Rain and a surreal read
I went into an independent bookshop (this one) and picked up this book here
I’d heard of this book a long long time ago… and I’d forgotten about it. This bookshop that had hundreds and hundreds of books, that was a shelter from the crazy Edinburgh wind+rain combo, had this book stacked under a large stack.
I got it at a good good price. And to me, this bookshop, barely 200 metres from my home,
“is the ‘cemetery of lost books’, a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print…”
Have you read it? What did you think?
Today is a rainy day
(Picture courtesy: schlitzohren)
I remember reading ‘Of Love and other Demons’ on a platform. The Indian monsoon rains were being blown around into the sheltered bits and the edges of most pages of my copy were wet. No wonder I love Marquez!
What books do you remember reading in the rain?
What book do you want to read on a rainy day?
The talented Zunaira Afzal who writes some fantastic poetry at Solemn Diaries has nominated me for an award. Thank you, my dear. This was perfectly timed for when I have been having doubts about the existence of this blog 🙂
Here are the rules for this award:
1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
2. Post the award image to your page.
3. Share 7 facts about yourself.
Facts About Me:
a. I prefer tea to coffee some times of the day and coffee to tea at some other times.
b. I’m an Electronics engineering student. It would have been easy for me to not be if I wasn’t good at it!
c. I love animals, although I have never had a pet.
d. Reading keeps my world turning. Reading a few pages of a good book, underlining, and making a few notes is singularly the most brilliant pat of my day.
e. I want to write a book someday.
f. And before that, I want to publish my poems 🙂
g. I believe in sun signs.
Now the 4th rule:
4. Nominate 15 other blogs and inform them about it.
I have 8. This is because these are the ones that really inspire me. Here they are:
War is hard. That is an understatement. I’ve been reading a book by Ruta Sepetys that I picked up randomly at a Charity shop in London. Books are SO expensive here! I’m forced to buy from a limited collection. Anyway, I digress.
This book is about a Lithuanian family, well, what is left of them when the father is separated. Second world way, Lithuania is torn in a war between Stalin and Hitler, was there a worse position to be in? Well, I’m reminded of Afghanistan from A Thousand Splendid Suns, but this is just as bad.
So Lina, her mother Elena, and brother Jonas, are taken to labour camps thousands of miles away from their home. They are weak, malnourished, exploited, abused even. For three hundred grams of bread a day each, they are forced to dig in fields all day. They steal from rubbish bins, try to save each other and others in the group, while Lina waits for her father to come for them.
There is not one page in the book which is not depressing, not one that uplifted my spirits. Sure, there is the occasional kindness from unexpected places, but that too is lost in page after page of tireless, hopeless existence.
Two things about the book. It is an easy read, can effortlessly glide through pages and so, can be read anywhere. Secondly, the subplot of Lina being an artist who is inspired by Munch is amazing! I love subplots that go into other forms of art; it means that I pick up some other trivia along the way.
Lastly, after coming to Edinburgh, I have met Germans, Lithuanians, Romanians etc. It is so much harder to read such books when you know people from those countries. They are beautiful people, cultured and every bit as worthy of a life of dignity as anyone else. And to think of such horrors that their kin has endured!