So what are people reading at the moment? Or what have you read recently that you would recommend.
I've just started reading 'Unbroken Spirit' which is an autobiography by an Indian muslim girl who grew up in England and was horribly abused by her father. I'm actually finding it so horrific that I find myself doubting the veracity of it in places. That probably sounds terrible and I have not the slightest doubt she was horribly abused but I wonder if there isn't an element of false memory syndrome involved and that she is confusing nightmares she had in her traumatic childhood with reality.
Has anyone else read this book?
I think I've read it, or if not something very similar.firebrand.
I've just started reading 'Unbroken Spirit'
I'm reading "The Chilling Stars" A new theory of climate change by Henrik Svensmark (climate physicist) and Nigel Calder (award winning science writer). Only on page 55 of 230, but it's very good.[/quote]
Time to die
This is a brand new book that only came out a few weeks ago. Although I totally empathise with what Nick said about stories of child abuse - I avoid them like a plague - this wasn't promoted as such a story. The sub-heading was 'How a muslim girl refused to be enslaved by her culture'. When I bought it, I didn't know it would be full of stories of unimaginable physical and psychological violence. That said, I found it unputdownable and read it the whole book in less than 24 hours. (I did have a similar response to yours initially, firebrand).Firebrand wrote: I've just started reading 'Unbroken Spirit' which is an autobiography by an Indian muslim girl who grew up in England and was horribly abused by her father. I'm actually finding it so horrific that I find myself doubting the veracity of it in places. That probably sounds terrible and I have not the slightest doubt she was horribly abused but I wonder if there isn't an element of false memory syndrome involved and that she is confusing nightmares she had in her traumatic childhood with reality.
Has anyone else read this book?
I then searched for reviews of the book. I only found one mention on a blog by a very westernised muslim woman who objected strongly to the sub-heading opining that it suggested that 'muslim culture' was responsible for what this girl went through when in fact the father was a psychopath who could have been of any religion /culture. I had to think about this and decided that, although it is true, it was the culture she was raised in that kept the daughter enslaved to the psychopath. The notions that the father rules the family and that 'family honour' must be preserved at ALL costs is a feature of some other cultures. I think it's fair to say that it isn't peculiar to muslims. Aren't these notions shared by Hindus and Sikhs? Isn't orthodox judaism very patriarchal and full of misogynistic notions? I would like, at some stage, to give a lot more thought to the interface between culture and religion but I've too much on my plate at the moment.
Since that book, I've read 'Saffron Kitchen', a first novel by Yasmin Crowther, a Londoner of Anglo_Iranian parentage who draws on her knowledge of both cultures to write a spell-binding but ultimately rather sad story.
I am currently enjoying 'Carry me down' by M J Hyland, about a young Irish boy who discovers he has gift for being able to tell when people are lying - a gift that proves to be a mixed blessing.
You'll be glad to hear that Irvine Welsh is currently writing a novel about child abuse. He's been writing it for about three years now, but is finding it hard going because he finds the whole subject so harrowing. He says the whole issue brings out the worst in everyone, which is the main thrust of the novel. Should be a good read!!
Ive just finished reading The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman. It's the story of a young Hmong (from Laos) child's experience with the American medical establishment and the conflict with Hmong medicne. The author doesn't take sides or proposie easy answers, she simple tells the story as it unfolds, with just enough background on history, medicine, sociology, and religion to help you understand all sides.
Less culture, by quite a bit, I am reading one of Kathy Reich's books which are based on cases she work in Montreal as a foresnsic anthopologist and which is not for the faint hearted due to the descriptions of the corpses she has to work on. not great literature but an interesting read.
"a boat-hoose" - a privately owned dwelling
"heid" - uppermost division of the human body, containing the brains, except in the case of Old Firm supporters. (see "erse").
and much more......
It's a memoir about his impoverished Jewish childhood in Stockport in the second decade of the last century. Brilliant at illustrating the barriers that religion and culture can erect between even people living in the same street.
Until I find you by John Irving. I have been hooked on Irving's books since I picked up The Hotel New Hampshire in the library, simply because I have a friend who lived in New Hampshire at the time. I was captivated by the style, the storyline, the family, just everything, and others of his books have been equally good.
This latest offering I found very put-downable; the story of Jack Burns and his tattoo artist mother, Alice, and their search for the boy's father, William, a virtuoso organist, takes us round places we have visited with Irving before, and some others but the characters are not well developed and I for one just wasn't gripped by the story. I didn't get to page 200 of the 900 plus before deciding to call it a day.
I have just moved on the Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier but only just started.
I am keenly awaiting the next Inspector Rebus book by Ian Rankin. It came out last year in hard back but waiting for it in paperback. Should be here any day .