Sunday, June 24, 2007

What I Am Reading ...

THERE IS NOTHING like losing oneself in the pages of a good book. From Anita Amirrezvani’s first novel, The Blood of Flowers (2007), a story about the place of women in 17th-century Iranian society, to Zhang Su Li’s first travel narrative, A Backpack and A Bit of Luck: Stories of a Traveller with No Sense of Direction (2007), there’s always something to savour and digest. Zhang is a traveller who doesn’t know what a map is. But her nose has served her well so far. Though the book’s back cover categorises it as travel writing, it is not really a travellogue per se, but a spiritual journey written with lots of humour, linguistic verve and a devil-may-care voice. What I like about this book is that it appeals to the human spirit’s sense of freedom and adventure. It is great fun to read!

1. The Blood of Flowers (Little, Brown, 2007) / Anita Amirrezvani
2. Oystercatchers (Fourth Estate, 2007) / Susan Fletcher
3. Divisadero (Bloomsbury, 2007) / Michael Ondaatje

Prizewinning Asian Fiction (Times Books International, 1991) / Leon Comber (ed.)

1. Live and Learn (Harper Perennial, 2005) / Joan Didion
2. The Sailor in the Wardrobe (Fourth Estate, 2006) / Hugo Hamilton
3. Andalus: Unlocking the Secrets of Moorish Spain (Doubleday/Transworld, 2004) / Jason Webster
4. God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (published in the U.K. as God is Not Great: The Case Against Religion) (Twelve Books/Atlantic Books, 2007) / Christopher Hitchens
5. A Backpack and A Bit of Luck: Stories of a Traveller with No Sense of Direction (Marshall Cavendish, 2007) / Zhang Su Li


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