Reading outside the comfort zone

img_9795I ended last year, and started this one, reading outside my comfort zone(more or less).

Like many I prefer to make up my own mind on what books to read, following my mood is always best. Which means a few books linger at the bottom of the TBR-pile for a long time. As it is my nature I decided to try to finish all the books in it and I got a few lovely surprises. A quick round-up;

Fifth Business by Roberston Davies;

This was a gift from my dear bookstagram-friend @drummingonthecover. I hadn’t heard of it before but I trusted the giver, and reasonably so: it’s a brilliant book.

When I posted it a lot of people commented that they loved it, and I do too. The protagonist Dunstan Ramsay tells the story of his life, and the lives of others, in a rambling and very charming way. I would like to think that Tristram Shandy is a bit like this although I haven’t read it. Fifth business refers to the vital role played by certain characters in a play, not the leading men or women, but the catalysts. Ramsay is fifth business in his life someone claims, I beg to differ. Will try to read the other two parts that make up the trilogy.

The Parrot’s theorem by Denis Guedj;

I found this in a little free library in Vienna and chose it mostly because it was one of the few books in english. Had I been younger I probably would have liked it more; it’s written for teens. Like a “Sophie’s world” by Jostein Gardener but with maths.

Home and the world by Rabindranath Tagore;

Another gift this one, sent to me by @celestial.reveries. Also left to linger too long. It’s a very elegant and understated novel, Tagore is first and foremost a poet, which is made up by the thoughts and the unsaid in the love triangel between Sandip,Nikhilesh and Bamala. A fair bit of it probably went over my head as there are many references to hindu gods and myths of which I am sadly rather ignorant. As much as I enjoyed reading this what it did make me want to read more is foremost Indian history not Tagore’s poetry.

Autumn by Ali Smith;

Beloved by many but I haven’t read Smith until now(but I have been meaning to). My loss really. Having seen this book with it’s wonderful cover(a painting by David Hockney) around bookstagram for a few weeks I caved and made a reservation at the library. Smith is so clever with her words, they ebb and flow with an almost hypnotic effect. Her non-linear storytelling suits me just fine and I’m even willing to accept dreams as a plot device. Great characters, a story with nerve and emotion; I devoured it and long for more by her.



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