I have been wanting to do a post on books I have read in the last few months. Finding time to read is a struggle for me but I try to indulge myself whenever I can –late night, on the pot, during lunch breaks, while waiting at the doctor’s office. I am even known to read a few lines while filling up the car at the gas station. I did manage to read a few –some worth mentioning, some better forgotten. So here’s my list of worthwhile reads.
Open –Andre Agassi
Agassi begins the book by proclaiming his disdain for tennis-the game he owes everything to. He tells the story of his contradictory life with brutal honesty, gives a glimpse of how he thought of himself and his life, the difficult and challenging relationship he had with his father, his failed marriage with Brooke Shields, his descent into self-destruction, how he found love and hope in Steffi Graf, his victories not only on court but in life. It is a rare and touching look into the life of a tennis prodigy and star.
The Palace of Illusions (POI)– Chitra Divakaruni
I am not a fan of Divakaruni’s books. I couldn’t finish ‘Mistress of Spices’ and I didn’t like ‘Sister of My Heart’. But after reading MM’s effusive praise for this book and hearing my friend, Sonia speak with equal gusto, I had a change of heart. And this time, Divakaruni didn’t disappoint me at all. POI is beautifully written. I loved the way she retold the Mahabharata in the voice of Draupadi. I enjoyed the ending of the novel, as much as the beginning. I simply could not put the book down. In spite of all the violence and agonies that are inter-twined in the story, it left me with warmth in my heart at the end of the story.
Help –Kathryn Stockett
Set in 1960’s Mississippi, Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel is a compelling read about two black housekeepers and a young progressive white girl. It forced me to contemplate the divisive culture that existed back then (one that has faded away for the most part-thank goodness). The author tackled this sensitive topic with humor, warmth and honesty and brought the characters to life with her wonderful penmanship. Loved it!
As an aside, I would like to announce that I am done reading books on immigrants – their complexities, struggles living aboard, the duality they live in blah, blah, blah. Thanks to Manju Desai’s book called ‘The Immigrant’ (no surprises here!)I read while on my trip to India. I will not go into the details, I rather save my breadth. All I can say is that it was lame.