  The book presents a depressing (yet, real) insight into the divide between rich and poor in India.  Maybe I enjoyed it more because I've spent lots of time in India - but I still thought it was a good read. Won the Man Booker prize in 2008.

Now - back to the uni books and no more reading of fiction by me!  I'm doing a subject on children's literature this semester so I hope there will be some insights I can share from that with you.

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