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Saturday, January 03, 2009

I could sit for hours finding new ways to be awed each minute

Just like Jim Rohn said: Miss a meal if you have to, but don't miss a book, these days I force myself to read more books more often than before. Here is a list of English fictions that I managed to read fortnightly, in the order of my preference, just in case you are looking for good books and want to read some of them as well.

  • Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist. I always wanted to finish this one and finally I did. Needless, it is only one of its kind. At one point in your life, you simply need to read and digest this book, because there is just Santiago in each and everyone of us.
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I wrote the short review before. I also watched the movie, but the movie was not even close to the book.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, an award winning book from Mark Haddon. You may finish this small book in a day, but that day will be the day that changes your life. The story is about an intelligent (lots of excellent math references in the book) but autistic young boy who tried to find the villain that murdered a dog. However, the story unfolds into something a lot bigger than that, something that changed his life significantly.
  • The Witch of Portobello, again from Paulo Coelho.The witch, who was murdered, was a woman named Athena. She was very special and her life story was narrated by her relatives and friends. A trivia: find a sentence that exists both in this book and The Alchemist.
  • Conn Iggulden's Emperor series: The Gates of Rome, The Death of Kings, The Fields of Swords, The Gods of War. A heavily fictionalized story of arguably the greatest leader ever in the whole Roman Empire, Julius Caesar. I really like these books and want to write a separate short review for this series.
  • Marina Lewycka's very funny A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian. Both entertaining and educating. I wish someday it will be made into a movie. Set in modern day England, the story of the tractors is told by one of the protagonists, a brilliant old immigrant from Ukraina.
  • A Thousand Splendid Sun by Khaled Hosseini (again). A sad story about Mariam and Laila, two Afghan women. It is a very nice read, especially after The Kite Runner. I am, however, a bit spoiled because fews of the plots become more predictable once you recognize The Kite Runner's patterns.
  • The Book Thief, an award-winning bestseller, written by Markus Zusak. A sad but vivid story of a young German girl's experience during the second world war. She was closed to Death several times, and it was Death who narrated her story of life.
  • The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury, that draws the commonly used theme: the adventure to find out hundred years old relic, supposed to be guarded by the Templar knight in the old time, which may change the foundation of the religion.
  • Sandstorm, a wonderful thriller from ex-SAS Michael Asher. George Sterling, upon a hint that his son who was missing in the desert some time ago, mounted a journey to try to find back the lost son. Right from the beginning, it was not smooth at all and soon he would be involved in a mystery larger than just a family reunion.
  • A collection of short stories, The Veteran by Frederick Forsyth. The highlight is the short story of the same title, a detective investigation of a murder that looked boring and usual at the beginning but then revealed a much larger matter in the end.
  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Everyone knows the Nicholas Cage version (of the movie), but trust me, the book is much much better. Set in the second world war, the story is about the struggle of an Italian captain in an island in Greece.
  • Another one from Raymond Khoury: The Sanctuary. Again about a secret, a centuries-old relic, that was supposed to change the way we look at the life and the universe.
  • The Apocalypse Watch, written by Robert Ludlum. A top-notch agent disappeared after successfully sneaked into a supersecret military facility. What did happen to him? His brother was set to find that out.
  • With a backdrop of second world war, The Black Order, a spy-thriller by James Rollins, is a story of the search for the cause of life. Introducing the concept of quantum evolution, apparently it was also possible to abuse the technology to "modify" the life itself.
  • A reporter was missing and someone was supposed to find him. All of sudden, a mystery and a big conspiracy were the stake. Andy McNab's Crossfire.
  • East of The City by Grant Sutherland. Yet another thriller (albeit with a slow start) about an underwriter which, when doing an investigation, was dragged into his dark past.
  • What if you try to trace the mysterious girl who lived in your place before? That is what Michael Connelly wrote in the tech-thriller Chasing the Dime. At first, it looked just normal, but soon it became an important part of a dangerous game.
  • Ultimate Weapon from Chris Ryan. A story of two men fighting in war-time Iraq to find their loved one.

I may forget some other books. But maybe those are not really important after all.


kusut said...

thanks for the reviews. how about to kill a mocking bird? i just read and reviewed it in my blog

jarwadi said...

wow such a long read list,I did never finish more than 5 book a month